Cherry Forest Cake

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 1h 5m
  • Rating ****

Serves 12


  • Cake:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • Ganache:
  • 11 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • Sugar-Coated Cherries:
  • 2 2/3 cups fresh cherries
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Edible flowers, to decorate


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line with baking parchment paper.

FOR THE CAKE: In a bowl, combine the cocoa and the water and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla and one-fourth of the cocoa mixture; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, add the butter and the remaining three-quarters of the cocoa mixture and beat until well combined. Gradually beat in the egg and cocoa mixture, until combined and smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean. Allow each cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

FOR THE GANACHE: Combine the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler. Stir over low heat until melted and combined. Divide the mixture evenly between two bowls. Refrigerate one batch for 10-15 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the refrigerator and whisk until lighter in color, 2-3 minutes. Spread half of the chilled ganache over one cake layer, top with the other half and cover with the remaining ganache. Using a small metal spatula, make swirl marks in the ganache to resemble bark. Pour the unrefrigerated ganache over the assembled cake, taking care not to cover all of the bottom ganache layer.

FOR THE SUGAR-COATED CHERRIES: Wash the cherries and pat them dry. Lightly whisk the egg whites and place in a shallow bowl. Place the sugar in another shallow bowl or plate. Dip each cherry into the egg white, allow the excess to drip off, and then roll in the sugar. Place the cherries onto a wire rack covered with a sheet of baking parchment or waxed (greaseproof) paper until the sugar has set, about 5 minutes.

Decorate the top of the cake with the sugar-coated cherries and edible flowers.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 1103

nutrition information per serving

656 calories; 36g total fat; 120mg cholesterol; 513mg sodium; 86g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 8g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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