What's not to love about this cake? From sweet cherry filling to ganache to whipped-cream frosting to chocolate, this cake is sure to please a crowd.
The chocolate cake:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup plain cake flour
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter, melted
The sweet cherry filling:
2 (10 oz.) bags frozen dark pitted cherries, thawed
9 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
The cherry-ganache filling:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
The whipped-cream frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into shavings, for garnish
How to Make It
The chocolate cake: Butter and flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans and preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together cocoa and flour into a bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, whisk together eggs and sugar. Set bowl over a saucepan with an inch of barely simmering water and whisk constantly until eggs are warm to touch, about 2 minutes. Return bowl to mixer and beat at medium-high speed until eggs quadruple in volume, about 12 minutes.
Beat vanilla and salt into egg mixture at medium speed. Sift a third of reserved cocoa mixture on top; fold in until just incorporated. Repeat twice more with remaining cocoa mixture. Fold in melted butter in two parts. Do not overmix.
Gently scrape batter into prepared pans and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let layers cool in pans for 10 minutes; turn out onto racks to cool completely.
The sweet cherry filling: Reserve 1/4 cup cherry juice from cherries, placing 2 Tbsp. into each of 2 small cups. Place remaining cherries and juice in a small saucepan; stir in 7 Tbsp. sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring; then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until mixture is thick, about 3 minutes.
Stir remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar into 1 portion of reserved cherry juice and set aside.
The cherry-ganache filling: Combine chocolate and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a small bowl. Microwave at medium power for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large metal bowl and whisk in remaining 1 cup cream and reserved 2 Tbsp. cherry juice. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla to chilled cherry ganache. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and thick enough to spread.
The whipped-cream frosting: In a large, chilled, metal bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until stiff.
The cake assembly: Using a serrated knife, split each cake layer in half to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer on a platter. Spread half of sweet cherry filling on top; cover with a second cake layer. Drizzle half of reserved cherry juice mixture on top and then cover with half of cherry ganache. Repeat layering with cake, cherry filling, cake, cherry juice and ganache.
I made this cake tonight. My cherry mixture thicken perfect. My chocolate ganache was thick until I added the vanilla and powdered sugar. So after layering I put in the freezer and let the ganache set before icing. It came out perfect. Oh and 1/2 cup flour was perfect. It's more like a devils food chocolate cake or a sponge cake. Make sure you do not over mix or your cake will come out flat. The cherry juice w/out sugar goes in ganache and the one with is the drizzle. The cake was very easy to make however I do have baking experience.
I made this recipe today for my Bunko group. I am a pretty experienced cook, but this did not turn out as planned. The cherry mixture did not thicken well, nor did the ganache. I ended up making a trifle, which got rave reviews. The flavors are great, but could not achieve a finished cake like the one pictured. I will probably keep this recipe as a trifle! I broke the cake into pieces, topped with some of the cherry mixture, and then the chocolate "ganache". Topped with whipped cream mixture and then repeated steps to finish with whipped cream. It looked lovely in a glass trifle dish.
Jepers: the cherry juice mixed wirh sugar is drizzled on cake layers and the other is added to choco cherry ganache. What you see on top of cake is the choco cherry ganache frosted with the white whipped cream .
Sounds delicious but also labor intensive with baking experience very helpful.
'Haven't actually tried it yet. It sounds great, but the recipe is rather confusing. Which portion of reserved cherry juice goes into the cherry-ganache filling - the one with the sugar added or the one without? The recipe doesn't say. Also, why is the frosting on top of the cake is a decidedly different shade than that on the sides? There's no mention of two different frostings.
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