An unpopular opinion (or three): my three favourite holidays (in order, Halloween, New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day) are everyone else's least favourite. What do they all have in common, you ask? Sugar.* Whether in the form of peanut butter (I can't be the only one who associates peanut butter with Halloween, right?), champagne or the darkest chocolate feasible, I'm always a happy camper in the weeks leading up to these holidays.
And If there's any more quintessentially Valentine's Day flavour combination than cherries and chocolate, then I dunno what it is. Add whipped cream to the mix and I'm in, because we all know how much I adore a whipped cream cake. So while this one didn't turn out quite like I planned, it was still delicious- a black forest cake without the 1970s feel, a simple-but-festive frosting, and decadent cherries to round it all out.
This is the kind of cake you could whip out when you have friends coming over and no one has to know how simple it was to make, or the kind of thing you can easily make just because it's a Wednesday night and it's been too long since you had cake. The heart on top is much easier than I thought it would be and totally optional anyway; for bonus trend points and to make the whole process even easier, you can also leave the sides of the cake bald.
If you live somewhere where you somehow have access to fresh cherries this time of year, this would be amazing with homemade cherry filling, but why complicate things? And as for the unexpected surprise I ran into while making this, I really should have seen it coming: you can't mix warm melted chocolate (or even 'melted and cooled') chocolate into a cold liquid batter made of refrigerated cream without the chocolate seizing up. Luckily this didn't affect the flavour, but it did make the cake itself much lighter than a normal cake with this much chocolate in it. (Kind of a fun surprise when you taste it and it's still got a rich chocolate flavour despite looking like a vanilla cake, though!). Lucky for you, I've troubleshot the instructions below so your cake should come out much darker than mine. Good luck!
*And, let's be real, really good outfits.
4 spoons out of five. Really tasty, but cakes frosted with whipped cream are always best eaten as soon as they are made, which limits the times when this is the perfect option.
One year ago: Party Mix
two years ago: Twice-Cooked Broccoli
Chocolate-Cherry Whipped Cream Cake
Preheat oven to 175C/350F.
Melt chocolate until JUST smooth and set aside to cool.
Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch layer pans.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
Whip cream until stiff.
Fold in eggs and almond flavouring gently.
In a small bowl, combine well-cooled chocolate with a few spoonfuls of batter at a time, stirring well as you go. (This will help keep the mixture from splitting when you add the chocolate.)
Once mixture is uniform, add another few spoonfuls of batter to your chocolate mixture and stir again until uniform, then add chocolate mixture back into your batter and blend until combined.
Pour into pans and bake 25-30 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out clean and cake has slightly pulled away from sides of pan.
Set cake aside to cool completely.
Filling and topping:
Cut a heart shape from parchment paper and set aside.
Whip cream with almond flavouring, gradually adding powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
Once cake is completely cooled, pipe or spoon a rim of whipped cream around the edge of your bottom cake layer, then carefully spoon about 2/3 of your pie filling into the centre.
Place your top layer, then put a dab of cherry filling in the centre of the top layer to 'glue' your paper heart in the centre of the cake.
Once the heart is placed, carefully cover the rest of the top of the cake with whipped cream.
Peel away the heart gently and spoon the remaining cherry pie filling into the empty heart shape.
Best enjoyed on the day it's made, but will keep 24 hours in the fridge.
3 oz (90g) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 ¼ c (270g) flour
1 ½ c (300g) sugar
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 2/3 c (390ml) whipping cream
3 eggs, beaten well
1 tsp almond extract
the filling and topping:
1 ½ c (355ml) whipping cream
½ tsp almond extract
¼ c (30g) powdered sugar, sifted
1 can (410g) cherry pie filling