Bake: Katherine Sabbath’s Cienna, Chocolate & Raspberry Cream Fudge Cake

We’d never say no to a Cienna revival, especially on the eve of spring. To celebrate our favourite fruity red we’re turning to Katherine Sabbath’s decadent Chocolate & Raspberry Cream Fudge Cake – a magnificent dark chocolate dessert that perfectly offsets the fruity sweetness of the wine. Complete with vibrant ruby Cienna jellies, it’s the perfect dessert to impress your friends with or whip out at your next dinner party.

Of the cake, Katherine says:

“To beautifully complement a refreshing glass of Brown Brother’s Cienna, I’ve created this sumptuous Chocolate and Raspberry Cream Fudge Cake, topped with gem-like Cienna Jellies. The vibrant ruby red colour of Cienna and its aromas of spiced, fresh red berry fruit are as equally impressive and juicy when transformed into jelly. The layers of fudgy, dark chocolate cake fulfill even the most insatiable of chocoholic cravings, yet its richness is delightfully balanced by the natural acidity and fruit sweetness of this popular wine.”


Chocolate Fudge Cake

Ingredients: 

  • Melted butter or cooking oil spray, for greasing
  • 200g butter, chopped
  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C, fan-forced. Grease or line a 17cm or 7in round cake pan. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate, water, cocoa, vanilla essence and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, over low heat until smooth and well combined. Remove from heat and stand until mixture is lukewarm.
  3. Use electric beaters to whisk eggs into chocolate mixture until well combined. Sift in the flour and whisk until combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into prepared cake pan and bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and stand in the pan until cool. Cover the pan with cling wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes. Once chilled, remove cake from pan and with a long knife, cut cake horizontally into three even layers. Cover and set aside until cake assembly.

Cienna Jellies 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Brown Brothers Cienna
  • 7 tbsp powdered gelatin (for a vegetarian alternative, you may choose to experiment with using agar agar or pectin instead), and 4 tbsp honey

Method: 

  1. In a small saucepan, warm the Cienna on low heat. Be careful not to allow your Cienna to heat above 90 degrees though, as this will evaporate its alcohol content. You may choose to use a candy thermometer to accurately monitor this, otherwise warming on very low heat will ensure your Cienna retains its lovely zest! Add the gelatin powder one tablespoon at a time, and stir very well before adding the next.
  2. After the gelatin has completely dissolved, add the honey and stir until combined. If your mixture appears slightly frothy, simply scoop the froth off the top with a spoon.
  3. Once your mixture is ready, either use a spoon to fill a silicone ice cube mould (there are a multitude of shapes you can achieve with these!) or pour mixture into a large container (for square cut jellies), lined at the base with some non-stick baking paper.
  4. Place in fridge to set for at least two hours. Your jellies should be firm to touch and their texture similar to that of Gummy Bears. Once set, use a sharp knife to slice into small squares. Set aside either in an airtight container in the fridge or stored at room temperature, until needed for assembly (be warned though, as they are delicious to snack on!)

Raspberry White Chocolate Swirl Shards

*This recipe makes more than what you actually need for the cake but we always suggest to make extra, as the chocolate shards keep for months when stored properly and they make fantastic treats or sweet gifts for friends.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams high quality white chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp pink oil-based colouring suitable for chocolate, or pink colouring powder
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries (available in health food stores and most specialty grocers. Fresh raspberries will also do the trick but please note the shelf life of your chocolate will be reduced to 3-4 days)
  • 1 wooden or metal skewer
  • For that extra special finish (optional):
    • Edible gold leaf & edible gold dust (available in most cake decorating supplies stores)

Method:

  1. Line a large baking tray with baking paper or use a silicone baking mat. Melt white chocolate either in the microwave or a double boiler. If using the microwave, place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat for 30-second intervals, stirring each time with a metal spoon or silicone spatula until chocolate is silky smooth.
  2. Into a separate bowl, pour in 1/2 cup melted white chocolate. Stir in pink chocolate colouring until well combined and a desired colour is achieved.
  3. Pour remaining melted white chocolate onto your baking tray/mat and spread all over until chocolate is the thickness of approximately 3-4mm.
  4. Using a spoon, dollop pink-coloured white chocolate all over various areas of the plain white chocolate. With a skewer, quickly and repeatedly swirl throughout chocolate. When you are happy with your pattern, immediately sprinkle on freeze-dried raspberries. Give the tray/mat a little shake to further embed the raspberries into the chocolate and place in refrigerator until completely set (approx. 1 hour in the fridge). Carefully break into shards and set aside in a cool environment until needed.

Raspberry Cream Cheese

Ingredients: 

  • 750 grams cream cheese, softened
  • 200mls thickened cream (for a vegetarian alternative, use pure cream)
  • 30 grams freeze-dried raspberry fruit powder (available in health food stores and most specialty grocers, otherwise you could easily substitute for 1/2 cup raspberry jam and add 1/3 cup icing mixture instead)
  • 1 cup icing mixture, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 drops pink food colouring or natural colouring extract (optional)

Method:

  1. Use a hand-held electric mixer or kitchen mixer to whip cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add thickened cream, raspberry powder, icing sugar, vanilla bean paste and lemon juice and whip until fluffy. Add food colouring if a richer colour is desired and whip until combined.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and set filling aside until needed.

TIP: If your filling appears to be too soft to pipe neatly into your cake layers, leave to rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes in order to firm up the mixture to a more workable consistency.


Cake Assembly

Chocolate Swirl Shards

Method:

  1. Working on a cake turntable, secure the bottom layer of your chocolate fudge cake onto your favourite cake stand, serving platter or a cake board by applying a small dollop of raspberry cream cheese.
  2. Next, fill a pastry bag lined with a round-tipped nozzle with raspberry cream cheese. Starting from the outside edge, pipe plump dollops or peaks around the top of each cake layer, slowly working towards the middle, until completely covered. Stud each layer with some fresh raspberries and Cienna jellies. Place the final third layer gently onto the top of your cake.
  3. To finish, adorn with an arrangement of raspberry white chocolate shards, squares of your lovely Cienna jellies and a scattering of fresh raspberries.
  4. Slice, serve and savour the delightfully fudgy, decadent goodness of this choc-raspberry beauty! We suggest serving at room temperature, however, this dessert is equally as delicious when enjoyed straight from of the fridge. For a truly splendid dessert experience, this cake is best paired with a chilled glass of Brown Brothers Cienna and shared with your most favourite people.