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Drunken Cherry Chocolate Cake

Ingredients for the Cake: 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temp 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup warm milk (I used 1 ! 1 1/" cups all#purpose flour "/4 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used one that is a blend of natural and dutched cocoa! 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/$ tsp fine sea salt Ingredients For the Filling: 4 cups (1 lb! fresh pitted cherries 1/2 cup golden rum (I used %acardi &old '$/bottle at a li(uor store! 1/4 cup cold filtered water Ingredients For the Cherry Cream Frosting: 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temp " cups powdered sugar 1/4 tsp fine sea salt 1) o* (2 blocks! cream cheese, softened to room temp and cut into 1) pieces 4 Tbsp of the reserved cherr+/rum s+rup Ingredients To Decorate the Cake: ,emi#sweet chocolate chips to create shaved chocolate (see -ee.s tutorial, except I omitted /risco! 0 handful of fresh cherries for the top Boozing up your cherries: 11 2eigh out 1 lb of fresh 3orthwest cherries1 21 -oughl+ chop +our pitted cherries and place them in a medium bowl with 1/2 cup golden rum1 4et sit at room temp for 1 hour then drain cherries in a sieve over a bowl1 5eep both the cherries and the s+rup1 Making the Cake Layers: 11 6reheat the oven to "789:1 %utter and flour two, $#inch cake pans and set aside1

21 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together 4 Tbsp soft butter, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla1 %eat on high speed for ; min until light and fluff+1 2hisk in 1 cup warm milk until smooth1 "1 ,ift together 1 1/" cups all#purpose flour, "/4 cups unsweetened cocoa, 1/$ tsp salt and 2 1/2 tsp baking powder1 :old the sifted mixture into the batter <ust until combined1 Transfer to +our prepared cake pans and bake at "789: for "8 min or until toothpick comes out clean1 41 -emove from the oven and once the cakes are cool enough to handle, transfer to wire racks for them to cool completel+1 Making the Frosting: 11 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the 2 sticks of butter with " cups powdered sugar and salt on low speed or until combined (1 min! =on.t start on high speed or +ou will be surrounded in a cloud of powdered sugar (lessons learned!1 Increase speed to medium#high and beat until the mixture is pale and fluff+ (2 min!1 21 0dd cream cheese 1#piece at a time and mix until combined1 (I waited ma+be " seconds in between each piece> it.s one after another reall+1 ?nce all of the cream cheese is incorporated1 continue to beat 1 more minute1 "1 0dd 4 Tbsp reserved cherr+ li(uid, 1 Tbsp at a time and mix until combined (1 min!1 -eserve the remaining cherr+ s+rup1 -efrigerate frosting until read+ to use1 Assem ling the Cake: 11 ?nce +ou are read+ to assemble the cake, slice each of +our cake la+ers in half hori*ontall+ into two even la+ers (Tip: dont slice your layers early or they may dry out)1 0 serrated knife works best1 6lace one la+er cut side up on a cake stand1 21 ,tir 1/4 cup cold filtered water (@ou might tr+ using 1/4 cup cherr+ s+rup instead of 1/4 cup cold filtered water for even more +umm+ cherr+ flavor!into the remaining cherr+ rum s+rup1 &enerousl+ brush the first cake la+er with 1/" of the cherr+ rum s+rup1 /over the top with frosting and top with 1/" of the chopped boo*+ cherries1 -epeat with the next three la+ers but don.t put an+ s+rup or frosting over the final la+er1 -efrigerate +our unfrosted cake for 17#28 min to let it rest, then frost the top and sides1 =ecorate to +our heart.s delight and serve to the people +ou love1

3oteA This cake is the moistest, and softest when it sits at room temp for at least "8 min before serving1 0 couple of hours would be best1