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lovkel

Cherry cake?

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lovkel   

I have been asked a friend's wedding cake and she wants the flavors to be cherry & chocolate cherry. I have NO good recipes for a cherry flavored cake. I tried the one posted on the recipe list here, but it didn't have a real noticeable cherry flavor.

I've thought about doing a simple syrup splash with kijafa or kirsch (whichever I can find). But other than that, I am at a loss. Does anyone have any good recipes or ideas?

If all else fails, I'll have to fall back on a cherry filling. I am sure she'll understand, but as a personal challenge I would like to do this.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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merstar   

Kirsch sounds like a good idea. Also, how about some cherry extract?

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David Lebovitz has several recipes that might fit the bill including a chocolate cherry fruitcake and chocolate cake with cherries in his book Ripe for Dessert.

I haven't made either one, but hope to try the latter recipe in the next couple of weeks.

EDIT: In reading your post again, I realized that you might be specifically asking for a cherry cake (not a chocolate cherry cake). It might be difficult to achieve a pleasing appearance unless you candy the cherries to prevent the juice from running into the batter.

If you find a good technique for candying cherries while retaining their flavor and shape, I would definitely like to hear about it so I can suspend them in butter and chiffon cakes.


Edited by sanrensho (log)

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What if you could modify the recipes posted on the strawberry cake thread and use cherry puree (from Perfect Puree) instead? I don't know that this would work, but it's a start. I think some of the strawberry cake recipes used jello, (or maybe the poster didn't want to use the jello) and if there's no such thing as cherry jello you might be out of luck.

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There is a recipe in the Cake Mix Dr book for a chocolate cherry cake that...of course uses a mix but...

It replaces the water with canned cherry pie filling. You could use filling or cannded sour cherries to replace the liquide in your chocolate cake recipe.

If I remeber correctly with the mix it uses 1 can pie filling and 2 eggs for the total wet ingrediants.

oh yeah and it tastes good too but makes a very soft cake.


Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

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DanaG   

There are a few recipes for cherry cakes in Rick Rodger's "Kaffeehaus." One is a cherry-almond cake (though it's a coffee cake...but it's supposed to be great), and the other is a chocolate cherry mousse cake (which, as I recall, is a layer of chocolate sponge topped with a chocolate-cherry mousse).

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MelissaH   

What about something along the lines of a Black Forest Cake? You could use chocolate cake for the chocolate-cherry flavor, and yellow or other vanilla cake for the cherry (no chocolate).

Or does the cherry need to actually be in the cake itself?

MelissaH

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jgm   

How about using a white cake, and using cherry puree to 'marble' it? The cherry puree would be concentrated enough in the marbled parts to give a definite cherry flavor.

Or use a regular cake, white or chocolate or both, and slice it into two or three layers, with cherry filling in between.

Cherry is an odd flavor to work with. It's my favorite, but it doesn't lend itself well to flavoring other things. If you get it strong enough to really make a cherry-flavored cake (flavored with real cherries, that is), the cost could be substantial.

My opinion is that cherry is best when complimented by other flavors, such as vanilla, almond or chocolate. Sort of like 1 + 1 = 3.

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baroness   

What about using dried cherries? They are available both tart/sour and sweet.

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i just made some cherry crumb bars with a filling that I made out of some sour cherries (frozen) that I cooked up with a little cornstarch and sugar until pie filling consistency, then I added some crushed fresh bings and some rehydrated dried cranberries. I think layering the flavors got me more cherry-ness than I would have gotten with sour cherries alone. So something like that might work to marble in a cake or use as a filling, depending on your desired result.

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lovkel   

Thanks for the suggestions. I will be giving them a try.

I have made the Cake Mix Doctors Chocolate Cherry cake. It was tasty, but it made a wet dense cake. Also, it required 1 can of cherry filling per batch. At about $4.00 a can and a cake that needs to serve 260, well that's a bit more than I want to donate.

I tried the to add Cherry pie filling to a white cake mix (following the recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor substituting white mix for chocolate). The flavor was O.K., but the texture was ... odd. It made a sort of rubbery cake. Not horrible, but not something to impress a crowd of people with.

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tmgrobyn   

Bake your cake with the juice from a large jar of maraschino cherries. Then chop the cherries (drain them well) and use it for part of the filling between layers. This will give you the flavor you are looking for. Also if you douse the cakes witha simple syrup with the kirsch addition to the syrup, you'll have a standout cherry flavor without too much $$ and a delicious cherry flavor. I do this all the time, as my husband's favorite cake is cherry chip. cake. (I add a few of the cherries to the batter for him.) :smile:

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Pam R   
What about using dried cherries? They are available both tart/sour and sweet.

You can use them to make cherry lekvar (bring them to a simmer with a little water/liqueur and sugar - cook them, pressing them with a wooden spoon until they start to come apart, then puree). This could be swirled in, maybe even mixed into a batter.

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if you have the Professional Baking book (Gisslen), there is a variation on white cake that calls for adding ground marschino cherries and their juice instead of some of the liquid and sugar. I've also done this with sour cherries frozen IQF with sugar.

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baroness   

King Arthur Flour (bakerscatalogue.com) has Extra-Strong Washington Cherry flavoring, of which they say "These specialty flavors and oils require a mere 1/8 teaspoon or less to flavor your baked goods or homemade candy".

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There are a couple of very useful threads about this already. I just started one a couple of weeks ago myself, asking for advice candying cherries.

I can share with you what I learned:

A proper cherry was once a brandied cherry, until Prohibition. The maraschino cherry was invented when brandy was outlawed. The process involves bleaching a cherry and replacing the colors and flavors with artificial ones.

Cherries are in season right now, and it is a good time to candy your own if you are truly interested. It isn't difficult, it takes a commitment of twenty minutes a day for a week or two, actually less time than that.

I started with 3 pounds of sweet cherries. I boiled them for four minutes and then used some of the water to make a simple syrup and soaked the cherries in that. The syrup was drained daily, more sugar added and then added back to the cherries. Right now I am off recipe as I think the cherries are finished and they're just sitting on the counter waiting for me to decide that and do something with them.

They have decreased in size, they are not as plump, but they are not bad looking. For days they were brown, but over time they've become a very sexy dark red. They have produced a quantity of deep, thick cherry-flavored syrup that I will likely use for cocktails.

I highly, highly recommend doing this for yourself as the result is unmatchable. You cannot buy cherries like these.

I have made a fruitcake with chocolate, recipe from Janet, The Old Foodie. It was an exceptional combination and I think a similar cake made with dark chocolate and candied cherries would be absolutely out of this world. You can search for the fruitcake thread for that one.

These cherries would also be great in white cake, but they would bleed. One could do a cherry upside down cake rather than a pineapple upside down cake, something like that. The color is really deep and glorious and appropriate, I think, for a ceremony commemorating the joining of two hearts.

Good luck -- I think this is a great idea!

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tmgrobyn   

LIndacakes, I am interested in doing this! It sounds like a great addition to the pantry. Question: When you drain off the liquid, are you draining it to a bowl and adding sugar or draining, and disposing of it? How much liquid are you adding sugar to each day? Is there a link to reference?

You have totally piqued my interest. Thanks! :biggrin:

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If you qualify to purchase from a wholesale supplier, you can probably get what is known as 5+1 frozen pie cherries, which, although they fluxuate in price, can sometimes be as low as $1.50/lb. You'd be buying about 25lbs of them, but they make awesome cherry pies. I believe the 5+1 relates to the cherry/sugar ratio so I think it's 5 parts cherries to 1 part sugar.

I personally vote for staying away from canned cherry pie filling; some of the ingredients can be a little preservative-ish. However, if that's your preference and your recipe works with them, you may be able to find them in 10# cans which will be substantially cheaper.

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I lift the cherries out with a slotted spoon, then pour the liquid back into a saucepan. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of sugar per pound of fruit. I screwed up and used a quarter cup for three pounds of fruit, but the last time I did it, I added the full amount. Each day, then, the syrup becomes more concentrated.

I did this last year and allowed the cherries to sit in their syrup in the fridge for six months. Just fine.

The recipe I'm using asks you to dry them. I don't think I want them dry, but I'm not sure, so I'm going to experiment this weekend. Right now I have a single cherry sitting on the counter to drain all day so that I can sample it this evening.

They're that precious.

I've started making ice cream with the David Lebovitz book and I'm thinking vanilla ice cream with cherry pieces in it . . .

David Lebovitz has a quickie method on his web site. I used that last season. It worked okay, but I like the long method better.

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tmgrobyn   

They're that precious.

I've started making ice cream with the David Lebovitz book and I'm thinking vanilla ice cream with cherry pieces in it . . .

David Lebovitz has a quickie method on his web site.  I used that last season.  It worked okay, but I like the long method better.

Oh my! I am definitely giving this a try. Thank you. :wub:

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The recipe has been posted to Recipe Gullet -- "Candied Cherries".

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I've started making ice cream with the David Lebovitz book and I'm thinking vanilla ice cream with cherry pieces in it . . .

David Lebovitz has a quickie method on his web site.  I used that last season.  It worked okay, but I like the long method better.

If you also had added some good quality chocolate pieces I'd be all over that :raz:!

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CatPoet   

Have you tried this?

 

A friend make this one into her wedding cake and the guest got  small square muffins.

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