July 22, 2015

Chocolate and Cherry Cake

Chocolate and cherries are my favourite combination - you've probably seen it already in my Black Forest Cake and even in my blog name, Cherry Choc Cupcake. What I love about this combo is that the fresh cherries offset the sweetness of the chocolate and helps balances the flavours of the cake perfectly. Think of moist, chocolate cake sandwiched in between cream and fresh cherries and topped with luscious milk chocolate ganache. 
Coming up with the idea of this cake came from my desire to play on the classical Black Forest Cake. Reserving the same flavours, yet introducing a new element to the cake was my main focus. After some random searching on Youtube, I saw a video that displayed the creation of "chocolate bark" and I was instantly sold. What about creating a cake that gave an impression of cutting into a tree log with hidden goodness inside? Obviously it doesn't look like a tree log, but it's close enough with the chocolate bark in place. 
Putting the cake together was simple as I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe from Sweetapolita. However, instead of baking the cake in 3 separate tins, I baked them in 2 and cut each layer in half after cooling them down. The filling is just whipped cream with pitted, chopped cherries and the chocolate ganache is milk cooking chocolate melted with heated cream. Creating the chocolate bark was super easy - just melt or temper dark cooking chocolate and pipe rows vertically next to each other on baking trays lined with baking paper, leaving space in between each one. Use a spatula knife to smooth out the chocolate and to create the ripples needed to realistically resemble actual bark. Once the chocolate has fully set, assemble the cake with layers of chocolate cake, cream filling and top with chocolate ganache. Then carefully place the chocolate bark around the cake, pressing them slightly against the cake to secure them in place. Top with fresh cherries and refrigerate until ready.

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