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chocolate cherry cocktail cakes

June 6, 2012

There’s a certain stillness that comes with the beginning of Winter. The realisation that yet another season has passed and that the year is no longer new.

And, while I sat on the outdoor deck contemplating just how much had already happened this year – things expected and unexpected, the usual and the stuff that turns your world upside down and in a completely new direction – I was accosted by a big gust of wind (in the way only a blustery squall can accost one) and snapped right back out of my reverie and into the world at hand.

Turns out the world at hand is (at the moment, in Sydney, at least) cold.

And, as it turned out, I had been tasked with providing food for “between 20 to 30 people, mostly boys” on one such cold (and rainy) Saturday night for Koji’s roomwarming.

“Isn’t it going to be a little bit… crowded?” asked the Bean upon receiving the invitation.

“How do you mean?” I responded, whilst mentally checking off the to-cook list (pulled pork soft tacos with homemade tortillas, flavoured popcorn, mulled wine, chicken wings, rice, salad in case you were wondering).

“I mean, it’s a room warming right? Do we all have to sit in his room?”

“No. Also, you should come. There’s an arcade machine.”

The day before the room-warming, I found myself cold and alone in the kitchen with an almost empty bottle of tawny port and a similarly portioned bottle of whiskey.

Dried cherries were tipped into a tiny saucepan and topped with the remnants of the bottles before being set over a low heat for a drink.

A rummage through cupboards. The slow, sweet smell of melting chocolate.

Thirty-six little cake-lets ready to be baked for the room-warming, for what is a celebration without cake?

And still, two ladles-ful of batter sat in the bottom of my saucepan. I marked the last two baked treats (so much bigger and more luscious than the cakelets) with the words “Do Not Touch” and tossed them in the fridge before running off to the party.

An SMS arrived some hours later:

“Excuse me, can we eat the do not touch?”

“No.”

The Bean’s wait was rewarded last night. Warmed cake. Chocolate ice-cream. A drizzle of the cherry tinged cocktail poured over the top.

And for a moment, the world was a warmer place.

chocolate cherry cocktail cakes

If you don’t want the cakes to be boozy, marinade the cherries in some cranberry juice instead.

you will need:

1/2C dried cherries
1/2C tawny port
1/3C whiskey
350g dark chocolate
250g butter
1/2C brown sugar
1 egg
2/3C plain flour

how to do it:

1. Pour the cherries, port and whiskey into a small saucepan. Heat until small bubbles start to break on the surface, then pop a lid on and turn the heat off. Leave the cherries to marinade for an hour so they can plump up.

2. Chop the butter and place it in the bottom of a larger saucepan. Put the broken up chocolate on top and heat slowly. By using the butter as a barrier between the bottom of the saucepan and the chocolate, you can melt the chocolate without using a bain marie. Stir as it melts until you get a lush melty shiny chocolate mix. Add the sugar and stir to melt it into the melted chocolate mix.

3. Let the mixture cool before breaking the egg in and stirring to combine.

4. Drain the cherries and reserve the marinade. Add the cherries and the flour into the saucepan and stir well.

5. Grease three 12 hole mini muffin tins well and dollop the mix in so that it is just shy of the top. You should have enough to fill two mini tart tins as well. Bake in a 150C fan forced oven for 15 minutes (for the mini muffin tins)  and 25-30 minutes for the tartlettes. Serve warm with a scoop of chocolate or vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the tawny port/whiskey marinade.


  • #1
    June 6th, 2012

    Sounds awesome! I would so love to try some. I reckon I would polish the lot off in 5 minutes flat!

  • #2
    June 6th, 2012

    There’s almost nothing better than a piece of warm cake on a cold day. There’s just something about that cosy sugar kick that makes the world feel warmer. This looks lovely!

  • #3
    June 6th, 2012

    sounds like it would be great with some warm mulled wine!

  • #4
    June 7th, 2012

    loving these photos Shez! looks amazing !

  • #5
    June 7th, 2012

    Oh yum, so decadent and warming for this freezing weather at the moment. Nothing like a boozy bit of warm cake 🙂

  • #6
    June 7th, 2012

    Yes! Yes! I want boozy! How luscious! This would go down a treat tonight. It’s cold for us North Queenslanders! Where do you find the dried cherries? The supermarket?

  • June 7th, 2012

    Hi Marcellina! Freezing in Sydney too (and windy and rainy). I got the dried cherries from my greengrocer but I’ve seen them before in the supermarket too.

    Shez xx

  • #7
    June 12th, 2012

    You have been making some wonderful cocktail-inspired desserts lately! Chocolate and cherry is one of my favourite combinations!

  • #8
    June 13th, 2012

    Love how you incorporate a bit of cocktail into your desserts! It’s suchh a great idea. I love the look of the size of the cakes.

  • #9
    June 13th, 2012

    What a lovely combination- chocolate, cherries, and a little (a lot?) of hooch. I’m going to make it for Paulo and myself this weekend. Cheers!

  • #10
    July 2nd, 2012

    Funny how ‘do not touch’ never means anything to most people, especially when it involves chocolate. Someone always still has to ask 🙂

Shez