DARK CHOCOLATE, APPLE AND WALNUT CAKE WITH GANACHE
To me, the flavours in this cake embody winter. When it's chilly outside, this is the cake I want to eat with a cup of tea. You can use any kind of nut you like, and pears instead of apples would work just as well.
FOR THE CAKE
150g butter, softened
150g light muscovado sugar or soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour or spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
100g ground almonds
½ cup unsweetened, full-fat Greek yoghurt
¾ cup dark chocolate buttons (70% cocoa solids)
½ cup roasted, roughly chopped walnuts
2 apples, peeled, cores removed and cut into 3cm chunks
125g dark chocolate buttons (70% cocoa solids)
dash of vanilla extract
¼ cup roasted, roughly chopped walnuts
fresh seasonal flowers (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Line two 22cm tins with baking paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and mix in the ground almonds along with the yoghurt. Stop your electric mixer once all the ingredients are combined – do not over-mix.
- Stir through the chocolate buttons and chopped walnuts by hand.
- Evenly divide the batter between the two tins and dot the apple chunks in, pressing them down lightly with a spoon.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, make the ganache. Heat the cream in a saucepan until small bubbles start to appear on the surface.
- Take off the heat and drop in the chocolate. Stir until it is melted; the ganache should be thick, smooth and glossy. Finish off with the dash of vanilla.
- Chill the ganache for 20 minutes to allow it to set a little.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, spread a layer of ganache on to one layer and place the other layer on top. Apply a final coating of ganache on to the top of the cake. Decorate with the chopped walnuts and flowers if desired.
- Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to three days.