Growing up, my mother would frequently make a Sour Cherry Chocolate Cake in a Gugelhopf form. The cake was moist and sweet, with a bit of a bite from the sour cherries, and there was just enough chocolate to give it flavor, but not be overwhelming. Yet, there was always another elusive flavor in the cake, that I only recently figured out… Asbach Uralt Cognac
(Wondering now if that’s why I always need a nap after a Kaffeeklatsch?)
This recipe is not a reinvention of the wheel, I’ve just cleaned it up for an American Kitchen. Some if her original ingredients can’t be easily found here in the US, and the measurements are different. Be sure to read the instructions through BEFORE you start baking. There’s nothing really complex here, it just has a trick with the cherries that you don’t see very often.
(Now, if you prefer not to use cognac, just leave it out. Add a few tablespoons of milk instead. But it really is a small amount)
Sour Cherry & Chocolate Cake with Cognac Gugelhupf
I bake this one in a Gugelhupf pan which is almost the same as a bundt pan… but it’s sides a bit narrower. If you don’t have a Gugelhupf pan, use a Bundt pan, and watch the timing a bit more closely.
Super Authentic German Sour Cherries
unfortunately, these are kind of expensive…
Find Some of the Tools and Ingredients Here
If you don’t can your own cherries, use a jar of Morello cherries… NOT Cherry pie filling! The Original recipe calls for Schoko Raspeln or Chocolate Sprinkles. I’ve never been a fan of the flavor of sprinkles, and since most American Kitchens have Chocolate Chips, I just think it’s easy enough to chop them up for the cake. Besides, it makes the kids happy to have bigger bits of chocolate in the cake (but not TOOO big). I use an ULU Knife for this because it just works so well (It’s also a great tool to chop nuts).
Some Pictures of the German Sour Cherry Chocolate Cake
So you can see what I’m taking about in the instructions
Prepare the Chocolate Chips
(you CAN use Chocolate Sprinkles, if you prefer)
Drain the Cherries by pouring them into a strainer over a bowl
Place the Drained cherries ON TOP OF the Batter in the Cake Pan
Let the Baked Cake Rest in the pan for 15 minutes
Remove From the Pan onto a Rack to Cool COMPLETELY before Icing
Making the Glaze
Sift the powdered sugar. Add Cognac and water carefully. Better to start with too little.
TASTE as you go.
My official taster managed to eat a few teaspoons of the glaze, so I make extra.
Spoon the Glaze over the Cooled Cake
If you want to glaze the cake on the serving dish, tuck pieces of foil or waxed paper under the cake. The paper will collect the drips. When the glaze hardens, pull the paper away.
You can Hide Cracks by Cutting the first slice Right at that spot!