Cook1 hr 15 min
Blackberry season is here and I couldn’t be happier. I love those plump juicy berries that grow wild at our back gate and it’s become a bit of a family tradition to pick all that we can find and then turn them into something special.
Make sure you allow plenty of time for this cake, as it needs a fair bit of chilling time.
For the Shortcrust Pastry
- 120g plain flour
- 80g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 40g caster sugar
- 1 – 2 tbsp double cream
For the Chocolate Sponge
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 100g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 80g plain flour
- 45g corn flour
- 50g ground walnuts
- 30g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the Blackberry Filling
- 600g frozen or fresh blackberries
- 150g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 500g Quark
- 400g double cream
- 9 ½ gelatine leaves, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water (see Notes)
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 170g dark chocolate, chopped (min 70% cocoa)
- 85g Double cream
For the White Chocolate Decorations
- 150ml double cream
- 50g white chocolate
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- ½ gelatine leaf, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water (see Notes)
To Decorate and Finish
- 3 – 4 tbsp of blackberry conserve
- 80 – 100g fresh blackberries
- Some edible flowers (optional)
- For the Shortcrust Pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and pulse in short bursts until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cream and pulse until combined.
- Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and gently bring in together with your hands. Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan. Mark out a 23cm circle on a sheet of baking parchment. Roll out the pastry to fit the circle and to a 3 – 4mm thickness. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 20 minutes. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
- For the Chocolate Sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease a 23cm springform and line the base with baking parchment.
- Beat the egg yolks with 60g of the caster sugar until pale and creamy.
- In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff then slowly add the remaining 40g of the sugar and beat until thick and glossy.
- Sift together the flour, cornflour, cocoa powder and baking powder and stir in the ground walnuts.
- Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolks. Add the remaining egg whites and then the flour mixture. Gently but swiftly fold everything together until combined.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper. Leave to cool completely before cutting in half horizontally.
- For the Blackberry Filling, in a blender or with a stick hand blender, puree the blackberries with the icing sugar, vanilla essence and lemon juice and then pass everything through a fine sieve.
- Reserve 50g of the blackberry puree and beat the remaining blackberry puree into the Quark until incorporated.
- Heat the reserved puree until it begins to bubble around the edges and stir in the squeezed out gelatine to dissolve. Leave to cool.
- Stir 2 tbsp of the quark mixture into the gelatine and then stir in the remaining quark mixture. Chill until just beginning to set around the outside.
- Beat the cream until thick and creamy then fold into the quark-berry mixture until combined.
- To assemble the cake, place the shortcrust pastry base onto a serving plate and spread with the blackberry conserve.
- Top with a chocolate sponge and enclose with a cake ring and leaving a ½cm gap between the cake and the cake ring.
- Spoon over half of the quark berry mixture making sure it fills the space around the sides of the bottom cake.
- Add the second sponge and spread with the remaining quark berry mixture, again making sure it reaches down the sides.
- Chill the cake for a minimum of 4 hours.
- To make the Chocolate Ganache, place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl or jug.
- Heat the cream until just beginning to bubble around the edges and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for 2 minutes before stirring until smooth then leave to cool.
- Remove the cake ring from the cake. (I use a cook’s blowtorch to soften the edges and making it easier to remove the ring).
- Pour over the ganache and allowing some to fall over the sides.
- To make the White Chocolate Ganache, break the chocolate into a large bowl.
- Add the squeezed out gelatine leaf and the vanilla paste to the chocolate.
- Bring 80ml of double cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until smooth and leave to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Beat the remaining 70ml of double cream to a soft peak and fold into the chocolate mixture. Chill until the mixture is just setting before spooning it into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
- To Decorate, pipe small to medium shapes around the cake and pile the fresh blackberries into the centre.
- Decorate with edible flowers if using.
Note: I have used Dr. Oetker Diamond Leaf Gelatine. If you are using a different brand, please refer to the manufactures instructions.