This cake is a showstopper. It looks almost too beautiful to eat but it’s also so delicious you won’t be able to say no.
The sponge is soft, moist and slightly bitter. The cream is sweet and silky and just melts in your mouth. And then the sour cherries that cut through those bittersweet flavours. It really is rather orgasmic.
This cake is relatively easy to make although you need to plan ahead and start making it at least a day before you want to serve it. But I promise you it’s gonna be worth it and you will easily impress even the most demanding of your guests.
For the chocolate sponge:
- 550ml plant-based milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 160 ml sunflower oil
- 320g plain flour
- 260g brown sugar
- 100g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- a pinch of salt
For the halva cream:
- 2 400g tins coconut milk (chilled in the fridge for at least 6 hours)
- 400g vanilla flavoured halva, crumbled
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tin pitted cherries in light syrup, drained
For the topping:
- 50g vanilla flavoured halva, crumbled
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 50g dark chocolate
- 7-9 fresh cherries
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare two 9-inch round baking tins and lay their bottoms with greaseproof paper, then set aside.
- Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl, add the vinegar, mix and leave aside for a few minutes to activate.
- In a separate bowl mix thoroughly all dry ingredients.
- Add sunflower oil to the milk and mix thoroughly. Slowly pour the mix into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix thoroughly using an electric whisk. The dough should be smooth and silky and have a loose, pourable consistency.
- Pour half of the dough into each of the prepared tins and place them in the oven. Bake for 25-30 min or until a wooden stick comes out dry. (Most ovens are not big enough to bake two cakes on the same level, so you will probably have to bake one on top of the other, which is absolutely fine, just make sure you swap them after 15 min of baking so that they bake evenly). Take out of the oven and set aside to chill.
- To prepare the halva cream open the coconut milk tins and carefully take out just the hard top bit and place it in a mixing bowl. Whisk using an electric whisk for about 3 minutes and then gradually add crumbled halva while still whisking. The cream will be little runny. Place it in a sealed container and put in the fridge for at least 6 hours or ideally overnight.
- Just before you start building the cake, melt the coconut oil and chocolate in a saucepan on low heat stirring frequently. Set aside to cool when melted. To build the cake place one sponge layer on a cake platter and spread 1/3 of the halva cream on top. Top it with all of the cherries and then place the second sponge on top. Spread the rest of the halva cream on top and on the sides using a spatula.
- Sprinkle 50g of crumbled halva on top, then place fresh cherries and drizzle with melted chocolate. Put in the fridge to set before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.