And here we are: The Great Blogger’s Bake Off Final. I missed a couple of weeks in the middle due to various members of the family being ill and time just generally evading me but I was determined to join in with the final bake. Last year I made a tiered Hallowe’en cake as my showstopper and amusingly, we only finished eat it a couple of weeks ago – I froze it in portions for emergency puddings!
I wanted to try something completely different and out of my comfort zone for my final effort this year – a proper challenge. With that in mind I stuck my nose in all of my recipe books to try and find something suitable and eventually found what I was looking for in The Humming Bird Bakery ‘Home Sweet Home’ book which is utterly beautiful but full of recipes I am generally too afraid to try and make.
The recipe involved making a cheesecake baked inside a moist, rich chocolate sponge crust. Perfect considering I have never made a cheesecake in my life, baked or otherwise – definitely a challenge to try and pull off.
I adapted the recipe a little so I could use the last of the blackberries from my parents’ garden and also because their recipe called for sour cherries and I’m not a big fan.
Chocolate & Blackberry Cheesecake Swirl Cake
You Will Need:
1. Preheat your oven to 170ºC and grease a 25cm diameter non-stick cake ring/bundt tin with butter and dust with flour.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and hot water, stir well until combined into a thick chocolate liquid.
3. Add the soured cream to the chocolate liquid and mix well.
4. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
5. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well (and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one if you are using a mixer or handheld whisk).
6. Pour in the soured cream mixture (with your mixer/whisk on a medium speed) then add the dry ingredients and mix well until you have a smooth, shiny, even dough. (I found it was quite liquid but it’s really thick so it’s okay.) Put this to one side to use later.
7. Now to make the cheesecake! Mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth (using your mixer or electric whisk).
8. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.
9. Stir in the vanilla extract and chopped blackberries. (You might want to do this by hand to make sure the berries are evenly distributed through the mixture.)
10. Fill a piping bag with the cheesecake mixture. (Use your widest nozzle or cut the tip to make a 3cm hole if using a disposable bag.)
11. Spoon/pour half of the chocolate sponge mixture into your prepared tin.
12. Carefully pipe the cheesecake mixture in a ring in the middle of the tin, taking car not to let it touch the sides anywhere.
13. Spoon/pour the remaining half of the chocolate sponge mixture on top of the cheesecake. Smooth it down carefully to completely cover the cheesecake.
14. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a skewer comes out clean of cake mix when inserted.
15. Allow the cake to cool and then carefully turn out of the tin. (I left mine for approximately one episode of House M.D. so about 45 minutes ;) )
16. Melt the blackberry jam in a small saucepan. (I used my homemade Autumn Fruit jam which is lightly spiced with cinnamon but any jam that compliments the fruit in the cheesecake would be fine.)
17. Using a pastry brush, glaze the cake with the jam.
18. Serve and Enjoy!
I really enjoyed making this cake although it was HUGE when I brought it out of the oven and I was afraid I would never get it out of the tin whole because it looked a bit delicate due to the soft cheesecake centre. However, once it had cooled, it settled a bit and actually turned out quite easily and neatly (although I should have done it onto a plate or serving dish instead of a cooling rack because I couldn’t lift it off again afterwards…)
I don’t much like fruit mixed with cake or chocolate so was pleasantly surprised when I loved this cake! My fussy eaters liked it too which was an added bonus (apart from Tori not liking the jam on the outside, but she ate the rest).
I loved the shine the jam glaze gave it – very simple but quite impressive to look at.
I can’t tell you how well it keeps or freezes though I’m afraid because we ate it too fast!
I’m taking part in the #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014
Also linking up with: