Chocolate cherry cakes
Makes 12 | prep 20 mins | total time
- 1 x 75g pack dried cherries, chopped
- 100g dark 70% chocolate, broken into pieces or chopped
- 100g butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 150g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 2 medium eggs
For the cherry icing
- 300g icing sugar
- 3 tbsp cherry juice
- 12 fresh cherries, to garnish
Make the cakes up to a day ahead, cool, then store in an airtight container. Ice 1-2 hours before serving to allow to set. The uniced sponges can also be frozen.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Lightly butter a large 12-hole muffin tin.
- Heat 175ml water in a medium pan and add the chopped dried cherries. When it comes to the boil, remove from the heat, add the dark chocolate and diced butter and mix until melted. Add the rest of the ingredients, then stir the mixture well until combined.
- Divide the mixture equally between the holes of the muffin tin.
Tip Cherry juice makes pretty pink icing without the addition of colouring.
- Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Open the oven, turn the tray and bake for a further 8 minutes until they are just set – they will feel like a soft sponge.
- Overturn the tin on a wire rack so that the tops flatten. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the tin and leave to cool completely before icing.
- For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl and gradually add the cherry juice, stirring until smooth. Spoon over the top of each of the cakes, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Top each cake with a cherry and leave to set – it will take about 1 hour.