When a recipe starts with drunken cherries, you know it's going to be good! Add in chocolate, espresso, and kirsch and we're looking at a stunning centerpiece for your next celebration.
- 1½ cups water
- ¾ cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 cups + 2 tbsp cake flour
- 2¼ cups sugar
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2¾ tsp baking soda
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp oil
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp Amoretti® Espresso Coffee Extract W.S.
- In a large bowl, whisk together corn syrup, bourbon, nutmeg, Black Cherry Compound, Agave Nectar, and Cherry Swirl.
- Add cherries and cinnamon stick. Toss to combine.
- Cover and chill overnight. Cherries will keep, refrigerated, 7-10 days.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together ½ cup water and sugar.
- Bring to a boil and cook until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and let cool. At this point, the syrup can be chilled for a week.
- Add Black Cherry Compound, Kirsch Extract, and remaining 2 tbsp water to cooled syrup. Stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Spray and line three 9" cake pans with parchment paper.
- Bring water to a boil. Add cocoa powder and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Sift cake flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs, and Espresso Coffee Extract.
- Add liquids to dry ingredients and mix on low until combined, scraping the bowl a few times.
- Stir in the cocoa powder mixture.
- Divide the batter evenly between pans.
- Bake 18-20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool completely then wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Whip cream to medium peaks and set aside.
- Beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping the bowl.
- Add butter and beat to combine, scraping the bowl.
- Add powdered sugar and mix, scraping the bowl.
- Add Espresso Coffee and Kirsch Extracts.
- Fold in the whipped cream.
- Level cooled cakes. Save the tops (bake at 350℉ 8-10 minutes then process to fine crumbs) to use for decoration.
- Place one layer on a cake plate or stand. Using a toothpick, poke tiny holes all around the cake and brush liberally with soaking syrup.
- Spread half the filling, less ¼ cup, over the cake. Scatter ⅓ of the Drunken Cherries over filling, pressing lightly. Spread reserved ¼ cup filling over cherries.
- Place the second cake layer over filling.
- Using a toothpick, poke tiny holes all around the cake and brush liberally with soaking syrup.
- Spread remaining filling, less ¼ cup, over the cake. Scatter ½ of the remaining Drunken Cherries over filling, pressing lightly. Spread reserved ¼ cup filling over cherries.
- Top with final cake layer. Poke holes with toothpick as before and brush liberally with soaking syrup.
- Wrap and chill cake overnight.
- In a large bowl whip cream, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Kirsch Extract, dry milk powder, and powdered sugar to medium peaks.
- Cover the sides and top of the cake with most of the whipped cream icing. Save some to decorate the top if desired.
- Chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Using the palm of your hand, press a small amount of cake crumbs (from Step 24) onto the bottom edge of the cake, turning as you go, to make a scalloped design around the cake.
- Finish the cake by piping large rosettes around the top edge and pressing the remaining Drunken Cherries into the rosettes and over the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle grated chocolate over the top and serve.
- This cake is best prepared over two or three days.
- The soaked cake should sit overnight so the flavors can meld.
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