July 24, 2012


Quite a few moons ago, I spotted a recipe in one of the blogs I read regularly for “chocolate pudding cake with raspberries”. 

blackcurrants6I apologise sincerely to the writer of the blog but try as I might, wracking my poor old brain, I cannot recall whose blog it was.  Suffice it to say, I was so taken by the recipe at the time that I recklessly bought the book that it came from, ordering it from Amazon - “Eat, drink, live” by Fran Warde.eat, drink, liveThis is, I suppose, no more daft than buying a CD on the strength of one track heard on the radio.  As it turns out, it is a beautiful book, full of promising recipes to tempt me into the kitchen.

We_Should_Cocoa_Logo So, when I read that this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, organised by Choclette of Chocolate Log blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot blog, was for something combining chocolates with blackcurrants, this recipe sprang to mind.

clumber1 clumber2 That very same day, a miserable and rainy Sunday, Nick, Lulu and I decided to brave the chilly drizzle and go to Clumber Park for a walk and an ice-cream.  We visited the walled kitchen garden, which was an absolute delight and I would recommend to anybody and everybody.  At the entrance there were punnets of blackcurrants on sale, freshly picked that morning.

I love blackcurrants.  The sight of them takes me back to my childhood, picking them from the bushes in my grandmother’s garden and watching her make them into jam on her green enamel stove with the big knobbly taps.

clumber3The original cake recipe uses lots of dark chocolate and a spoonful of instant coffee.  I checked my storecupboard and I didn’t have enough plain chocolate but did have a bar of Espresso dark chocolate which would make up the quantity.  So I decided to use that and omit the addition of the instant coffee.

blackcurrants1 blackcurrants2

There is an awful lot of chocolate in this cake !!  It makes a chocolate torte style of cake, definitely a dessert cake and not the afternoon tea variety.  The blackcurrants looked lovely on top of the mixture before it went in the oven and I’m pleased to say looked just as beautiful when the cake was done, like little jewels studded on the top.  They didn’t sink and weren’t crozzled either.

blackcurrants3The recipe suggests dusting the cake with icing sugar, which I dutifully did, then regretted immediately, as the jewel-like effect of the lovely little currants then disappeared.

blackcurrants4 blackcurrants5It was not a cake for the faint-hearted.  It had an intensely chocolate-overload kind of flavour which contrasted really well with the tartness of the blackcurrants.   The hint of coffee in the background was just right.  It would make a stunning centrepiece for a dinner party, served in very slim slices with a little cream or ice-cream. 

I imagine it would also be delicious with raspberries as an alternative to the blackcurrants – the same kind of sharpness but not such an extreme contrast in flavour.

Here’s my adaptation of the original recipe:


150g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa content

100g espresso flavoured dark chocolate

200g butter

5 eggs

100g caster sugar

75g plain flour

150g blackcurrants (I washed and topped and tailed mine)

icing sugar for dusting (optional)


Preheat the oven to 170°C/150° fan/ gas mk 3.  Grease and line a 23 cm springform cake tin.

Break the chocolate into pieces and put it with the butter in a small saucepan.  Stir over a low heat until melted together and smooth.  Set aside.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl using an electric whisk, until light and fluffy, which may take about 5 minutes.

Gently fold in the flour and the chocolate mixture until well combined. 

Poor into the tin and sprinkle the currants on top.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until firm and coming away from the sides of the tin.  Cool in the tin for a few minutes then remove to a wire rack.

Serve dusted with icing sugar and a little whipped cream or ice-cream.

Serves 10-12 portions – a small slice is plenty !!


  1. Stunning cake! I love your little trip to Clumber too. Isn't it lovely? I'm so amazed how incredibly fruity the black currants are and how well they work with chocolate. It's a great challenge this month!

    1. Dom, I had almost forgotten how much I love blackcurrants. This challenge has been a delight!

  2. Chocolate and blackcurrants! Two of my very favourite things, Jean, so this recipe is a must. Clumber looks like a truly fantastic kitchen garden.

    1. Perpetua, as long as you SERIOUSLY like chocolate you will love it!

    2. Oh, I do, Jean, I do....

  3. Love the comb of chocolate and blackcurrants. This cake has risen to perfection.

    1. Alida, actually if you look very closely, one side of the cake is slightly deeper than the other. This is because I somehow managed to shove the oven shelf in the oven wedged between two different shelf heights. I only noticed after the cake had been in the oven for about ten minutes and by then it had got a permanent list to starboard !!

  4. Well, that is a lot of chocolate but then again who cares? It really does look lovely and indulgent.

    1. Phil, eating a slice made me feel very "Nigella" for some reason - it was unashamedly wicked but with a hint of healthiness in the fruit !!

  5. Oh this looks just brilliant. I love the blackcurrants studded across the top. And I'm all for rich indulgent chocolate cakes too. Really pleased you like the combination. I think it was a bit of a revelation for some. You ar one of the lucky few who has managed to find fresh blackcurrants. Thanks for playing along with WSC.

    1. Thanks, Choclette. This is a combination I would never have thought of by myself so I really enjoyed baking the cake - it was very, very indulgent !!

  6. I made this and served it to guests yesterday. They loved it. If I was being picky and made it again I would modify the proportions quite a bit. Mainly I thought it had too much butter and not enough sugar. I used redcurrants because that's what I had, but black would have been better. I also used all dark chocolate and a spoonful of instant coffee granules because I didn't have any coffee flavoured chocolate. My suggested ingredients list is 200g dark chocolate, 50g cocoa, 2tsp instant coffee granules, 150g butter, 6 eggs, 200g sugar, 50g flour, 50g ground almonds, 150g blackcurrants.

    1. Susan, I'm glad your guests like it!
      I also found it very rich so if either of us tries your modified ingredients we should report back here again !!

    2. I'm warming to the original version of this cake. It keeps very well and in fact improves after a day or two. By the time it was all gone I had tested it on Dutch, French, Scots and Americans and everyone loved it. It goes very well with a nice Coteau de Layon, btw.

    3. Susan, thanks for the feedback. I get what you mean about the Coteau de Layon, a favourite of ours to have with a rich dessert.