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Nutty Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chef Lee Fry,
The Billabong Bar and Bistro

Macadamia nuts grow wild in Africa and Australia. After roasting, they bring an exotic, nutty crunch to this teetering Valentine’s dessert. Cherry rum sauce adds a delightful tang with subtle notes of sugary rum.

Ingredients
Chocolate Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup toasted, crushed macadamia nuts

White Chocolate Mousse
1 lb Callebaut white chocolate
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 egg whites

Cherry Rum Sauce
1/2 tsp butter
1 1/2 cups cherries
1/4 cup sugar
1oz rum

Method
Chocolate Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour 11″x17″ cake pan.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar and baking soda.
3. Stir in eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Set aside.
4. In a saucepan, combine butter, oil, cocoa and water. Bring to a boil and stir until smooth.
5. Slowly blend in flour mixture and pour into cake pan.
6. Bake for 15-20 mins.

White Chocolate Mousse
1. Roughly chop chocolate.
2. In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Constantly stir until smooth.
3. Bring sugar and water to a boil to form simple syrup.
4. Beat egg whites in a bowl with a mixer until almost stiff. Slowly pour sugar syrup into egg whites.Continue to beat eggs for a few minutes.
5. Gently fold melted chocolate into egg mixture. Cool to room temperature.
6. Whip cream in mixer and fold into egg and chocolate mixture.

Cherry Rum Sauce
1. Place butter in a sauce pan.
2. Add cherries, sugar and rum.
3. Flambé.
4. Simmer until thickness resembles caramel sauce.

Assembly
1. Using heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out six hearts from cake pan.
2. Generously spread white chocolate mousse on two hearts. Sprinkle toasted macadamia nuts over mousse.
3. Layer mousse-covered hearts overtop of one another. Place third heart on top and garnish with dollop of mousse and a cherry. Repeat steps 2-3 for second cake.
3. Finish cakes with drizzle of cherry rum sauce.

Yield 2 servings

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