Although I make this into a bundt cake, it is my mom’s basic chocolate layer cake recipe. It will make two, pleasantly plump 9-inch round layers. She would cover the layers with copious amounts of vanilla frosting or sometimes 7-Minute Frosting (you’ll find the recipe for that with my Devil’s Food Cake somewhere in back posts). Since my husband doesn’t much like frosting, I usually just sprinkle the simpler cake with a bit of confectioners’ sugar. When I am diet conscious or cooking for friends who have health issues I substitute nonfat condensed milk, egg and sugar replacements, and 2% milk for the fattier/more cholesterol laden products in the recipe and it works just fine, but I must admit it doesn’t taste quite as good.
Makes 1 bundt cake or two 9-inch layers
1 cup condensed milk
Two 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups dried sour cherries
1 cup chopped toasted nuts of your choice
Place the condensed milk and chocolate squares in a small heavy bottom saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 7 minutes or until the mixture is the consistency of pudding. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Lightly spray a bundt pan with nonstick vegetable spray.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Place the butter in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well-blended. Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture.
Stir the baking soda into the milk and, with the motor running on low, slowly add the milk to the batter.
Combine the flour and cocoa and slowly sift it into the batter, a bit at a time, beating to incorporate. Add the vanilla and beat to blend. Fold in the cherries and nuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the edges pull away from the side of the pan and a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the wire rack and finish cooling.
When cool, place on a cake plate and serve or wrap in plastic film and store in a cool, dry spot for up to 3 days.