Thanks Barnes and Noble for the photo
It wasn't because I liked to bake, it was because I had read good things about it. Everyone in the book club liked the book but what they liked best was the cake recipe in the back that I made for our discussion. Yep, it was bonus material that you found at the end...recipes!
It was pretty simple to make, Claire actually put it together with a little supervision. Although it was not entirely cheap. The Kirschwasser, which is a cherry brandy could only be bought in the $15 bottle size. I also splurged and bought Ghirardelli Cocoa and chocolate to see if it made a difference with the cake (in my opinion, it didn't). And, fresh cherries aren't ever really "cheap". BUT..it was a success. It had a definite POP with your first bite.
Most everyone really enjoyed it and although it contained some liquor, I would let my kids eat a piece if they wanted but they didn't. It was also a pretty cake and looked impressive with the 4 layers.
So if you wanna impress your friends, here's what you'll need:
1 2/3 C Flour
2/3 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
1/2 C Shortening
1 1/2 C Sugar
1 t Vanilla
1 1/2 C Buttermilk or regular (I used buttermilk)
1/4-1/3 C Kirschwasser (it called for 1/2 C, that seemed excessive?)
It also called for salt which I left out
1 C Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 t Vanilla
1 T Kirschwasser
1 C Powdered Sugar
1 C pitted Cherries chopped
1 square Semisweet Chocolate, shaved or crumbled
10 cherrie halves (said you could you use whole maraschino but I don't think that would have been good OR looked as pretty)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour (I used spray that contains both) two 8 inch round pans. Sift together flour, cocoa and baking soda. Set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and flour mixture. I used my mixer to mix it all together.
Pour into pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and flip out of pan. Cool for about an hour and slice each cake in half, horizontally. You are making 4 layers. Sprinkle layers with 1/3 cup Kirschwasser~I actually brushed it on.
In bowl, whip the cream until stiff. Beat in vanilla and Kirschwasser. Add powdered sugar and beat again.
Spread 1/4 of the filling on one of the layers. Top with 1/3 of the cherries. Repeat with remaining layers. Decorate the top with last of filling, chocolate shavings and halved cherries.
I made the night before and allowed it to chill for almost 24 hours before serving. I don't know if that made the cake taste stronger or not but I liked the "chill" factor. Leftovers went into the fridge and I actually think it mellowed having another night of rest and I enjoyed it more.
I never "sift" ingredients together, we followed the rules for this recipe;) Sorry, forgot to take the rest of the mixing photos.
Out of the oven for about 10 minutes, invert cakes on to plates. When cooled, slice each cake in half to make a total of four layers. A serated knife works great for this. Stick knife into middle of cake to about the center and gently cut in a circle until you've cut the cake in half. With two hands, gently but quickly remove the top layer.
Shave your chocolate with a vegetable peeler.
Chop your cherries be sure to just cut some in half so you can decorate the top
Brush with Kirschwasser
Spread a 1/4 of the whipped cream on layer, sprinkle with 1/3 of the cherries.
Repeat layering. On the top, sprinkle shavings and decorate with cherries.