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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekly Recipes: March 27

Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Kirsch or almond extract
2 cups pastry flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch processed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup strong coffee (or water, adding 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the dry ingredients, or just water on its own, the coffee adds a depth of flavor, though)
1 cup dried sour cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two nine inch cake pans well.

Cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add sour cream or yogurt, vanilla extract and Kirsch.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with the coffee, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold cherries into cake batter with a spatula.

Fill each cake pan to about 2/3 of the depth and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean or cake springs back from your hand. Cool in pan for five minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

I usually just frost with chantilly cream (sweetened, vanilla flavored whipped cream), but Elijah asked for chocolate frosting, so I made ganache this time. You can decorate with fresh cherries, if you have them.

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