Into the Forrest

RECIPE adapted
IMAGE Jaromir Klein/Shutterstock

Feb 1, 2024 | Featured, Food, Food + Drink

for the Chocolate Cake
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 Cups sugar
½ Cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 Cup hot water
2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Cup unsalted butter, melted
½ Cup vegetable oil
1 Cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

for the Cherries
½ Cup granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
¼ Cup cherry liqueur
3 ¼ Cups cherries, pitted and quartered

for the Whipped Cream Icing
3 Cups heavy whipping cream, cold
¼ Cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bars, grated (optional garnish)
fresh cherries with stems (optional garnish)

for the Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray three 9-inch round pans with non-stick baking spray. Add eggs and sugar to a medium bowl, beat on high for 2-3 minutes. In another bowl combine hot water, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt, stir then add to egg/sugar mixture.

Using a mixer, slowly add flour, baking soda and baking powder, let combine, then add butter, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, beat until just combined. Expect batter to be thin! Divide batter between three pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool for 8-10 minutes, remove from pans, let cool completely. Level tops of cakes if needed with serrated knife. 

for the Cherries
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and liqueur in a pot over medium heat, cook until sugar begins to dissolve. Add cherries, stir to coat. Cook until cherries begin to soften. Remove from heat. Brush some of the cherry juice over the tops of the cake layers. Let cherries and juice thicken and cool.

for the Whipped Cream Icing
In a cold bowl, beat heavy cream using cold beaters on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, then add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use!

to assemble
Cakes must be completely cooled! Place one layer of cake on stand and top with 1 Cup of whipped cream icing, spread evenly. Pipe a circle on the outside edge to contain the cherries. Add 1/3 of the cherries and juice, spread evenly. Repeat with remaining layers. Add a thin layer of icing to the outside edges of the cake. Garnish with additional icing and fresh cherries if desired. Let chill in refrigerator for one hour before serving.

Note: Cake must be refrigerated due to the whipped topping.

Do South Magazine

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