Raymond warned us that this was not a quick cake to prepare; it literally took me days! It did, however, introduce me to the wonderful combination of dried cherries soaked in brandy and that was worth the wait.
An immersion blender with attachments is standing in for our KitchenAid and food processor, and the dry ingredients and butter seemed a little too stiff for the whisk attachment, so we (that means Ed) mixed by hand.
I wasn’t able to find creme fraiche or sour cream, so I just used heavy cream. I know this changed the chemistry of the cake and may account for the fact that it didn’t rise as much as I expected.
I wasn’t able to find 60% chocolate, so I used equal parts 70% and milk chocolate (about 30%), so the ganache was lighter than it should have been, but that’s OK. We shared a slice last night, and we both still found the cake to be intensely chocolate. The ganche was a little too runny, but the flavor was fantasic. Let me assure you that the leftovers are in the freezer waiting for another use.
As for the leftover cherry brandy, we found that by cutting it a bit with straight brandy, it makes an excellent after dinner drink.
Unlike my other blog posts, as part of the Heavenly Cake Bakers, I don’t post recipes from this book on the Internet. One of the reasons for this baking group is to encourage readers to purchase the cookbook. That strategy worked on me! After follow the group’s baking adventures for a couple of months, I ordered a copy from Amazon because I wanted join in.