We kind of have new celebration tradition at home. We celebrate every occasion or life event with a homemade cake (occasionally with muffins). Since our baby boy has been born we celebrate every month on the date he is born, of course with a cake and candles, just like a real birthday. I made this chocolate cherry cake when he was turning 9 months. The recipe may seem long but it is actually very easy and quick (for a cake recipe). The trick is to put the cake layers in the oven and while they bake to prepare all the rest needed for the cake (total time 60 minutes). Then just wait for all components to cool to room temperature and assemble the cake.
That’s it! P.S. If you have never tried drunken, spicy cherries – just run to the store as fast as you can, for a bag of cherries! These are absolutely amazing!
Ingredients for the cake layers:
120 ml. coffee
100 grams (3,5 oz) butter
100 grams (3,5 oz) dark chocolate
2 large eggs
100 ml. buttermilk
60 ml. full fat milk
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
380 grams (13,5 oz) flour
1 tea spoon baking powder
260 grams (9 oz) sugar
40 grams (1,5 oz) cocoa powder
Ingredients for the cherries:
400 grams (14 oz) cherries, pitted
2 table spoons honey
50 ml. Bourbon
200 ml. water
1/2 tea spoon cayenne pepper (or 1 seedless chili pepper)
1 star anise
130 grams (5 oz) sugar
1/2 tea spoon black pepper
Ingredients for the frosting:
250 ml. heavy whipping cream
100 grams (3,5 oz) cream cheese
2 table spoons powder sugar
To prepare the cake layers: In a small saucepan add the coffee, butter and chocolate. Cook on medium heat until butter and chocolate melt. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl mix the eggs, buttermilk, milk and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix with a whisk.
In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Fold the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir with a rubber spatula – make sure to not over mix the batter,. Stir just to combine.
You can bake the cake layer in separate cake springforms or in one large, then cut the layer into three separate layers. I would recommend you to bake the cake layers separately, because they will be hard to cut once baked. I used three different sizes of cake springforms – 7inch, 6 inch and 5 inch. If you don’t have different sizes of springforms just use one size.
Grease your springforms and lay the bottom with parchment paper. Distribute the batter evenly between the springforms and bake for about 40 minutes on 180C (350F) or 160C (320F) fan-forced. Check if layers are baked by inserting a toothpick in the center of each layer, if the toothpick comes out clean then they are ready.
Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare the cherries: in a medium saucepan combine all ingredients. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the cherries soften a bit. Strain the cherries into a bowl and put the sauce from the cherries back into the saucepan. Cook the sauce form about 20 minutes or until thickens. Remove the chili pepper and star anise from the cherries and through away. Pour the cherries back into the cherry sauce and set aside to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting: Whip the cream in a large bowl. Add sugar and cream cheese and beat for another minute to combine. Keep in the fridge until needed.
To assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand. Drizzle a couple of table spoons of the cherry syrup over the layer. Top with the whipped cream cheese frosting and arrange one layer of cherries on top of the frosting. Place the second layer on top, drizzle with the cherry syrup, top with cream cheese frosting and one layer of cherries. Repeat the steps until you use all the layers.
Place the cake in a cool place to sit for a few hours before you cut it.