I have been eating this cake since I was 10, and it is truly a masterpiece in the art of baking. I have never seen any other recipe like it, and I thank my mother for passing on the genes that came up with this genius.This cake is NOT for a novice, nor can it be "thrown together" at the last minute. All I can tell you is that, when properly executed, nothing can compare to this recipe. PLEASE read through the steps BEFORE you begin, it will make things much easier. Good Luck, you will never be satisfied with another recipe!
FOR THE CAKE
- 2 egg whites
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 3⁄4 cups cake flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄3 cup salad oil
- 1 cup whole milk, divided into (2)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
- cocoa powder, instead of flour for the baking pans although flour can be used
FOR THE CHERRY FILLING
- 20 ounces pitted tart red cherries, drained
- 1⁄2 cup port wine
- 1 tablespoon kirschwasser, a cherry liqueur
- 3 -4 drops almond extract
FOR THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
- 3 tablespoons kirsch
- 1 whole egg, beaten
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
FOR THE BUTTER FROSTING
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 3⁄4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄4 cup half-and-half
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- chocolate curls
- whipped cream
- maraschino cherry
- Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees, and make sure your fridge can house the cake periodically through out the prep.
- A DAY AHEAD: Begin with the cherry filling, it will take overnight to do it properly. Combine the can of drained cherries (DO NOT USE PIE FILLING) with 1/2 cu Port Wine, 1 TBLS Kirsch and 3-4 drops of Almond extract in a sealed container and chill overnight. Drain before using.
- ***The cake will be chilled periodically in between steps. If this is not done, your cake WILL fall apart. This cake needs to be assembled on a heavy- duty cake stand if it is to stay at home. If it is to be transported, use a cake carrier and drive carefully, then chill promptly to prevent it from "melting".
- For the cake: You will need (2) 9 x 1 1/2 in Round Cake pans, greased, lightly floured with either FLOUR or COCOA POWDER. **I line the bottom with PARCHMENT PAPER to aid in removal and to prevent sticking. Wire Racks will help when it is time to cool them.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the WHISK attachment, beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cu sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. *** Set aside in bowl.
- THE CAKE: Sift together 1 3/4 cu Cake Flour, 1 cu Sugar, 3/4 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp Kosher salt into the mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cu Salad Oil and 1/2 cu Milk and beat on MED SPEED with paddle attachment, scraping bowl often. Add 1/2 cu milk, 2 egg yolks, and 2 oz of UNSWEETENED baking chocolate that has been melted in a double boiler and cooled. Beat 1 minute longer, scraping bowl frequently. Gently fold in the Egg White mixture by hand with a spatula.
- Pour into the prepared pans and bake about 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on wire racks. When cooled, split the 2 layers, resulting in 4 total. ***Dental floss is a great way to do this, slowly "saw" from back to front. Set aside.
- CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: Combine 3 oz of SEMISWEET baking chocolate and 3 TBLS Kirsch in a double boiler: stir over hot, but not boiling water until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly, then slowly stir INTO 1 well beaten Egg. Whip 1 cu Whipping Cream and 2 TBSL Sugar. Fold into chocolate and chill atleast 2 hours.
- BUTTER FROSTING: an the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the 6 TBLS butter, and HALF the Confectioner's Sugar. Add 2 TBLS half and half and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Gradually add in the remaining sugar. Once incorporated, add enough Half and Half to make it spreading consistency. Chill 30 min or so.
- *** Assembly should be done in stages to allow cake to set up and not fall!
- To Assemble: Spread 1/2 cu Butter Frosting on the cut side of a cake layer. With the remaining Butter Frosting, make a ridge 1/2 an inch wide and 3/4 of an in tall around the outside edge. Make a second ridge 2 in from the outside edge. **Think TARGET, or BULL's EYE. CHILL 30 MINUTES.
- Fill spaces with drained cherry filling. TOP WITH 2nd LAYER.
- Spread this layer with the MOUSSE. CHILL 30 MINUTES.
- * While this is chilling, whip 2 cu Whipping Cream and 2 TBLS sugar and 1 tsp Vanilla extract.
- TOP MOUSSE LAYER with 3RD CAKE LAYER. Use 1 1/2 cu Whipped Cream to cover this 3rd layer. CHILL 30 MINUTES.
- Top with the final 4TH layer, and use remaining Whipped Cream to cover sides and top of cake. Sift Cocoa Powder over top, and garnish with Chocolate curls or shavings, dollops of whipped cream and maraschino cherries. Chill 2 hours.