"Having spent quite some time in Germany, there are some foods and recipes (along with my French repertoire) I like to bring out every once in a while. Glühwein (mulled wine) is a pre-Christmas must and my son can't get enough of Schnitzel (pork or veal escalopes in breadcrumbs). Cakes are a pretty big thing in Germany (even if they're not as good as the French ones) and one that has always been a big favourite amongst friends is called "Donauwellen". Literally translated, it means "Danube Waves". I'm not quite sure where the name originates from, but in the original German recipe, the chocolate topping is "combed" with a kind of "toothed" spatula and the result looks like waves."
I have adapted the original recipe to work with ingredients available in the UK (it's impossible to find solid coconut fat or vanilla pudding powder here which are required for the original recipe) and made it into a round cake rather than the original huge baking tray version. One word of advise though: this one is not for the calorie conscious!
For the topping:
For the chocolate couverture:
Preheat your oven to 180C. Mix the butter and sugar until creamy, then add the eggs and mix well until all combined. Mix the flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture, mix well.
Grease your baking tin and add 2/3 of the cake mixture smoothing it down. Add the cocoa to the remaining 1/3 of the cake mixture and give it another whizz.
Now carefully add the dark layer of the mixture on top of the light one and smooth. Put the drained cherries on top of the mixture and put in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.
Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod. Put the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla seeds into a mixer and whizz until smooth.
Now add the double cream and mix again until well combined. Put in the fridge until the cake is completely cooled down.
Take the mascarpone mixture out of the fridge and spread over the cooled cake. Put back into the fridge. Sit down and enjoy a cup of tea whilst the cake finishes baking and cools down.
Finely chop the chocolate and put into a bowl.
In a pot, bring the double cream to boil and pour over the chocolate. Do NOT stir! Wait for the chocolate to melt and then gently fold together with the cream.
Now spread the chocolate over the cake deliberately leaving it uneven. Put back into the fridge for at least a few hours.
Just before serving, remove from the baking form and top with fresh cherries for decoration.
Bon Appétit - or maybe I should say Guten Appetit in this case.