Have all and your beloved ones a very merry Christmas Time and a happy holiday in love, health and laughter. This year I provide you with a real festive flavour: ground poppy, preserved sour cherries, chocolate, rum and vanilla - Juicy Poppy and Sour Cherry Cake.
This cake has been inspired by my very favourite Slovak cooking show. Let me tell you, it isn’t tricky at all, the juiciness of a light poppy sponge makes a perfect combination with a smooth whipped quark. Sour cherries with chocolate, just underlines its yumminess. My last jar of sweet and sour cherry compote I have been saving for something special like this, indeed. Add a bit of rum and you bring them to an upper level. As I was preparing it for my bro’s birthday, I went for a retro style, decorated by his favourite chocolate waffles called Miňonky. You can, of course, substitute them with any kind of biscuits or festive cookies. No limits to imagination. Slice into heaven and have a great one!
As I have used my wonderful sour cherry preserve, I really wanted it to be a star of the cake. Therefore, I got inspired by an unique and simple decorating technique right here.
Juicy Poppy and Sour Cherry Cake is suitable for kids from the age of 3, because of a strong allergen presence - the poppy.
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes + few hour chill of the cake
5 whole eggs
120g of icing sugar, sifted
50ml of olive oil
50ml of milk
60g of plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of baking powder without phosphate, sifted
100g of ground poppy
Few tablespoons of good quality sour cherry marmalade
½ cup of water
A splash of rum
500g of soft full fat quark
150g of icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of double cream + stabilizer
200g of deseeded sour cherry compote (⅔ for The Filling and ⅓ for The Final Decoration)
150ml of double cream
50g of dark chocolate
Few ground poppy, chocolate biscuits, cherries and some icing sugar to decorate with
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place 5 whole eggs with icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk on high speed until you have it foamy. Gradually pour in the oil plus the milk.
Next, stir in the flour with baking powder, poppy and mix with spatula gently until you get a smooth texture. Do not lose the fluffiness of the dough. Mold and turn over. Mold the dough into a lightly greased springform tin lined with some baking paper (I used 24cm). Bake for about 45 minutes until baked through.
Then, let it cool down and ease from the springform.
Heat up a few tablespoons of the sour cherry marmalade and dissolve it in ½ cup of water. Add a splash of rum and bring to boil to vaporize the alcohol. Take off the heat and let it cool down for a bit. Then, sieve the liquid, so you get a very smooth syrup texture.
In a large mixing bowl put quark and mix until it becomes a smooth texture. Then, start adding the sugar plus vanilla extract and continue whisking until very smooth.
In a separated mixing bowl whisk the cream into peaks. I used the whipped cream stabilizer to make it thicker. Always follow the instructions as described on the package.
Next, start adding the cream into The Filling. It is easier to do it in parts to make sure it won’t split. Taste. A half of The Filling should fit into a decorating bag and refrigerate all of The Filling until further processing.
Gently take the baking paper off The Sponge and cut in half with a sharp knife. Then, brush the excess crumbs away and slowly pour onto The Syrup. Wait for a couple of minutes until The Syrup soaks within and continue.
Put a bit of Filling onto your serving plate and stick the 1st Sponge on top. To be sure that cake won’t fall and thickens in the fridge nicely, put the springform back on.
Next, pipe a generous layer of the Filling and gently spoon ⅔ of the cherry compote on top. Cover with the 2nd Sponge and apply the rest of The Filling. You can leave few spoons of cream for the end, so you correct any discrepancies after it chills. Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.
Next day, take the cake out and very gently ease from the springform. If needed apply the rest of the cream and smoothen with cake smoothers. You can leave like semi-naked cake or cover it with the cream completely. Refrigerate.
For The Ganache, melt 50g of good quality dark chocolate in a steam bath. Gradually add around 150ml of double cream, few at a time. Mix until smooth and shiny texture. Then, transfer into a cold bath and let it cool down a bit. Fill a decorating bag with The Ganache and take the cake out of the fridge.
Spiral The Ganache around the edges of the cake to get the dripping. The rest of The Ganache you can spiral towards the inner side or to zigzag it.
Sprinkle with ground poppy and apply the rest of the cherry compote in the middle. Finish the Juicy Poppy and Sour Cherry Cake with your desirable cookies and sprinkle with some icing sugar. Make the 1st winning slice. Happy Holiday to you all!
Makes 10 serves.