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Red Wine Black Forest Pound Cake

This one is for the grown folks.  Featuring a red wine chocolate cake, luscious chocolate ganache, stabilized whipped cream, and brandied cherries on top, this cake is an absolutely delicious showstopper!

  • Total Time: ~5-7 hours
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Cake:

  • 288 g (2.25 c) all-purpose flour
  • 63 g (2/3 c) Natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 500 g (2.5 c) granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 250 g (1 c) dry red wine (Black Girl Magic Red Blend is my wine of choice, but use what you like!)
  • 227 g (1 c)vegetable oil

For the Chocolate Simple Syrup:

  • 83 g (1/3 c) water
  • 67 g (1/3 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (can be natural or Dutch process)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Brandied Cherries:

  • 350 g (2.5 cups) pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 63 g plus (1/4 c) cold water
  • 63 g (1/4 c) brandy

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 170 g (1 c) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 125 g (1/2 c) heavy cream, well shaken

For the Stabilized Whipped Cream:

  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 4 tsp water
  • 250 g (1 c) heavy cream, cold
  • 60 g (1/2 c) confectioner’s sugar

Instructions

To Make the Brandied Cherries:

  1. Add the cherries, granulated sugar, and fresh lemon juice to a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir to combine.  
  2. Once the mixture begins to bubble, stir again and reduce heat to medium-low.  Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the cherries are softened (but not mush).  
  3. Combine the water and cornstarch in a small prep bowl.  Add to the cherry mixture.  Increase heat to medium-high for one minute.
  4. Remove mixture from heat.  Add brandy to the mixture.  Use a camp lighter to CAREFULLY light the brandy.  Allow the brandy to burn off completely before stirring.
  5. Place cherries in a heat-proof container and allow them to cool completely before using.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to a true 325°F.  This temperature is super important!  An oven thermometer will help you determine if your oven runs hot or cold.
  2. Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, natural cocoa powder, and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.  
  3. QUICK NOTE: *Sifting is incredibly important!  Cocoa powder tends to clump, and the only way to avoid those clumps in your cake is to sift.  So…DON’T SKIP THE SIFT!*
  4. Thoroughly combine the granulated sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, and red wine with a balloon whisk.  
  5. Add vegetable oil to the liquid mixture and combine with the whisk until everything is thoroughly combined.  The oil will take a minute or two to combine with the rest of the mixture, but it will combine!
  6. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with the balloon whisk until no lumps of flour or cocoa powder remain.
  7. Prepare your bundt pan (my favorite way is the butter/cocoa powder method for this cake!) and add the batter to the prepared bundt pan.
  8. Bake for 60-70 minutes in a 325°F oven, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 210°F-215°F.  My Goldilocks temp is 212°F.  Alternatively, you can remove this cake from the oven when a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to place on a cooling rack, in its pan, for ten minutes.
  10. After ten minutes, invert the cake onto the cooling rack.  

To Make the Simple Syrup:

  1. Add the water, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and salt to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil just until all of the solids are dissolved.  Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  3. Brush on the cake after inverting it onto the cooling rack.  Allow the cake to cool completely.  Like, 3-5 hours “completely”.

To Make the Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Place the heavy cream in a heat-proof measuring cup (like this one!) and heat in a microwave until just before it starts to boil (45-75 seconds, depending on the microwave).
  3. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips and cover with plastic wrap.  Do not stir yet!
  4. Allow the heavy cream to melt the chocolate for 5 minutes.  Stir with a small whisk or spoon to combine.  If the chocolate does not melt, place in the microwave at 10-second intervals, stirring in between intervals, until the mixture is completely smooth.
  5. Allow the ganache to cool slightly (3-5 minutes) before using.  If you wait too long, the ganache will thicken and will not pour easily over the cake.
  6. Pour the ganache over the cake using a spouted measuring cup, a squeeze bottle, or a spoon.

To Make the Stabilized Whipped Cream:

  1. Place the gelatin in the 4 tsp of water.  Stir to combine completely.  Microwave for 10 seconds ONLY.  Set aside.
  2. Place cold heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar into a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir gently until the confectioner’s sugar is completely covered in heavy cream.
  3. Mix at a medium pace with a ballon whisk or in the bowl of your mixer for 1-2 minutes, or until very soft peaks form.
  4. Add the gelatin/water mixture to the soft peaks and continue mixing on high speed (or keep working that balloon whisk!) for another 30-40 seconds.

Build the Cake:

  1. Using a spouted measuring cup, spoon, or squirt bottle, add the chocolate ganache to the cake.  Allow to cool for a minute or two before piping the whipped cream onto the cake.
  2. If desired, you can sprinkle some chocolate shavings over the whipped cream.
  3. Add several cherries to the top of the whipped cream.  I add some of the reserved cherry juice to the cake as well.
  4. Serve alone, or with more of the brandied cherries on top.

Notes

  • This cake is a showstopper, but it takes time.  If making this for an event, I recommend making the cake, simple syrup, and cherries on one day, and waiting until the next day to finish the whipped cream and ganache.
  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 1 hour (total)
  • Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American