Three years ago today Guild Wars 2 officially launched for the world to play. There was a three day head start for those who preordered the game, but August 28th was the official release day. By now you know I really like this game. From running daily fractals to following along the Silverwaste chest train, I’ve immensely enjoyed this game. I’m so happy I have a group of friends that play the game with me. Without them I would not have been able to hit level 50 fractals, complete all the dungeons path, or been able to level up our small guild to have maxed out all the categories. Our guild might be small but we have a big heart! Here’s hoping we can make the most magical guild hall when Heart of Thorns releases. Guild Wars 2 truly shines when you have a group to play with and I am happy to have such awesome friends. This next recipe is for my guildmates and I hope the next time we are all in the same town I’ll cook up a Guild Wars 2 themed dinner.
To end the week long celebration for Guild Wars 2 I thought about going big. What better way to go big than to celebrate with a large three layer chocolate cherry cake. As I was making the layers, I realized I might have made the cake layers a bit thicker than they should have been. But hey, I did say I wanted to go big, right? This cake infuses the flavors of chocolate and cherries to make it a truly delicious dessert. I’d probably consider this one to be the most complex recipe. The best thing you can do when making this recipe is have all your ingredients ready to go before you start. You don’t want to be running around like a headless chicken while baking this cake.
Required Equipment: saucepan, 3 9-inch round baking pans, stand mixer, bowls, frosting pipe
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
3 sticks of butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
4 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup sour cream
5 tbsp water
3 tbsp honey
1 cup sugar
12 oz chocolate, melted (I did half 70%, half 60% cacao)
8 oz cream cheese
8 tbsp butter
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
⅓ cup cherry sauce (from the filling)
The night before the cake baking begins, you will make the cake filling. In a saucepan combine the cherries, water and honey. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Cook until the liquid has reduced by a ¼. Place the mixture in a bowl, cover and allow it to rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder and hot water and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter. Add the sugar and mix until combined.
Add the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time to the stand mixer. Next, add the cocoa powder and hot water mixture. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour half of the flour mixture into the stand mixer.
Next add the sour cream and once combined add the remaining flour to the batter. Once all combined, split the batter into three 9 inch baking pans. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until done. Allow the cakes to completely cool.
To make the frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Next, add the one cup of the confectioner sugar.
The filling you made last night will be sitting in a cherry liquid. Take ⅓ cup of this extra sauce and add it. Add the remainder of the confectioner sugar in one cup increments.
Finally add the melted chocolate to the frosting and whip until well mixed.
After you cake has completely cooled it is time to construct this beast. Place the first layer of cake in the plate you will be serving it on. One tip I’ve learned is to place parchment paper on the edges just under the cake. This will help remove any mess you make as you work on the cake and keep your plate clean. Make sure to not place the parchment paper too far under the cake otherwise it will be too difficult to remove.
Place a thick layer of frosting onto the first cake layer. Carefully spoon the cherries and allow them to drain any extra liquid. Place a layer of cherries on top the frosting. Add a small amount of the sauce without going overboard. We don’t want it to spill over.
Take the next cake layer and place it on top of the cherries. Repeat this layering process until you have the last layer of cake on the top.
Generously cover all parts of the cake in frosting. Decorate the top using a frosting pipe and a few fresh cherries. Carefully pull out the parchment paper from below to have a clean cake. I recommend letting this cake sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.