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Recipe: Easy Peasy Chocolate and Cherry Cake

20131017_171641miniToday (er, yesterday) was a friend’s birthday. A few weeks ago, she told me she was going to purchase a cake to celebrate with, and I said “no, I’m making you a cake”. And then I went on holiday to the US and promptly forgot until I looked at the calendar over the weekend where I had written “make Helen a cake” on Thursday!

So what to make? Like me, my friend is diabetic, so I sent her a text and asked her if she wanted a “good for us” cake or something gooey and naughty and gooey and naughty won out. She had no flavour preferences, so I started racking my brain for something interesting and I kept coming back to the Black Forest Gateau I made for a different friend’s birthday several years ago. The problem was, I really wasn’t in the mood to make a full on Gateau with layers of biscuit and cream, so I settled on somehow combining chocolate and cherries.

Well, this is a hard combination to find recipes for. Either the recipes called for loads of crazy ingredients (one recipe had both buttermilk and sour cream in it!) or they weren’t for a layer cake. I specifically had the idea in my head that there would be cherries IN the cake, between the layers, and on top. I also thought it would involve cherry pie filling and/or cherry jam as opposed to fresh cherries. I was right.

Scouring Pinterest, I came across a Betty Crocker recipe that I am almost ashamed to say is the recipe I settled on!

You Will Need:
1 box Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake Mix (they sell them now at Waitrose and probably a few other places)
21 oz cherry pie filling (in the US, this is one large can. In the UK, it took me about 1 2/3 tins. My kitchen scale had ounces on it as well as grams, or you can just eyeball it. 21 oz is approximately 600 grams)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 jar cherry jam or conserve
1 container glace or maraschino cherries
Chocolate frosting of your choice (store bought or homemade!)

-Preheat your oven to 175C and line the bottom of two 8″ round cake tins with parchment paper
-Ignore instructions on the back of the box
-Combine dry cake mix, eggs, pie filling, and vanilla. As you stir, the cherries will start to break up. This is fine.
-Divide batter between cake tins
-Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (unless you stab a cherry!)
-Cool cakes for about 15 minutes in the tin, remove from tins and cool for at least an additional hour. You don’t want the cakes to be warm when you put them together (unless you want runny jam in the middle)

-Place the first cake upside down on your serving plate and spread with cherry jam. I used about a half of the jar, you can use more or less. I also added the extra cherries leftover from the pie filling.
-Put the second cake on top of the jam.
-Scrape out the cherry pie filling tins and spread the leftover “jelly” on the top and sides of the cake.
-Spread your frosting all over the top and sides of the cake
-Decorate with glace cherries however you like.

I was told this cake was amazing, and the taste I had was really good. The cherry and chocolate flavours both really come through nicely.

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