It’s hot out there. I don’t know what the actual temperature is, and I’m sure that’s a good thing in some kind of way, but it’s hot. Still, a nice day for a walk. Nice breezes along the bay, seas at about a foot chop. Lots of people out enjoying the day.
But now it’s time to get busy. For this cake, I’m tweaking together 4 different recipes from around the web. Let’s talk first about the cake.
This is a dark, rich, super easy chocolate cake. You can do it in sheet pans, 9″ pans, cupcakes, or as I chose today 3-8″ rounds. The frosting that comes with this recipe is killer, and you really need to make it just once exactly like it says. This will be THE chocolate cake you go to. Visit here for the recipe: http://www.whatmegansmaking.com/2011/04/dark-chocolate-cake-with-hot-chocolate-buttercream-icing.html
Trust me, Megan got it right on this one.
Now, the curd. Word on the curd. In my research I found lots of BFC’s that use cherry pie filling. Got nothing against it, but I also found one that suggests this is more of an American twist; that the German version is not nearly as sweet. So, I decided to meet in the middle. I made a curd with 6 egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/8 cup [plus one tablespoon of dark cherry juice, a pinch of salt. Bring all this to heat over a medium low blame, stirring constantly – JUST until it coats the back of a spoon. Then stir in 6 Tbsp of butter. Now, before I started the curd, I drained 2 cans of sour cherries in water. (Save that water – it makes a great lemon-lime-cherryaid). Once the butter was melted and incorporated, I stirred in 3/4 of the cherries, reserving 1/4 to top the cake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight. This is a versatile curd recipe, and I stole it from here: http://stripedspatula.com/2015/03/31/carrot-cake-with-orange-curd/
What to do about that fluffy frosting layer? Here’s what. Place your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer 15 minutes before you start (make sure your cake is cooled and ready to go). Whip together 3/4 cup of plain old sugar and one 8oz block of cream cheese until it’s combined, but don’t worry about fluffy yet. Now with the mixer on medium low, slowly pour in 1-1/2 cups of super cold whipping or heavy cream. Once its in there, turn up the mixer to high and beat until it forms nice firm peaks. Don’t overdo it. The credit for this frosting goes to themerchantbaker.com. Sorry, the link failed so you’ll just have to type the old fashioned way!
To assemble this contraption, first find a tall cake keeper. Don’t laugh at mine. Top one layer with 1/3 of the whipped topping, then with 1/4 of the curd. Place second cake layer on top, repeat toppings. Now place the third layer on top, do just a thin skim coat of frosting, and pour about half of a ganache made from 1-1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of cold whipping cream (see recipe here: http://natashaskitchen.com/2014/03/26/perfect-chocolate-ganache-how-to-glaze-a-cake/#_a5y_p=1514918 ). With a piping bag, make decorative rosettes along the top edge, right on top of that ganache! and then fill in the middle with the last of the curd. Add the reserved cherries. And now drizzle that whole thing with the reserved ganache. Refrigerate to let it firm up. If your are nervous about your toppings sliding off the ganache, do the rosettes first. No problem. And if you are like me, the more frosting the merrier, so add more rosettes or whatever. (You’re going to have cherry curd and ganache left over. Darn. Looks like ice cream sundae time!)
This sounds like a ton of work. And it is a little, but not so much that you should let it deter you. And by all means, if you don’t want to mess with curd, don’t! Get that cherry pie filling and go to town. The ganache? Get some hot fudge sauce, heat it just enough to make it spreadable, and use that instead. You can even use pre-made whipped topping, but I really wish you would try this homemade version. You will never go back again.
I will let you know tomorrow how the tasters rate this one.
Update: it was well received. But please store it in the fridge! It becomes a tumbling tower of chocolate if you don’t! Not that this is a bad thing…