Chocolate, Cherries, and Cheesecake

Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese & Cherry Filling and a layer of Cheesecake covered with Whipped Chocolate Ganache Buttercream in an Open Star Ombré Pattern

Wow!  This has been a busy, busy week in the kitchen…time to get caught up.

This particular cake was the result of me not being able to make up my mind.  We were meeting friends for dinner…I know chocolate and cherries is a winning combination and my cheesecake is almost always welcome.  Unable to choose, I put them together in a five-layer triumph of deliciousness.

This is how it went.

This is a cream cheese buttercream.
I used my favorite, go-to Chocolate Cake.

As I was filling and stacking the cake, it began to list…so I doweled it.  The canned cherry pie filling while delicious, is a bit slippery and the layers shift (especially since this cake was only 6″ across).  As evidenced in this snapshot, a crumb coat was an important step.
On this day, two cakes were due at the same time – I was working on them interchangeably and popping cakes in and out of the cake fridge.  Each lovely on it’s own, but two different looks for sure.

I was trying a new design on this little cake.  I used the Wilton 1M Open Star tip.  I frosted a flat layer of cream cheese buttercream across the top, then piped on little starbursts around the top edge and down a wee bit.  Maybe for this smaller cake, I could have a used a small tip…especially since I was shooting for a more blended ombré effect.  By staggering the division line, I wanted a different effect.  I don’t think it quite got there.
And that’s ok!  Baking is about trying new things and learning at the same time.  Many of my best lessons have occurred in the middle of a cake disaster/cake fail/cake-tastrophe.  Do we need to revisit the Great Buttercream Melt Down of 2013?  Review that event here
Anyway, I like the look of this cake.  It’s good.  And maybe I can make it better next time.  Kinda like attending 12-step meetings…there’s always something to learn.  “Take what you want; leave the rest.”
Our night out meant dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, the Goldener Hecht.   The staff is fantastic and the food is amazing.  Because of this, when we visit for dinner, I like to take a few cupcakes for our friends that work there.  These little chocolate cupcake cousins look delicious with that swirl of chocolate ganache.

The pink, medium Fiesta Ware vase is one of my favorites. 
I was happy with the results of these two cakes.  Different flavors and looks, but both were made with care and using the very best ingredients I have available to me. 
Each slice of cake provided different flavors, textures, and colors.  Baking is about the creative process for me…it’s like putting together a puzzle with a science bump.  It works, so I’m not interested in fixing something that isn’t broken.
My favorite part of baking is when my life partner walks into the kitchen, “Whatcha got going?”  And I explain in full detail the ins and outs of the current project; his response, “Well, you’re out of control again, Mrs. Murphy.”  He’s so cute.
Without a Power Greater than myself, a simple way of living, and the love of my family – we wouldn’t get to share those sweet and private moments in the kitchen.

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