chocolate cherry cake with sour cream ganache


I hardly ever eat sweet desserts these days. Mostly as my taste buds have changed as I’ve grown older (give me some aged cheddar over a doughnut any day) whilst I’ve also developed a growing awareness of how food intake (aka nutrition) affects the state of my body.

I’m not talking about avoiding fat and sugar altogether, but rather about making the most of these elements of my diet. I’m choosing good fats over bad ones and nutritionally dense, unprocessed (i.e. low glycaemic index) sugars over refined sugars that lead to a massive insulin dump.

But in saying that (whilst posting about cake), I don’t view baked goods as ‘the devil in disguise’. I still enjoy the process of baking and when there’s an occasion for a special-kind-of-cake, I jump at the opportunity to pour love (and butter and sugar) into an occasional baked treat for family and friends.


Last Sunday was one of those days. Some friends of mine decided to have a spontaneous get-together the following night (togetherness is enough of a special occasion for me) and I was asked to bring some sort of dessert.

I decided to bake this cake from Gourmet Traveller, with a few personal substitutions: raspberries alongside cherries, sour cream ganache for an extra bit of ‘tang’ (use the same 1:1 ratio of cream to chocolate, with a splash of vanilla essence if desired), the deepest, darkest chocolate I could find and a splash of brandy instead of kirsch.

I crowned the cake with a handful of golden-roasted hazelnuts (for crunch) and a sprinkle of edible flowers (I used this purchase from The Essential Ingredient; they’re definitely an optional extra, adding nothing in terms of flavour or texture… but I love them anyway).


I’m not going to regurgitate Brigitte Hafner’s recipe here as it’s perfectly written on the Gourmet Traveller site, but I did take a few photographs as the afternoon light was beautiful last Sunday. If you make this cake, I do hope you enjoy it amongst your very best friends.

Food always tastes better that way.

P.S If you’re still waiting for the joint ‘Mexican Table’ post with Inspired Food and Feed Your Soul, Perth, please take heart – we hope to publish our recipes and photos by the conclusion of this weekend. Thanks for your patience and interest in this merry band of amateur cooks x

28 responses

  1. Food, surely, tastes better with friends. Indulgent food in particular, I find – you’d feel a bit more guilty eating it alone, while together it feels like a little holiday or a secret you share :).

    Love the edible flowers on this, Laura, – simply gorgeous! X

  2. This is lovely!! We have the same problem you do, which is a full cake is just too much for us, although we try our hardest not to waste any (which isn’t good for our waists). So, it’s nice when we have an opportunity where I can make something, we can get a piece, but not overindulge. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xxx

  3. That is a good looking cake my friend, even if it is full of white death (that’s my new nick name for refined sugar :)).
    I have been on the edge of my seat waiting for this (these) damn Mexi feast post(s). I just know I am going to be really effing impressed by that!!
    I am excited.

    • Haha, sorry, we really did make you wait ages didn’t we?! Not my fault, I had mine ready straight up ;)
      And I agree re white sugar, it pains me to eat stuff that contains it. Definitely a very occasional treat.

  4. Totally agree with you about learning as you age how food affects the body – and not just the outside appearance but your mind too. I love this cake – you may also like the adapted tiramisu I posted yesterday….

    • Oh gosh, I will definitely check it out! Sorry for the late reply, injured wrist (grizzle). And so true, there is such a strong link between mental health + nutrition also. Such a valuable thing to learn xx

  5. Being one of the oldest readers in your following (happily so, not complaining…), I chuckled when you mentioned your tastebuds changing with age… just wait! Lots and lots of things change. I think it was around your age that my garlic allergy popped in out of nowhere! (Sadly, but not tragically, it is still with me… but I cope by using hundreds of other flavors… )

    Now, to the cake. L.U.S.C.I.O.U.S.! I am especially intrigued by the sour cream ganache – I wonder if it is similar to my tart frosting for red velvet cake! When someone mentions a Black Forest Cake, I usually run, screaming, in the opposite direction. But this cake has me craving a slice. Thanks fro sharing Brigitte’s recipe and for making the changes you did – I think they make the cake that you made!

    • Wow, I had no idea that allergies could appear later in life! Here I was thinking I was home and free! Lucky there are so many gorgeous uses for spices and herbs (to almost but not quite overcome absence of garlic). Thanks so much for the lovely reply David. I appreciate you hugely! Sorry for the late reply also, my injured wrist has been holding everything up (frustratingly!) x

  6. This is exquisite Laura– I love baking for friends– with cherries and raspberries at the market right now, I’ve got this on my “to-do” list!
    It really does look like a special occasion cake! thanks!

  7. Chocolate and cherries go so well together, love this dessert……saving desserts for special occasions whatever thy are deemed makes them much more special in my book. Beautiful pics!

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