Chocolate Cherry Cake

By Marcus Samuelsson |

What a delicious cake this is! The chocolate layers are studded with cherries, and there are even more cherries buried in the ganache.

Prep Details

Servings: 1 8-inch layer cake

Total time: 2 hours

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:

1½ cups frozen cherries, thawed

2 cups cake flour

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

½ cup cocoa powder

FOR THE GANACHE:

2 cups frozen cherries, thawed

4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups heavy cream

Directions

Photo by Forrest Seamons

Photo by Forrest Seamons

FOR THE CAKE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with pan spray.

  2. Drain and dry the cherries very well on several layers of paper towels.

  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

  4. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each for 30 seconds and scraping the bowl after each addition. Turn the speed down to low and mix in the almond extract and cocoa. Scrape the bowl and mix in the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl again and mix in the cherries.

  5. Divide the batter between the baking pans, smooth out the tops, and give the pans a rap on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until a skewer comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto racks and cool completely.

FOR THE GANACHE:

  1. Drain and dry the cherries very well on several layers of paper towels. Press down on the cherries to crush them slightly.

  2. Put the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.

  3. Bring the cream to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute. Stir, working from the center out, until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Cool until the ganache is spreadable.

TO ASSEMBLE:

  1. Put one cake layer on a cake plate and spread the top with 1½ cups of the ganache. Arrange the cherries evenly over the ganache and top with the second layer, pressing down gently. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake.