RICH CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHERRY & GANACHE FILLING

CHOCOLATE CHERRY CAKE

My father-in-law’s favorite cake is a chocolate cake with cherry filling and chocolate frosting.  I knew when he described his love of a “Black Forest Cake” that he was not describing a traditional Black Forest cake but more of a chocolate cake with cherry filling so that is what I made him for his birthday.  I am now in LOVE with this cake!  It has a subtle hint of coffee without over powering the wonderful chocolate taste.  I also added Hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa to deepen that wonderful chocolate flavor.  I did not want to create a cake that was so sweet that it was unbearable therefore, I used semi-sweet chocolate chips to make the ganache.  The semi sweetened chips combined with dark cocoa powder and coffee with sweet cherry pie filling was just the right amount of sweetness verses bitterness.  This blend really worked.  I was also worried about the coffee over powering both the chocolate flavor and the cherry flavor but I was pleasantly surprised that the flavors were so well represented without any of them being overbearing.   This is now my absolute FAVORITE home made chocolate cake recipe!  I will make this one again and again!  My in-laws also enjoyed it and were pleasantly surprised with the flavors.

This recipe makes either 3-9 inch cake pans or 2-10 inch cake pans.  I used 2-10 inch cake pans.  Since I was traveling with this cake I did not want it to be that tall.  I cut each cake in half and spread half of a can of cherry pie filling in each cake.  I placed the cherries methodically in a large circle pattern and a smaller circle pattern ensuring that every piece of cake would have cherries in it.  Like I said, I am a little particular when it comes to my cooking and baking but I am okay with that!  Between the two layers of cake I spread about one third of the ganache.  I then topped the cake off with the rest of the ganache.   You can let the ganache drip over the edges of this cake or smooth over the top and sides for a clean look.  I hope you enjoy this cake.  Cherry-O!

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. butter softened

3 c. brown sugar

5 eggs

3/4 c. Hershey’s dark cocoa powder & milk cocoa powder combined

1/8 c. Hershey’s dark cocoa (if you want to taste more of the coffee, you can omit this cocoa)

2-2/3 c. unbleached flour

1/2 t. salt

1-1/2 T. baking soda

1-1/3 c. sour cream

1-1/3 c. hot coffee

GANACHE:

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips 

8 ounces heavy whipping cream

(If you are making 3-9 inch cakes I would use 12 ounces chips to 12 ounces heavy whipping cream)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour the cake pans.  Cream together the butter, brown sugar and eggs.  Mix well.  Sift together the dry ingredients and add them to the creamed butter mixture alternating with the sour cream.  After each addition make sure the batter is well blended.  After all of the dry ingredients and sour cream are added, slowly add the hot water while continually stirring the cake mix.  Pour into the cake pans and bake 20-35 minutes depending on what cake pan you have chosen.

When the cake is done, work a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake.  Turn the cake over onto a cooling rack and place the cake pan right side up on top of the cake.  This traps the steam (moisture) inside of the cake while it cools.  After the cake is completely cooled cut it in half using a long bread knife.  Use 1/2 of a can of quality cherry pie filling to fill your cake.  Put the cakes back together.  I only made two cakes so I used one half can per cake.  If I had made three cakes, I probably would have used a second can of pie filling.

Pour the semi sweet chips and the heavy whipping cream in a wide shallow microwavable bowl and microwave for 90 seconds.  Let sit for 4-5 minutes to allow all of the chocolate to melt before stirring it all together.  You can add 1 t. of vanilla if you would like.  Let the ganache cool.  In between both layers of cake, I poured 1/3 to 1/2 of the ganache.  I used the rest on the top of the cake and spread it around the sides.  You could shave chocolate bars or add fresh cherries to decorate the top of the cake for an added touch.  Enjoy!

 

 

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