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
To Make the Brandied Cherries:
- Add the cherries, granulated sugar, and fresh lemon juice to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine.
- 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).
- Combine the water and cornstarch in a small prep bowl. Add to the cherry mixture. Increase heat to medium-high for one minute.
- 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.
- Place cherries in a heat-proof container and allow them to cool completely before using.
To Make the Cake:
- 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.
- Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, natural cocoa powder, and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- 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!*
- Thoroughly combine the granulated sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, and red wine with a balloon whisk.
- 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!
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with the balloon whisk until no lumps of flour or cocoa powder remain.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove from the oven and allow to place on a cooling rack, in its pan, for ten minutes.
- After ten minutes, invert the cake onto the cooling rack.
To Make the Simple Syrup:
- 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.
- Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- 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:
- Place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- 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).
- Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips and cover with plastic wrap. Do not stir yet!
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the ganache over the cake using a spouted measuring cup, a squeeze bottle, or a spoon.
To Make the Stabilized Whipped Cream:
- Place the gelatin in the 4 tsp of water. Stir to combine completely. Microwave for 10 seconds ONLY. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- If desired, you can sprinkle some chocolate shavings over the whipped cream.
- Add several cherries to the top of the whipped cream. I add some of the reserved cherry juice to the cake as well.
- Serve alone, or with more of the brandied cherries on top.
- 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.
- Prep Time: 1 hour (total)
- Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American