One-Bowl Cherry Chocolate Cake

I think I was shocked the first time I learned that not everyone loves chocolate-covered cherries as much as I do. To me, they just are the ultimate flavor--the tart burst of cherry, almond-like liqueur, and rich dark chocolate all around it.

Seriously, what's not to love?!

But for some reason there are people who are just not fans. And you know what I say to that?

More for me!

(And for you, if you love them, too!)

This past weekend, Eugene and I drove to my parents' house in New Jersey to celebrate their anniversary with a casual bbq in their backyard. My dad asked me to bring some baked goods, so I decided to play around with those cherry and chocolate flavors that I love, and made this cake.


The combination of rich dark chocolate cake with a layer of fresh cherries baked right in is absolutely perfect! Pure almond extract added to the batter plays up those "cherry liqueur" notes. If you love chocolate-covered cherry candies, you will ADORE this cake.

A few things to note about the cake. This calls for Dutched cocoa, which is different than regular cocoa as it has been alkalized. It also has a richer almost Oreo-cookie-like flavor. Definitely don't skip it!

The cherries in this cake are fresh cherries. You want something like Bing cherries. Please do NOT use candied or jarred cherries--those will be way too sweet. It's all about that combo of tart and sweet here.

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One Bowl Cherry Chocolate Cake
Makes 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup plain yogurt (not Greek-style)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (do not use natural cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and stemmed

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" springform pan and set aside.

In base of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat additional 3 minutes. Add the yogurt, vanilla, and almond.

Balance a mesh sieve over the bowl with the wet ingredients and pour in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift dry ingredients into the chocolate base, and then stir until completely incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading out evenly. Top with cherries (it's ok if they layer on top of each other--they will sink during baking).

Bake about 65 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing sides and transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Blueberry Chocolate Espresso Sorbet

Berries and chocolate have long been an amazing combination (hello chocolate-covered strawberries!), and the combo is no less awesome when turned into a smooth and cool sorbet.
This Blueberry Chocolate Espresso Sorbet is the ultimate summer treat, with a killer combination of bright berries, rich cocoa, and just a hint of jolt from espresso.

I know you might think espresso seems like a weird addition, but trust me...it just works!

A bit of vodka in the recipe will keep the sorbet lovely and scoopable, but if you prefer, you can absolute skip it (though it will then be a bit harder to scoop after the first day).

I love pairing this with rich dark chocolate brownies and a handful of fresh blueberries on top.

Enjoy!
 

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Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!    




Blueberry Chocolate Espresso Sorbet

Ingredients
1 pint blueberries
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups espresso
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vodka
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
Combine the blueberries and 1/2 cup water over medium heat. Let simmer until the berries burst and become syrupy (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.

In a separate saucepan, combine the espresso, sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar and chocolate are melted.

Pour coffee mixture into a blender with banana, vanilla, vodka, and salt, and puree until very smooth. Cover, and chill at least 4 hours or overnight until very cold.

Pour chilled mixture into your ice cream maker, and churn as directed. 5 minutes before end of churn, add the cooked blueberries. Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze at least 4-6 hours until set.

English Pea, Strawberry & Feta Salad with Minty Lime Vinaigrette

During the summer, all I want to do is eat color. The brighter and fresher, the better. I stock my fridge with as much produce as it can hold, and then stand back to admire it.

(Seriously. My phone and instagram are full of snapshots of the inside of my refrigerator on grocery day.)

This gorgeous Pea, Strawberry & Feta Salad is one of the dishes I served while up in Vermont this past month, and it just screams warm weather days to me.

It's a surprising, but delicious combination that is incredibly easy to put together. The peas are blanched slightly (either fresh or frozen will work!), then tossed with strawberries and crumbled feta. The dressing, made with lime juice, fresh mint, and a little honey--is the perfect companion to this dish, which happily straddles the place between salad and side.

If serving this for a crowd, I would recommend making the dressing separate, then adding it just about 10 or so minutes before serving to keep all the colors bright and fresh.

While I kept it as-is, if you'd like to bulk the salad out a bit, handfuls of fresh spinach or peppery arugula would be a nice addition.

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Love Always Order Dessert?
Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!   


English Pea, Strawberry & Feta Salad with Minty Lime Vinaigrette
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 pound english peas (fresh or frozen)
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced + more for garnish
Kosher salt, black pepper


Directions
Boil peas 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water, then place in a large bowl. Add the strawberries and feta.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, mint, salt, and pepper.

Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Garnish with additional mint leaves.

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