Golden Raisin and Brownie Cake

Richard Phillips extravagant gateau of chocolate, pecans, cognac and cream is glazed with quince jelly and finished with gold leaf
By Richard Phillips
Golden Raisin and Brownie Cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

For the dried fruit

  • 175 g golden raisins or sultanas
  • 4 tbsp cognac

For the cake

  • 60 g dark chocolate
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 110 g sugar
  • 150 g flour, sifted
  • 80 g pecans, coarsely chopped

For the vanilla pastry cream

  • 450 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 95 g sugar
  • 3½ tbsp butter

For the cognac cream

  • 1½ tsp powdered gelatine
  • 380 ml cream
  • 3½ tbsp cognac

To decorate

  • 10 green grapes
  • 1 sheets gold leaf

Method

1. For the dried fruit: in a small frying pan, bring the raisins or sultanas and 4 tablespoons of water to the boil and cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, add the cognac and set a flame to it. Set aside to cool.

2. For the cake: preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a tart ring 26cm in diameter and place it on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of steaming water. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

3. Beat the butter until soft and creamy, then add the chocolate. Beat in the eggs, then the sugar, flour and pecans. Pour the mixture into the prepared tart ring and bake for 10-13 minutes or just until the cake is dry around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

4. For the vanilla pastry cream: bring the milk and split vanilla pod to the boil in a small saucepan and remove from the heat. Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a separate saucepan, then slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time, whisking constantly. Allow the mixture to cook over a medium heat for a few minutes to thicken it, then remove the pan from the heat and discard the vanilla pod.

5. To make the cognac cream: put 3 tablespoons of water in a ramekin and sprinkle the powdered gelatine lightly over the top. Make a small water bath by heating some water in a frying pan until it is steaming and put the ramekin of gelatine inside it to melt. Meanwhile, whip the cream to medium peaks.

6. When the gelatine granules have completely dissolved, fold it into the cream followed by the cognac and pastry cream.

7. To assemble, drain the raisins and pat them dry with paper towel. Spoon half the cognac cream over the cake and sprinkle with three-quarters of the raisins. Spoon over the remainder of the cognac cream and smooth the top with a palate knife.

8. In a small saucepan, melt the quince jelly and allow it to cool slightly. Sprinkle the reserved raisins over the cake, then pour over the quince jelly glaze. Arrange the grapes around the outside of the cake, brush them with a little of the glaze and finish by placing a small piece of gold leaf on top of each one.

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