175g plain chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
400g can cherries
3 tbsp water
4 tbsp brandy
5 eggs, separated
175g golden caster sugar
50g ground almonds
300ml double cream
2 tbsp golden icing sugar, plus extra to dust
Line a 35cm x 25cm baking tin with baking parchment and lightly oil. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Add the water and 2 tbsp brandy and stand over a pan of hot water over a low heat. Take care not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Allow to stand for 2 mins then stir in the melted chocolate until smooth. Remove from the heat.
Whisk sugar and egg yolks together until very pale. Fold in the melted chocolate, followed by the almonds. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks. Fold a few spoonfuls of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to loosen it, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into the prepared tin and spread level. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 15 mins until springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cover with a sheet of parchment and a damp tea towel. Leave in the tin until completely cold.
Drain the juice from the cherries and discard. Place the fruit in a bowl with the remaining brandy and marinate while the chocolate base is cooling.
Turn out the chocolate base onto a sheet of parchment dusted with icing sugar. Carefully peel off the lining paper. Whip the cream and icing sugar together until standing in soft peaks. Spread the cream over the chocolate base and scatter the marinated cherries on top. Roll up the base, starting at a short end and lifting the parchment to help with the rolling. Carefully transfer to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Chill for several hours before serving.
Other Easter chocolate recipes in our Spring 2015 issue:
• Chocolate mousse
• Chocolate truffle cake
• Egg nog and chocolate burnt creams
• Chocolate, pecan & apple pudding
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