Wednesday 21 October 2015

Chocolate Cherry Cake

As much as I love baking, and do so much baking, I don't actually make cake very often. I have no idea why, cake lasts just as long as cookies and slices do, and a good piece of cake with a cup of tea is one of the best ways to spend quiet time.

But I don't bake cake very often. And this is only the second time that I've ever made a layer cake, the first time being 16.5 years ago, for Chloe's first birthday. {Actually, now I see that written out, it isn't quite true - both Riley's and Natalie's first birthday cakes were layers}
So I decided, after looking around the Great Australian Bake Off website that I'd have a go at making the Chocolate Cherry cake. And as I looked at the list of ingredients I realised that I don't remember ever having eaten cherries. Well, morello cherries when you work in a bar are a given, but black cherries? Was anyone in the house even going to try it once they saw black cherries?

I needn't have worried, though. While Natalie tried the cherries and didn't like them, the boys didn't even mention them except to say they loved the cake. And there's still plenty left today for Steve and Sophie to try it (Sophie licked the beaters clean while I was making it, so I think she'll be happy eating actual cake.)
The only problem I had, as you can see, is that the top cracked. There isn't a huge amount of cherries in the middle, so the edges kind-of flopped down the sides and broke. But who cares about the visuals, when you've got cake. And such a yummy cake!

chocolate cake
190ml hot water
2Tbs cocoa powder
1Tbs coffee granules
125g butter
200g caster sugar
½tsp bicarb soda
3 eggs
½tsp vanilla extract
180g self raising flour
cherry syrup
425g can pitted black cherries
1tsp cornflour
1tsp icing sugar
2tsp brandy
whipped cream
300g thickened cream
1Tbs caster sugar
1Tbs brandy
125g icing sugar
1Tbs cocoa powder
2Tbs milk
2Tbs butter

chocolate cake
* mix hot water, cocoa and coffee in a small saucepan.
* add butter and sugar, place over low heat until melted and dissolved
* add bicarb. pour into mixing bowl, allow to cool 30min
* when cool, add eggs, mix well
* add vanilla and flour, mix carefully until combined, ensuring lumps are gone
* pour into greased and lined tin
* bake 35-40min 170°C
cherry syrup
* drain cherries over bowl, catching syrup from tin
* put syrup into saucepan, place over medium heat, simmer 10min, until syrup is reduced by half
* add cornflour, brandy and icing sugar, mix quickly
* remove from heat, add cherries, set aside to cool
* pour cream into bowl
* add caster sugar and brandy
* whip until soft peaks form
* refrigerate until needed
chocolate icing
* place all ingredients in microwave safe bowl
* microwave 30 seconds
* mix thoroughly

Assembling cake
* remove cake from tin
* when cool enough to handle, split cake, using a serrated knife
* spoon cherries over base side of cake, and remaining syrup over underside of top
* refrigerate until cool
* pipe or pour cream over cherries
* place top of cake on top of cream, syrup-soaked side down
* spread icing over top of cake
* refrigerate until ready to eat

The Great Australian Bake Off is on Lifestyle channel on Foxtel, 8.30pmEST Tuesdays.

If you'd like to join the #bloggerbakeoffau, you can link your blog post all week, or use the hashtag on social media. Next week's topic is BISCUITS, you can take inspiration from recipes on the website, or the show if you watch it.



  1. I had a challenge last year to use fresh cherries 🍒 in my cooking. I loved making a chocolate and cherry slice but the best was a salsa I made that went so well with Christmas ham. I have never tried the tinned cherries but can imagine the chocolate cherry slice would be great. I am glad you rose to the cake challenge. It looks delish! I haven't done many layers cakes either. See you next week for biscuits!

  2. That looks so delish, Cate!! Both hubby and I LOVE cherries. I think I have a tin of Morello's in the pantry I've been wondering what to do with :-) A black forest cake may be in order.

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