Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cherry Chocolate Guinness Cake

My good friend Fred who was my partner in organizing the Wednesday Community Meal back in 2004 and is still the program's hardest working volunteer today loves Black Forest cake, but I hate to make him the exact same cake over and over.

So to change things up this year, I created this Cherry Chocolate Guinness Cake using my favorite Guinness cake recipe from Nigella Lawson and dividing the batter in half to get two cake layers.

Between the layers I added a thick coat of dark cherry filling and topped the whole cake with a traditional whipped cream cheese icing.

I'm pretty positive Fred is going to love it. This cake proves that simple can be a standout.

Here's the recipe:

Cherry Chocolate Guinness Cake

Guinness Chocolate Cake
1 cup Guinness
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup sour cream ( or substitute plain yogurt)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and line two 9-inch springform pans.

Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, add the butter in slices and heat until the butter is melted. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and pour into the beer mixture and finally whisk in the flour and baking soda.
Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Leave the cakes to cool in the pans before inverting them onto cooling racks.
Let the cakes cool removing them from the pans.

Cherry Filling
1 16 oz package frozen pitted cherries
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch

The frozen cherries that I used.

In a saucepan over medium heat combine the cherries, sugar and almond extract. Cook until simmering, stirring and using the back of a spoon to break apart the cherries.

In a small bowl whisk together the cream and cornstarch. Add the cream mixture to the simmering cherries and cook until thick. Remove from the heat and let cool before using.

Cream Cheese Icing
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and whip again. Add the cream and whip again until it's becomes light and spreadable.

To Assemble:
Set one of the cakes right side up on a serving platter or cardboard round and top with just enough of the cherry filling to give it a good thick and even coat (Extra filling can be saved and used as jam).
A nice thick coat of cherry filling.

Add the second cake right side up and frost just the very top with the cream cheese icing so that it resembles a frothy top of Guinness.
Letting the filling and cakes cool well before assembling keeps the filling from running out the sides and the cake looking pretty.

Ice just the top of the cake.

Keep the cake chilled before serving.

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