Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Brandied Cherry Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

hi! i made a noteworthy cake finally. it has been awhile.

Firstly, after baking many chocolate cakes over the years, i think i have found a favorite. It is the "Beatty's chocolate cake" from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It has a cup of fresh hot coffee in it and it is delicious. I use good, dark cocoa powder....it is worth it to splurge on good cocoa powder.

Second, in my quest to find an alternative to chocolate frosting while keeping richness and texture (read: not boring vanilla) i found a nice white chocolate frosting that hits the spot. I started with a recipe from the Macrina Cookbook and altered it. Don't worry, i will post the recipes here for everyone to enjoy.

Finally, I made an important discovery. I have always hated fruit near my chocolate. especially fruit in my chocolate cake. i guess a chocolate covered strawberry here and there is acceptable.....but i always hate it when a perfectly good cake is ruined with a layer of raspberry preserves or sauce. But i discovered that if is done right, and with the right fruit, these two can live together in nummyness. and by done right i mean cooked with brandy, butter and sugar. For this cake i used dried cherries. i simmered them in brandy and sugar for a few minutes, then added butter and orange zest. I let everything simmer together in harmony and the result is 100 % awesome. I used the cherries and sauce as a layer between the cakes, under the white chocolate frosting, as well as a nice, simple decoration on top.

The pic above is a mini version of the cake.....and the first time i had made a 4 inch layer cake...it turned out super cute....here are the recipes for a 8 inch round layer cake:

beatty's chocolate cake

1 3/4 c flour
2 cup sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

preheat oven to 350
butter and flour two 8 in round cake pans
mix together all dry ingredents. in seperate bowl combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. slowly add the wet to the dry ingredients. with mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine (make sure you scrape the side and bottom of bowl)

bake 35-40 min. cool in pan 15-20 min, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

White Chocolate Frosting

8-10 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
4-6 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1/2- 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, at room temp

melt chocolate in double broiler and let cool to room temp. using paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth, 3-5 min. add cream cheese and beat for another 3-5 min until mixture is light and fluffy. add lemon juice and mix until incorporated. finally, add melted white chocolate and mix until the frosting has a smooth light texture, about 2 min.

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