Coronavirus lockdown is coming to its end just as the cherry season is peaking in Goriška Brda, a picturesque place of stone built villages surrounded by vineyards.
Therefore, we made the decision to celebrate our freedoms and spring with a relatively simple but delicious cherry mousse cake.
We decided to keep the recipe at its simplest, leaving all the options for upgrade open to our readers: for example, half of the cream can be replaced with cream cheese, different fruit can be used, crushed caramelized almonds can be placed between the layers, the cake can be wrapped in marzipan, and so on. Our goal was to make a great cake with minimum ingredients with an emphasis on cherries from Goriška Brda, which are only available for a short period each year.
Make the base of the cake first: roast the almonds so they release some flavour in a pan. Then grind the almonds, mix them with about 2 tbsp. of sugar and add an egg white, which will keep the ingredients together. Place the mixture at the bottom of the baking pan and bake at 175 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. Check so that it doesn’t burn, although we quite enjoyed the slightly dark caramelised bottom.
Meanwhile, destone half of the cherries and put them in a pot with some sugar and a spoon of water.
Simmer for about 10 minutes till the cherries release juice and turn slightly soft. Then blend it all up and leave to cool down.
If you’ll be using gelatine powder, add it to the blended cherries when they’re already cooled. Gelatine in sheets (large packets come with 3 sheets, use them all) needs to be soaked in cold water first, then drained and dissolved in the blended cherries while still hot. In either case, the liquid should be cooled down before being stirred into the whipped cream.
Whip the cream then slowly stir in the cooled down cherry blend. Do this when the base of the cake is already cool. Put the mousse on top of the cake and place the cake in the fridge for a few hours for the gelatine to do its work.
Before removing the sides of the baking pan, separate the cake from the pan with a narrow knife. Do the same when taking it off the bottom of the pan.
If you want your cake to look nicer, repeat the procedure with the blended cherries and gelatine and pour the mixture when it’s cool and starts to thicken over the top of the cake.