Levi and I like to go to the library on Friday mornings. We usually go to the one closest to our house. Since he as seen all the Thomas videos and has read all the Thomas books, I wanted to take him to the newly remodeled library in Westwood Village. Today was the day. We walked in and it was big and open and organized and had open big sections with lots and lots of books and a HUGE selection of Thomas videos. Levi was in heaven. I had to explain to him that three videos was the limit. He didn't like that rule. After he made his selection we headed over to the cookbook section.
Over the past several months I have been enjoying David Lebovitz's blog
. So, when I stumbled upon one of his older books, Ripe for Dessert
, I had to check it out. Over lunch that day, I found just what I wanted to make. I found, what he calls a "Cherry Chocolate Fruitcake". I normally wouldn't make a dessert that has the word "fruitcake in it". But, what I was attracted to was the chocolate & cherry combo. One of my all time favorite combos. When I am feeling oh-so self indulgent (and on those rare occasions, skinny), I buy a loaf of chocolate-cherry bread from La Brea Bakery. It is so good! Try it toasted with a little bit of soft-salted butter. The problem is, is that I can eat the whole loaf in one full swoop!
This is a very decadent, fudgy, delicious cake. There is just enough cherries and the addition of chopped, toasted almonds makes this a cake worthy enough to put in my binder of "favorites".
I decided to make it even richer than it already is by covering it with a chocolate glaze. This glaze was interesting because it was equal parts cream and water which was added to the bittersweet chocolate prior to melting. I had never done that before. The best part about it is there was left overs of the chocolate glaze. Think I may have to make profiteroles for tomorrows nights dessert! Can't let a batch of chocolate sauce go to waste.
•1 1/2 cups dried cherries
•1/4 cup plus 6 tbs. rum
•1 cup walnuts, pecans or almonds, toasted
•1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
•1 1/4 cups flour
•1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
•1/2 tsp. salt
•1/2 tsp. baking soda
•1/2 tsp. baking powder
•10 tbs. unsalted butter, room temp
•2 cups sugar
•2 large eggs
•2 large egg yolk
•1 tsp. vanilla
•2/3 cup buttermilk
1. Soak the cherries in 1/4 cup rum for at least 4 hours.
2. Position oven rack in center of oven. Preheat to 350*. Butter a 10-cup bundt or tube pan. Dust with flour
3. Chop the nuts, relatively fine, mix them with the chocolate chips, and set aside
4. Sift flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder
5. Beat the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy. In a small bowl mix the eggs and egg yolk. Slowly add to the mixer. Add the vanilla.
6. Stir in half the dry ingredients, then add the buttermilk and then the remaining dry ingredients. Stir in the nuts and chips.
7. Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes (this is a really fudgy cake so make sure the toothpick comes out clean). Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Poke 50 times with a toothpick and slowly drizzle the remaining 6 tbsp. of rum over cake (I didn't do this cuz I knew my kids wouldn't like it). Let cool for 30 mins more. Then invert cake and serve. Let cake cool completely. I did not do this and a quarter of the cake just stayed in the pan. So depressing!
8. Glaze with your choice of glaze. I did the following:
•12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
•3/4 cup water
•3/4 cup heavy cream
1. chop the chocolate and put in heat proof bowl. Add water and cream.
2. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring gently, until chocolate is melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool. You could add some more rum to this if you want... I didn't.
The photos don't do this cake justice