My pantry was suddenly full of cherries. No, not fresh ones though it's the season for them now, but bottled cherries. I'd bought a couple of kinds from my favourite shop in Crawford Market where I shop for goodies occasionally, and then Saee gave me some more. While I'm not a fan of fruit the hubby loves them and always waits eagerly for me to make something exciting with fruit in it. With such a flood of cherries it went without saying that I'd be making something with them soon.
I browsed around on Pinterest, my favourite source of ideas and inspiration, and came across this exceptionally simple yet delicious sounding recipe for Cherry Chocolate Cake on this lovely blog called Tutti Dolci. I ran it by the hubby and once I had his approval I set about making it. It goes without saying that I have made my own adjustments and changes to the recipe and here is what I did, though I followed the method exactly.
Cherry Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup or 60 gms butter
2 tbsp preserving syrup from cherries
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk with a tsp of lemon juice stirred in
enough cherries preserved in syrup to decorate
Preheat the oven at 180C.
In a clean mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
In another bowl whisk the sugar and butter till light and creamy. I did this in my stand mixer. You can do it in a bowl with a hand held electric mixer or even by hand with a whisk. Use small grain sugar. I added a couple of tablespoons of the cherry syrup at this stage.
Once the sugar and butter are creamed well add the egg and the vanilla and beat well. Slow down the speed of the mixer and pour in a bit of the flour mixture and mix. Add some of the lemon and milk mix. Beat to mix. Add the dry mix and the liquid in alternates and blend it all in well to make a smooth satiny batter.
Smear the insides of an 8 inch round cake tin thinly with butter. Pour in the batter. Dot the top with as many cherries as you can but don't squash them too tight. The cherries will sink into the cake and, since they're preserved and not fresh ones, might even disintegrate into the cake. Don't worry, the cake will be delish anyway. Bake for around 25 minutes. Check with a thin skewer to see if it's done -the skewer should come out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin before removing. Ideally, use a loose bottomed tin so you can unmould it more easily. If, like me, you're using a regular tin wait patiently till the cake is cooled before you try to remove it or the cake might break.
Dust the top lightly with powdered sugar if you like and serve. A scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside a warmed slice of this cake would also be magical!