Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Cherry, Walnut & Chocolate Birthday Cake

Large Cakes | 30th December 2009 | By

It’s my mother’s birthday tomorrow and a second Christmas celebration for us, so a special birthday cake is required. A few years ago I made my mother Brian Goodwin’s Birthday Cake from Gaia’s Kitchen for her birthday party and it proved to be so popular with the guests that I was inundated with requests for the recipe. Surprisingly, I haven’t made it since – time to rectify this I think!

This is how I did it:
  • Melted 100g bar 85% dark chocolate and left to cool slightly.
  • Creamed 4.5oz unsalted butter with 4.50z light muscovado sugar & grated zest of 1 orange.
  • Beat in chocolate.
  • Beat in 3 medium size eggs, one by one.
  • Sieved in 6oz flour (1/2 wholemeal spelt & 1/2 white spelt) with 2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  • Stirred in juice from same orange with a couple of tbsp of water as it was quite a stiff mixture.
  • Stirred in 3oz natural glace cherries – halved and 2oz of walnuts – roughly chopped.
  • Spooned mixture into a 21cm cake thingy and baked at 180C (gas 4) for 30 mins.
  • Turned out onto rack and left to cool.
  • Rolled out 8oz natural almond marzipan into a round to fit top of cake.
  • Melted 100g bar of 70% dark chocolate with 1/2 oz butter and two tbsp of date syrup.
  • Stirred this until smooth then covered cake with the marzipan and then the marzipan with the chocolate mixture.
  • Decorated with 12 toasted walnut halves.
One of the reasons I remember this cake as being so good is that marzipan lovers like myself are not deprived of this delicacy as is usual with a non-fruit cake. I’m looking forward to trying it again tomorrow.

Cherry Chocolate Cake

Traybakes | 30th April 2009 | By

I had half a jar of sour cherries that desperately needed using up.  Fortuitously I was e-mailed a recipe using cherries that came from Merchant Gourmet which I then adapted as a booze free version.  I was particularly pleased to have found some local and organic crème fraîche which meant that it was a completely organic cake.


This is what I did:

  • Melted 125g unsalted butter in a pan with 100g muscovado sugar and 100g of 70% dark chocolate.
  • Sifted 100g wholemeal spelt and 100g of white spelt flour into a bowl with 1 tsp baking powder.
  • Stirred in 50g ground almonds
  • Made a well in the centre and poured in the chocolate mixture.
  • Mixed this in together with 3 duck eggs.
  • Added 4 tbsp of sour cherries from a jar together with about 75 ml of the juice from the jar.
  • Poured this into a 9 inch square silicon pan and baked in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25 mins.
  • When cool, cut into 9 large squares (think 16 would have been better as these were a little too large I thought).
  • Meanwhile melted 100g white chocolate with 250ml crème fraîche and left to cool.
  • Whisked cold mixture until stiff enough to spread onto cake squares.

The cake rose well, had a nice moist consistency, wasn’t too sweet and had a subtle cherry undertone.  The topping took a lot of whisking and then went a sort of curdled consistency, but it tasted good.