Christmas Cherry Chocolate Cake

Wow your guests with this moist rich chocolate cake baked with grappa soaked sour cherries and encased in fluffy pure white Italian meringue icing. Yum!!

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  • 1.
    To make the cake
    Soak the cherries in the grappa overnight. If you’re short on time, soak them for as long as you can.
  • 2. Grease and line a 23cm (9 inch) round cake tin and preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
  • 3. Place the chocolate, butter, ½ cup caster sugar and coffee into a heatproof bowl. Melt the ingredients in a microwave or over a double boiler, stirring frequently until smooth. Set aside to cool a little.
  • 4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and combine with the egg yolks and grappa soaked cherries.
  • 5. Combine the cherry mixture with the chocolate/butter mixture.
  • 6. Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peak. Add the remaining caster sugar and whisk for 1 minute.
  • 7. Gently fold the egg whites to the chocolate mixture.
  • 8. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked. Allow the cake to cool in the cake tin. Run a knife around the edge of the tin and turn out the cake, leaving the baking paper attached to the base of the cake. Wrap in cling wrap (baking paper side down) and refrigerate.
  • 9.
    To decorate the cake
    Place 1 cup of sugar and the glucose into a small saucepan with ½ cup of water. Stir once and gently bring to the boil. Cook the sugar over a medium heat until soft ball (118 C or 230 F). While the sugar is boiling, beat the egg whites until soft peak, add the remaining sugar and beat for 1 minute.
  • 10. With the mixer running, slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites. Beat the meringue for a further 10-15 minutes until cool. The meringue will become stiff and glossy.
  • 11. Remove the baking paper from the cake and place onto a cake plate or cake board. Spoon 2 thirds of the meringue onto the top of the cake. Using a small palate knife, work the meringue outwards from the centre and over the edges. Use the remaining meringue to even out the icing.
  • 12. Top with the cherries and dust with icing sugar.

About The Author


Elizabeth’s culinary journey started in her childhood home. Coming from Greek and English immigrant parents, food always seemed to be the main focus of everyday life. “Dad would come home from ...