Now I will further describe the cake. The dark essence name stems from the fact that this cake has 100% pure concentrated black cherry juice in it. So concentrated that 2 tbs and a lot of water makes up 8 oz ounces of regular juice. If you love the deep flavor of black cherries, then you will definitely enjoy this cake-a whopping 2 cups of the black cherry concentrate is in this cake.
I did not want this cake tasting like one of those cheap hard candy suckers, nor did I want the cherry flavor fizzling out in the midst of the cake baking. The use of the concentrate worked out as expected. The cake has such an intense earthy flavor that it lingers on your palate. Also, the aroma of the cake is enough to entice everyone into the kitchen.
The inside is quite moist and rich, but the outside turned out rather toasty. It is best sliced thin and served with cream anglaise or whipped cream. I would have cut the cake so you could see the texture inside, except it was slated as a donation. I wish I had taken a picture of the inside of the cupcake I made to sample the taste. However, I did not think of the picture until it was too late.
Dark Essence Cake
1 tbs vegetable oil
2 cups concentrated 100% black cherry juice
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups packed light brown sugar
5 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups or 3 sticks of butter (room temp)
confectioners sugar (optional for dusting)
Prepare a 10 inch tube pan by generously greasing and lightly dusting the inside with flour. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
In one bowl mix the two sugars together. Then, in a separate bowl, beat the eggs until light and fluffy. If using a whisk to beat by hand, this should take about 5 minutes. Using an electric mixer should take about 2 minutes. Then stir in the vegetable oil.
The third bowl should be filled with the butter. Cream the butter with half of the sugar mixture, beating until smooth. The other half of the sugar mixture should be stirred into the beaten eggs.
Add the egg mixture to the butter/sugar mix and stir until all is blended together. Using a wooden spoon fold in 2 3/4 cup of flour to the batter. Once there are no dry streaks, pour in 1 cup of the juice and mix until smooth. Repeat process by adding the rest of the flour, mixing and then stirring in the last of the juice.
One the ingredients are completely mixed together, spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth out the surface. Place cake in the preheated oven and set the timer for 2 hours. After two hours, check for doneness using a tester. If not done, place back in oven and check every 5 minutes with tester. Baking time can range from 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Remove pan and cool for about 30 minutes. During this time cake should pull away from the sides.
Invert cake onto rack to finish cooling. Once completely cooled, you can dust with confectioners sugar. This cake is best served in thin slices with creme anglaise spooned over the top.
Also, if you are looking for some unique oatmeal cookie recipes, check my last years post on the link below. It has a link to a blogger dedicated to only making oatmeal cookies. On August 17th he did an updated list by recipe name links and the list is huge!
**LAST YEAR: Filled Oatmeal Cookies/Golden Girls**