I would like to start this post with a more elegant and sophisticated sentence but what I really just want to say is simply, I miss making layer cakes! The last one I made was back in September and the one before that was another two months ago. Now that all of my exams are finally done for the year, I figured that a layer cake was due.
I stopped surfing baking blogs and Foodgawker and Tastespotting as regularly as I did before my final year exams which left me with very little inspiration for what kind of cake to make. Luckily, I'd bookmarked a few in advance so I decided to go with a cherry chocolate chip cake I found on this website. I wanted to decorate my cake in a different way from what she did, but again, I was stuck for ideas. In the end, I decided to throw chocolate sprinkles in the frosting to give the cake a chocolate-chip-flecked appearance. I just love the contrast of the chocolate brown on pastel pink!
I was so excited to be finally able to make a layer cake again, which was why when I realised that I had made a calculation error when scaling down the recipe, I wanted to flop down on my bed face down and stay in that position for eternity. I had put in 1/4 of the amount of baking powder required, which explained why the cakes hardly rose and emerged from the oven with cracks of strange formations. As you can imagine, the cakes turned out dense and pound-cakey, but the damage wasn't as bad as I thought. The cakes were still really moist and the vanilla-almond flavours came through nicely. I especially love the little chocolate chips interspersed throughout the cake! You would think that after refrigeration, the chocolate chips would harden up again but no - they were unexpectedly slightly molten. And I think that the neon cherry pieces here are just a wonderful addition, both aesthetically and taste-wise.
The only change I made to the recipe was to swap the white sugar with brown, because the combination of brown sugar with almond, vanilla, chocolate and cherry sounded better. You're free to stick to the original recipe though. Another thing to note about this recipe is its rather unorthodox method of not adding the eggs to the creamed butter-sugar mixture first before adding the rest of the ingredients. Instead, they are whisked together with the other liquids and then the liquids are added first when alternating with the flour mixture. Usually the flour mixture goes in first, yes? I followed the instructions and I think the cake turned out fine but if you feel safer sticking to the conventional method then please do.
My piping skills definitely need some work. I wanted to do a shell border and I started off rather hesitant and unsure, and it showed in my piping. I was trying to recall all the tutorials I've read and watched before but I couldn't really remember how it was done for sure so I just winged it and hey, at least half of the piping turned out decent!
I gotta make more cakes to practice my piping. Yes.
Oh and for a 360 degree view of this cake in all its girly glory, check out my instagram!
Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake
adapted from here
makes an 8 inch cake
For the cake:
4 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 sticks butter
2 cups sugar (I used brown)
4 large eggs + 1 large egg white
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 cup maraschino cherries, stemmed, drained and chopped
For the frosting:
Follow the recipe and instructions here but make half of the quantity stated and tint the frosting a pastel pink a throw in a handful of chocolate sprinkles
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 3 8-inch round cake pans.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Whisk the eggs, milk and extracts together.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Pour in 1/3 of the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Stir in 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Repeat procedure, alternating between the wet and dry mixture and ending with the dry. Fold in chocolate chips and cherries until evenly distributed.
Divide batter evenly amongst the prepared pans and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean. Cool completely before frosting.