Black Forest Sponge Pudding


I get asked for dessert way too much and I still don't have it mastered. For the casual eater, this is probably fine. For the connoisseur, it might be a bit of a slap in the face. These are simple ingredients, all contrasting, but working together. Quite unlike parliament. I'm not big on intensely sweet things so there is very little sugar. The sponge is exactly like it's name - a sponge. Subtle in flavour, ultimately providing a platform for all the tastes to meet and mingle. So no fine dining, but good to have with a cup of tea, or a easy-going dessert, perhaps in spring, maybe in autumn. I'm waffling. Lets get on with it.

Tools

- Cake tin

- Round cookie cutter

- Electric or hand mixer

- Whisk

- 2 Small saucepans (one for water over choc ganache, the other for the coulis)

- 1 metal or ceramic heatproof bowl to fit on top of saucepan to make ganache

- Mixing bowl (if you're not using a stand mixer)

- Wooden Spoon

Ingredients

For the cake

- 100g caster sugar

- 200g soft butter

- 4 beaten eggs

- 200 flour

- 3 tsp baking powder

- 1/4 Cup milk

- 1 lemon

For the Coulis

- Frozen Berries

- Sugar

For the Chocolate Ganache

- Dark chocolate buttons or drops, or step it up and get some of your favourite dark chocolate

- Canola/Rice Bran or Clarified Coconut Oil

- Cream

- Rock salt (optional)

For the Creamy stuff

- Equal portions cream and Greek Yoghurt or just greek yoghurt if you're keen.

Method

Sponge

This doesn't have to be the world's best sponge. It just has to be sponge. You can buy it if you want, but usually, you've got the ingredients and it's faster than a trip to the supermarket. Depending on how you want to serve it, you can do a couple of these to make a big cake, or just one and cut out a few rounds with a cookie cutter.

Preheat oven to 190 celsius.

Cream your caster sugar and soft butter. Mix in your beaten eggs

Sift your flour and baking powder together. Fold your dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined. Pour mixture into a greased cake tin, and put into the oven.

After 20 minutes it should be done. Test with a wooden skewer. If it comes out clean, you're good to go.

Coulis

Super easy! I have a ratio that gives good results:

My Favourite Ratio: One cup of mixed berries : 1/2 teaspoon of sugar : 1/4 Cup of Water

If you like it sweeter, add more sugar, if you like it a bit more tart, add less sugar. Combine those ingredients in that ratio depending on how much you want, and heat until it is reduced to bits of berry. Crush any strawberries that are too big. Your liquid should be a syrup by the end. Remember that the syrup will thicken when it cools. If it coats the back of a spoon, it's probably ready!

Chocolate Ganache

Heat up a pot of water on low heat until steaming (around 75 c). In a metal or ceramic bowl, add in a couple of cups of chocolate drops and heat slowly.

Stir with a wooden spoon and eventually the chocolate will melt into a sauce.

Whisk in a quarter cup of cream. Slowly because I've found the temperature drop of adding cream is a pain in the ass.

Add a 1/4 cup of flavourless oil, (clarified coconut, rice bran or canola) and stir in thoroughly. This stops it thickening too quickly.

Cream

Whisk a 1/2 cup of cream until peaking and fold in the same amount of greek yoghurt.

Assemble the layers as above, make sure you get a lot of peaks and dips in the cream so the chocolate forms delicious little pools.

Enjoy!

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