“Hey, there’s a cherry inside!” Leo exclaimed when I showed him the chocolate cake bite I just bit into. I wish you could have seen the delight in his eyes. At that moment, I knew this dessert was going to be a big winner.
On top of that, he didn’t make a big mess when he bit into the cake bite. He was able to hold onto the cherry stem while he sunk his teeth into the cake ball. My idea of leaving the cherry stem on was a big success. It turns out, it fulfilled 3 purposes:
- It grabs the attention of your curious guests.
- It makes it super easy to coat with chocolate.
- It gives a no mess handle to pick it up with.
This is the best thing to come along since the M&M’s chocolate candies.
Last year, we wrote a blog post that reviewed 4 different methods to pit a cherry without a cherry pitter. The bent/modified kitchen fork method was the winner. It left a small whole on the bottom of a pitted cherry and the stem undisturbed and securely attached.
Hey, cherry season is here. Let’s get creative! Why not take advantage of the stem?
In another chocolate cake bites post, I used two forks to roll the cake bites in melted chocolate and carefully nudge them off the fork. It did take a little bit practice at first and was a little messy on my fingers. However, you can imagine how much easier the job would be if you could hold onto the cherry stem while coating the attached cake ball with chocolate.
This time, I made the cake with similar ingredients. I wrapped a pitted cherry with some baked cake dough pinched tightly around the stem to seal the opening. Then, holding onto the stem, I dipped the cake bite into the chocolate and slowly lifted it out. Super easy!
Don’t you think this is a genius idea? You can enjoy the naturally sweetened chocolate cake and fresh cherry flavor in every bite. I wish I had a cherry tree, so I would always have freshly picked cherries to make these morsels throughout the cherry season. Biting into these healthy, gluten-free, and vegan treats is ever so enjoyable. Be sure to make enough to pass around the table.
- 1½ cup homemade all-purpose gluten-free flour (see note for recipe)
- ½ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder (Now brand)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cake (see ingredients above)
- 6 tablespoons vegan yogurt
- 15 fresh cherries, pitted from bottom and stem attached
- 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, liquid
- ¼ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder (Now brand)
- 1 tablespoon organic agava nectar
- To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 °F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, set aside. In another mixing bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredients and then use a spatula to mix until just combined. Transfer the cake batter into a cake pan and bake for 30 minutes until a cake tester (such as tooth pick) inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan onto a cooling rack. Let it cool completely. Approximate1-1/2 hours.
- Break the cake into pieces. Blend in a food processor until fine crumbs forms. Pour yogurt into the processor and pulse again.
- Wear disposable kitchen gloves, divide the cake-yogurt dough into 15 pieces, and roll each ball between palms to form smooth balls. Use your thumb to push a cone shaped cavity into the center of each ball that can hold the fresh cherry filling. Fill in cherry and gently pinch the opening of the dough together to close around the cherry stem. Place the cake balls onto a parchment paper or baking mat lined baking dish and freeze the cake balls for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the baking chocolate into small chunks and then place the chunks into a microwave-proof bowl. Heat in microwave for 50 seconds and stir every 10 seconds. When the chocolate is melted, add the remaining chocolate shell ingredients and stir until smooth. It should be thick and somewhat runny.
- Hold the cherry stem and dip each cake ball into the chocolate until completely covered. Lift the ball out and let the extra chocolate drip for 2 seconds. Carefully place the chocolate-coated cake ball back onto the lined dish. Refrigerate until the chocolate shell is hardened. Store in refrigerator and serve cold. These cake bites can be stored in freezer for up to 3 days.