Light Tropical Christmas Cake
For a darker cake, add caramel food colouring.
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
85g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
150g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
2 large eggs
1 pod vanilla seeds
250mL brewed coffee, cooled
70g glace or maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
Cherry jam, to top
Marshmallows, to top
Crushed nuts, to top
200g 70% dark chocolate disks, chopped
1/2 cup light cream
Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt at least three times. Place mixture into an electric mixer.
Combine milk, sour cream, butter, eggs and vanilla seeds in another bowl. Whisk until wet ingredients are well mixed.
With the mixer beating on low speed, add wet ingredients to the dry ones. Add coffee and cherries. Continue to beat until evenly mixed.
Grease cake pan with butter and dust with some flour. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 35–40 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. It should come out clean if cake is done.
Meanwhile, prepare chocolate ganache. Melt chocolate in a bain marie or microwave oven.
When chocolate turns soft, pour cream over and let it stand for 3 minutes before mixing.
Spread cherry jam on top of the cake and arrange marshmallows all over. Use a blow torch to toast the marshmallows. Alternatively, toast marshmallows over an open flame before arranging onto cake.
Drizzle chocolate ganache and top off with generous sprinkles of crushed nuts before serving.