maandag 25 november 2013


(Serves six to eight)

125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
150ml red wine, room temperature (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)
125g plain flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp ground cloves
1tsp cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
65g dark chocolate (55-57% cocoa solids), grated

For soaking
50ml water
30g caster sugar
125ml red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)

For garnish
1 jar redcurrant jelly
300g dark chocolate, tempered
Optional: raspberry sorbet and hot chocolate sauce

Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and flour 25cm bundt tin. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add beaten eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add 150ml red wine. Mix well. Sift flour, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa powder, baking powder together. Sift again, then fold a tablespoon at a time in to creamed mixture. Fold in grated chocolate. Transfer to bundt tin. Level. Bake in centre of oven for 35 minutes until well risen. Skewer-test to check if cooked. Once cooked, cool in tin for 20 minutes, then take out and cool completely. Clean tin for reuse.

To soak the cake, bring water and sugar to the boil in a small pan, stir in 125ml red wine. Fill bundt tin with red wine syrup. Place cooled cake back in tin. Once liquid has been absorbed, reverse cake out again, being careful not to damage. Cool.

Bring redcurrant jelly to a rolling boil in small pan. Remove from heat, then brush hot jelly over cake. Let jelly set, then repeat process to get glossy finish.

To garnish cake, make discs of tempered chocolate. Once cooled, cut off base using hot knife so that they sit flat at the bottom of cake (see above).

Thomas Keller on Claire Clark

Extract from Thomas Keller's foreword to Claire Clark's Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts

"I was concerned about Claire coming to our small quiet town of Yountville after having worked in a bustling city. Her move to the Napa Valley uprooted her from all she had known and [separated] her from her tightly knit family and friends.

"Her challenges were compounded by her inexperience of working with American products, having to convert all her recipes, adapting to our changing seasons and, more importantly, understanding our philosophy about desserts.

"Through hard work and determination she has earned the respect of her peers not just in her native country, but all over the world. Her accomplishments are extraordinary and [she] has been creating wonderful dining memories for our restaurant and guests ever since she first started working with us."

The book

Claire Clark has just published her first book, Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts (£20, Absolute Press), which she started two years ago just before she upped sticks and moved to California.

"It's aimed at people with a passion for pastry - domestic cooks, mainly. But then when I'd finished it I thought, 'this is a student book', because all the recipes I've included are my 'first' recipes, including the basic building blocks I use all the time," she says.

"If you want a recipe for ganache, it's there if you want a strudel dough, or a custard recipe or Battenberg recipe, they're there as well."

What began as a concise and general dessert-based tome soon mushroomed. "It just kept growing and eventually we sat down and said that if it was going to be a pastry book then we needed to look at all the areas, excluding doughs - that's for next time - and suddenly we had 100 recipes," Clark recalls.

On the whole, Clark says she enjoyed the process, aside from translating the ingredient amounts in metric form in the early drafts into cups for the American market.

"It was a nightmare. We'd get things like 'one cup and three-quarters plus two tablespoons'.

"Too stupid," she grimaces. "In the end we just carried imperial and metric."

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