Get Sweet on Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake is a homespun cake that tastes like chocolate-covered cherries, and is the perfect treat to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Most recipes add mini chocolate chips and maraschino cherries to the batter, but we found that the cherries in canned pie filling tasted better than maraschino cherries, which we reserved for our Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake’s garnish. Draining the jarred cherries and drying them with paper towels ensured the melted chocolate in our recipe adhered to them well.

RECIPE FOR CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE

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1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 recipe white cake batter of your choice
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries with stems, drained and wiped dry
Red food coloring
4 cups vanilla buttercream of your choice
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

For the cake:

Drain and rinse cherry pie filling under running water. Press cherries between several layers of paper towels until very dry. Chop cherries fine and reserve 1/2 cup (discard remaining cherries). Gently fold cherries and 1/2 cup chips into cake batter. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans and divide batter among pans. Bake on middle rack in 350-degree oven until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.

For the cherries:

Melt remaining 1 1/2 cups chips and shortening in bowl. Holding stems, partially dip maraschino cherries into chocolate and place on parchment-lined plate. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 10 minutes.

For the frosting:

Beat 5 drops red food coloring into buttercream; add more coloring as desired.

To assemble:

Spread 3/4 cup buttercream on bottom cake layer. Repeat with 3/4 cup more buttercream and second cake layer. Top with final cake layer and frost top and sides with remaining buttercream. Decorate with whipped cream and cherries.

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CURLS
Although chocolate curls add a professional touch to cakes, pies, and mugs of hot cocoa, they are surprisingly easy to make.
You’ll need block (not bar) chocolate—semisweet, bittersweet, and white chocolate all work well—that’s at least 1 inch thick.
Way #1: With the edge of your paring knife angled away from you and your thumbs anchoring the chocolate to the board, drag the blade across the chocolate and toward you to create a curl.
Way #2: Allow the block of chocolate to soften up a bit, either by putting it on a plate on a warm windowsill or by microwaving the chocolate on the lowest power setting for 1 minute. It shouldn’t melt, but it should soften a little. Run the blade of a vegetable peeler along the width of the softened chocolate, creating a curl. The longer the block of chocolate the bigger the curl. (Large blocks of chocolate make nicer shavings than thin bars of chocolate.)

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CURLS

Although chocolate curls add a professional touch to cakes, pies, and mugs of hot cocoa, they are surprisingly easy to make.

You’ll need block (not bar) chocolate—semisweet, bittersweet, and white chocolate all work well—that’s at least 1 inch thick.

Way #1: With the edge of your paring knife angled away from you and your thumbs anchoring the chocolate to the board, drag the blade across the chocolate and toward you to create a curl.

Way #2: Allow the block of chocolate to soften up a bit, either by putting it on a plate on a warm windowsill or by microwaving the chocolate on the lowest power setting for 1 minute. It shouldn’t melt, but it should soften a little. Run the blade of a vegetable peeler along the width of the softened chocolate, creating a curl. The longer the block of chocolate the bigger the curl. (Large blocks of chocolate make nicer shavings than thin bars of chocolate.)