What can I say about this one. It is simply over the top. Not only does it taste divine but it’s gorgeous. What more can you ask for from a cake? Now I’ll admit this cake takes a little more work than most but the result is breathtaking. This is possibly the most professional looking cake I’ve ever made. And we know looks are important but bottom line it has to taste good. Well let me tell you in the taste department I would consider this to be divine. I mean what’s not to love – chocolate, flavorful cream cheese, cherry pie filling, vanilla glaze – it just doesn’t get much better than that.
So let’s talk chocolate cherry cream cheese cake…
Lesson Learned 1 – Be organized when you make this cake: Really you should be organized when you make any cake but this one has so many components to it that your experience making it will be so much more delightful if you plan this out before you make it. Think about this one in stages.
- Get everything out in plenty of time that needs to be room temperature. In this recipe that means the eggs and sour cream. No need to worry about the butter because you melt that.
- Get the oven preheating. I believe it is better for your oven not only to be preheated but to be at the desired temperature for at least 5-10 minutes so that once you pop the cake pan in you can count on the oven truly being the correct temperature all throughout.
- Put together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, kosher salt and baking soda) and set them aside.
- Measure out all of the remaining ingredients. I use little bowls to organize what needs to be measured. That way when you come to a certain juncture in the process you are all ready to go. This includes opening up the can of cherry pie filling and measuring out the amount needed. As you do that, try to opt for more cherries than filling as some fillings tend to be more juice and less cherries.
- Count out, drain and rinse your maraschino cherries. For my pan I needed 16 cherries, so a small jar of cherries will work just fine.
- Assemble the chocolate mixture.
- Make the batter by combining the chocolate mixture with the dry ingredients. Now you’re ready to go.
- Wait to spray your bundt pan until the very end. For this recipe I recommend using a baking spray with flour. Coat the bundt pan liberally. You want it to be glistening all over before you begin assembling the cake.
Because there are so many components to this recipe I guarantee you will be a lot happier and have more fun making this cake if you organize yourself.
Lesson Learned 2 – Making the glaze: Making glaze for any type of cake or pastry couldn’t be easier. All it requires is some confectioners sugar, some liquid and perhaps some sort of additional flavoring. You can use water, milk, or heavy cream for your liquid and you can use a little extract, juice or zest to enhance the flavor of the glaze. More often than not I use milk as the liquid and in this particular recipe I used a little vanilla extract to enhance the flavor.
Keep in mind you need very little liquid to create a glaze. Normally it works out to about 1 cup of confectioners sugar to about a tablespoon or so of liquid and then, if using a liquid extract, only about 1/8 teaspoon of that. But don’t get bogged down in the measurements. If your glaze is too thick just add a little more liquid to thin it out. If it becomes too runny, add a little more confectioners sugar. Glaze is very forgiving and can be made to the correct consistency with some easy minor adjustments.
One caveat – don’t use the additional flavoring to thin out a glaze. The flavor can become overpowering if you do that. And lastly, I don’t always have heavy cream around the house, but when I do I use it as my liquid. That is when you get the richest flavor. I just can’t convince myself to buy a pint of heavy cream for the needed tablespoon I will use in a glaze. But it’s all up to you.
This cake is so good and so worth the effort. Try it – I just know you will like it!
Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Cake...
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup water
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbs. espresso powder
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
16 maraschino cherries, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup cherry pie filling
CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
2 – 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbs. flour
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 – 2 Tbs. water, milk or heavy cream
1/8 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cream cheese filling by beating together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add the flour and egg and beat until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
In a saucepan melt the 3/4 cup butter. Add the water and stir to blend. Add the cocoa and espresso powder and whisk until there are not lumps. Add the chips and stir until they are completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Add the chocolate mixture to the dry mixture and whisk until combined. Blend in the sour cream. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
Spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan thoroughly with baking spray with flour. Melt the 1 1/2 tsp of butter and pour it evenly into the bottom of the pan. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the melted butter. Place two cherries on top of the brown sugar in each of the larger grooves of the bundt pan.
Fill the bundt pan with half the chocolate batter. Spoon in the cream cheese filling on top making sure not to have the filling touch the sides. Spoon the cherry pie filling on top of the cream cheese, making sure the filling does not touch the sides of the pan. (You may have some leftover cream cheese and cherry pie filling). Pour the remaining batter evenly on top making sure to cover the cream cheese and the cherry pie filling completely.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Put a plate over the bottom of the pan and flip the cake out of the pan onto the plate and let cool completely.
Mix together all of the ingredients for the glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake.