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Foodie Review: Chocolate Cherry Cake Bars

As most of you know, I make custom cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and other sweet goodies as my part-time home business. It all started at home with hubby and lil man as my only clients and grew from there. I still like to bake new stuff for them whenever I don’t have any orders. Lately, I’ve been browsing foodie blogs for new and interesting recipes, and thought it would be nice to blog about my experiences.

I will begin with the one that started it all: Chocolate Cherry Cake Bars with Dark Chocolate Ganache from Mini-Baker. When I first saw this recipe and noticed that it was made with boxed cake mix, I decided it was simple enough for a weeknight dessert, but would never ever tell anyone about it – after all, I make chocolate cake from scratch, so why should I brag about this one?

Turns out I was being extremely prejudiced. When I first tasted it, I almost passed out from the cherry-chocolatey goodness! And to think I didn’t have to measure sugar or flour! It was awesomeness at its best.

The true test came when my hubby tasted it. I didn’t tell him how I made it (I was still a bit embarrased about having made a cake from a box). He was all over it! When he started asking me where I had gotten the recipe from, I was tempted to lie, but eventually caved in and told him the truth. He mumbled something while chewing, and the cake was gone by the end of the day.

Chocolate Cherry Cake Bars

I used a 8x8 pan, so they look more like cubes!

Here’s the recipe so you can try it out for yourself. You can also find the original blog post and pic here.

Chocolate Cherry Cake Bars with Dark Chocolate Ganache

CAKE:

Ingredients
1 box of your favorite Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
1 15 oz. can cherry pie filling (the one I found at the grocery store was 21 oz, so you can imagine how moister and goo-ier it was!)
2 eggs (make sure to use large eggs)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (eye-ball it, that’s the best part!)

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour 13×9-inch pan.
2. In large bowl, gently mix dry cake mix, pie filling, eggs and chocolate chips with rubber scraper; break up any undissolved cake mix by pressing with scraper. Carefully spread in pan.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
4. Prepare the ganache while the cake is cooling

GANACHE:

Ingredients
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate chips (if using from a bar, make sure to chop it into small pieces for best results)

Directions
1. Melt butter in a medium-sized pot over low heat.
2. Stir in cream and vanilla into the butter and bring to a boil.
3. Continue stirring for 2 minutes.
4. Remove the pot from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted.
5. Pour the warm ganache over the top of the slightly-cooled bars. Let the bars set for 1 1/2 hours until the ganache is firm. Use a non-serrated knife to cut the bars and EAT UP!

Many thanks to Christa at Mini-Baker for the great recipe!