Monday, March 24, 2014

Double Layered Cherry Rum Chocolate Cake

Made this chocolate cake for my husband's birthday, a couple of weeks ago. It was my second experience making chocolate cake and I would say it turned out pretty well. The cake itself was very nice (recipe from Epicurus), very moist, tender and porous, chocolaty but not overly dense (dare I say it's pretty light but moist). It soaked the cherry syrup very well, which really complemented the cake, adding freshness and moistness (I do wonder if I should try a boiled syrup recipe next time). Dare I say that, it tasted almost like my favorite chocolate cake from this Singaporean baking chain called "Awfully Chocolate", called the "Cherry Rum Chocolate Cake".  The cake tastes best after the third day in the fridge, somehow the flavors has somehow molded better, so a note to self is maybe to make the cake a day or two in advance.  

One thing I noticed about the cake itself, it was somehow crumbly when cut, ie. it doesn't really hold its shape too well when cut, partly maybe because it is very moist. I could try maybe refrigerating the cake first before pouring the cherry sauce and applying the ganache, or even maybe add one more egg to the recipe?

The chocolate ganache recipe that I used (not from Epicurus), turned out pretty good and complementary, quite similar in texture to the AC's cake (slightly pudding-y), though somehow it was not dark as I would have liked. I wonder if using dutch processed cocoa powder would make a difference?

Although the recipe was simple enough, it took me 4-5 hours to complete the whole thing. And the kitchen was like a shipwreck during the process. But I attributed that to my clumsiness and inexperience. Hopefully the next time I attempt this again, the kitchen would look calmer.

Double Layered Cherry Rum Chocolate Cake Recipe

Adapted from EpicurusKCG website and Natasha's Kitchen
Makes two 6-inch round layers



  • 1 ounces semisweet chocolate (or approx 4 squares of Baker's brand chocolates - I did 3/4 in semi-sweet and 1/4 in dark)
  • 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee (I used instant)
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 1TBSP +1 tsp all-purpose flour (spoon and sweep)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Cherry rum syrup:

  • 1 cup frozen dark cherries (I thawed them first)
  • 1/4 cup rum 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 TBSP powdered or granulated sugar (or more according to taste)

Chocolate ganache (I had a lot of leftovers despite generous application):
  • 1.6 tsp gelatin powder
  • 200 ml water
  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornflour, diluted in 100 ml water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 100 gr semi-sweet chocolate (equiv 3.5 ounces or approx 14 squares of Baker's brand chocolates)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter 
  • 1.3 TBSP rum 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Make cake layers
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease and flour pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.
  2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer - I used a whisk by hand for about 5-8 mins). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. 
  5. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. 
  6. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean (It took me 40 minutes.  It may take 10 mins longer for an 8-inch cake).
  7. Cool layers completely in pans on racks. 
  8. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. 
  9. May want to refrigerate before assembling cake, so that cake is firmer.

Make cherry rum syrup:
  1. Roughly chop cherries.
  2. Soak cherries in rum and sugar for at least 1 hour. 
  3. The water will be mixed in later, just before assembling cake.

Make ganache:
  1. Finely chop chocolate and set aside.
  2. Heat mixture of gelatin powder and water in pan, over medium heat.
  3. With a whisk, stir in milk, heavy whipping cream and sugar. Bring to gentle boil
  4. Slowly add cocoa powder, while continue whisking. Bring to gentle boil.
  5. Slowly add diluted cornflour, while continuously whisking until mixture gently boils and thickens.
  6. Stir in melted butter until blended. 
  7. Take off heat, and gently stir-in chopped chocolate and vanilla extract until melted and blended. 
  8. Leave until it cools a bit further, and then gently stir-in rum. 
  9. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins to 1hour, until ganache reaches spreadable consistency.

Assembling the cake:
  1. Stir 1/4 cold water into the cherry rum syrup 
  2. Generously brush the first cake layer the syrup mixture. 
  3. Cover the top with generous layer of ganache, and top with all of the chopped boozy cherries. 
  4. Add the second cake layer, and brush with syrup mixture.
  5. Refrigerate unfrosted cake for 15-20 mins to let it rest.
  6. Then frost top and sides with remaining ganache.
  7. Decorate if you like (I just added several whole cherries and some chopped almonds on top)

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