The French Chocolate Fruit Cake is perfect for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner.
Cooking time 1 hour
Place the butter in a warm place to melt slightly.
Beat eggs with sugar and salt. As soon as they are saturated with air bubbles, having increased in volume, add already soft butter to this creamy mass, having previously cut it into pieces (this way it will quickly flow into the general rows).
Mix flour with baking powder and add to the dough in the same way as starch, in small portions.
Mix cream (or milk) with the dough, then add starch 1 spoon at a time, stirring well, then add again and mix again.
Grate the orange peel on a fine grater (leave a small piece of rind to decorate the cake) and chop the juicy pulp into small pieces. Finely break the chocolate, setting aside a couple of slices for icing.
And now the most important moment comes. It is necessary to saturate the cake with magical aromas of spices and give it a bold and pungent taste. To do this, mix the dough with cognac, zest, cocoa and spices. The zest, in addition to pungency, adds freshness to the taste and, combining with spices, creates a feeling of delight and celebration.
Preheat the oven to a temperature of 180-200 C, grease the baking dish with butter, pour 2/3 of the thick mass into it, put the slices of oranges and cherries, pour the remaining dough and bake until tender.
The possible diameter of the form is from 18 to 22 cm. In a wide form, the cake will turn out to be lower and wetter, it is more convenient to eat it with a spoon, and in a high form it will acquire a denser structure. Both are tasty.
If you pull a little, waiting until there are no traces left on the wooden skewer removed from the cake, you will get a more strict, masculine taste of the cake and a distinct, even structure.
Of course, the consistency also depends on the baking time. If you focus on the first thick aromas from the oven and wait another 5 minutes, checking the readiness with a wooden stick (there will be faint traces of dough on the skewer removed from the baking), then you will get a gorgeous dessert cake, the structure of which will resemble a crumbled biscuit mixed with cream.
The main thing is to watch the barrels and the bottom of the pastry so that they do not get charred.
Cool the finished cake a little, put it on a cake dish, turning it over. That is, the top of the baking pan will become the base of the cake.
While it is completely cool, prepare the icing: for it you need to mix cream, sugar, butter, chocolate wedges and a pinch of salt, slowly heating the chocolate mass and stirring it continuously. When it becomes viscous and thick, turn off the heat, let the glaze cool slightly.
Then pour it over the cake.
For decoration - set in the right place a recess for cookies in the shape of a heart (or cut a heart out of cardboard, and then cut another heart inside it - you get a stencil) and fill the fenced space with confectionery dressing.
If you do not have a sprinkle, you can use powdered sugar, cookie crumbs, small "sea pebbles", chopped nuts, dried apricots or candied fruits; orange or lemon zest (finely grated) and any other handy material, different in color, but edible in meaning.
To make the drawing read clearly and unambiguously, we make an image outline. To do this, cut the previously set aside orange peel into thin strips. They are bright, clearly visible against the background of chocolate and elastic in structure, which is what we need.
Hearts can be cut out with a cookie cutter or knife using a homemade stencil made from marshmallow, cheese, flat-sliced kiwi, melon, peach, and other fruits or sugary vegetables.
Wrap the finished cake in foil and send to the refrigerator for a day to ripen.
You can draw hearts and write, whatever you need, with just strips of zest.