Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Drunken Cherry Chocolate Cake

Every year for my birthday, I don't ask for presents, just that Eric bake a cake for me and we spend the day together. He started with boxed cake mixes, last year it was a smores pie, and this year he made his first cake from scratch. He woke up early and only asked for a little help--I more supervised and fetched ingredients for him than anything else. And it turned out absolutely delicious. The cake was moist and very chocolaty and the cream cheese frosting has become my favorite frosting. You can't forget the drunken cherries either--divine. I am so proud of him.

Recipe adapted from here.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk, warmed
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder (we used Hershey's Special Dark)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt

4 cups black cherries, pitted (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup whiskey (next time I think we'll use brandy)
1/4 cup cold water
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons of reserved cherry-whiskey syrup

Drunken Cherries
Rinse, drain, and dry your cherries. Pit the cherries and coarsely chop them. Place them in a medium bowl and add whiskey. Let the cherries marinate at room temperature for 1 hour then drain cherries, reserving the liquid.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.

With a standing mixer or electric hand mixer, whisk together 4 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whip on high for 7 minutes or until mixture is light and fluffy. Whisk in warm milk.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the batter is just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the center of each cake has set. 
Once the cakes are cool enough to handle, remove from pans. Place the cakes on a wire rack and cool completely.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk butter on low until fluffy, gradually adding powdered sugar one cup at a time until well combined. Add salt. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until mixture is pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes).

Add cream cheese 1 ounce at a time and mix until well combined. Once all the cream cheese is incorporated, whip for about 1-2 more minutes.

Stir in 4 tablespoons of reserved cherry liquid. Reserve the rest of the remaining cherry liquid. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.
Remove the frosting from the fridge and allow it to set about for 10-15 minutes. 
Cut each cake in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Place one layer (cut-side up) on your plate or cake stand. 
Add water to the reserved cherry syrup. Brush the layer with 1/3 of the cherry-whiskey mixture. Frost the layer and add 1/3 of the drunken cherries. Repeat with the next three layers, however, do not put any syrup on the top layer. Refrigerate cake for about 20 minutes.

Frost the outside of your cake. Decorate with extra cherries, chocolate curls, or chocolate chips. Instead of using whole cherries, Eric decorated with a few drunken cherries. Cover and store cake in fridge. Allow cake to sit at room temperate for about 30 minutes before serving.



More Cake Recipes
Strawberry and Chocolate Checkered Cake 
Three Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
An Apple Cider Birthday Cake
Chocolate on Chocolate Cake 
Chocolate Swirl Cake (Made with Swiss Cake Rolls)
Honey Cake
Rice Crispy Birthday Cake 

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