Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes plus cooling
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 14 servings
â€¢2 egg whites
â€¢1/2 cup buttermilk
â€¢1/3 cup strong brewed coffee
â€¢3 tablespoons canola oil
â€¢1 teaspoon vanilla extract
â€¢1 cup all-purpose flour
â€¢2/3 cup baking cocoa
â€¢1/2 cup packed brown sugar
â€¢1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
â€¢1/4 teaspoon baking soda
â€¢1/4 teaspoon salt
â€¢1/2 cup cherry juice blend
â€¢1/2 cup port wine or additional cherry juice blend
â€¢2/3 cup dried tart cherries
â€¢2 tablespoons honey
â€¢1 package (12 ounces) frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed and halved
â€¢1 tablespoon cornstarch
â€¢2 tablespoons water
â€¢1/2 teaspoon almond extract
â€¢1 cup sweetened whipped cream
â€¢Coat a 9-in. round baking pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into egg mixture until blended.
â€¢ Transfer to prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Cool completely.
â€¢ In a large saucepan, combine the cherry juice, wine, dried cherries, honey and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-11 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in dark cherries; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
â€¢ Combine cornstarch and water; whisk into cherry mixture. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in extract. Cool.
â€¢ Serve cake with cherry topping; garnish with whipped cream. Yield: 14 servings.