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Indulge Yourself


By Melanie Mitchell

With the holiday season approaching, people have a tendency to stress over the perfect food to offer their guests. And, stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS! Here are a few desserts that are absolutely delicious and stress-free to make... each with a light liquor kick. One of my favorite desserts of all-time is the Black Forest Cake. This cake is so decadent that once you make it, folks will have a difficult time resisting a slice. Chocolate truffles are another small treat that is enjoyed during the holidays (or any time). Those little chocolate balls are a perfect size for any occasion and are full of flavor. Last, but certainly not least, is the Amaretto Torte. This torte is so light and flavorful that you will be indulging in every last bite.

Black Forest Cake


Chocolate Cake:

2 cups flour

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 pinch of salt

1 ½ cups milk

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1 28 ounce can of cherries without seeds

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons Kirsch liquor


1 QT heavy cream

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Shaved chocolate or mini chocolate chips and cherries for decoration.


Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease two eight inch round cake pans and set aside. Sift all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Combine milk, vegetable oil, vinegar, eggs and vanilla together and combine slowly to dry ingredients till smooth. Pour into cake pan and bake till middle comes out clear when testing. This should take between 30 and 45 minutes. Drain cherries and pour into bowl with sugar and Kirsch liquor and let set in refrigerator overnight with cake once cooled down. 

When building the cake, whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla, then set aside. Put cherry filling in between layers of chocolate cake, then cover the cake with the whipped cream topping. Garnish with shaved chocolate or mini chocolate chips and cherries. Keep in refrigerator. 

Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles


1 cup heavy cream

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Powdered sugar or cocoa powder for coating


Put heavy cream in pan over stove top and bring to boil. While cream is warming up, cut chocolate in small pieces and put in a bowl. Once cream has reached the boiling point, pour over chocolate and stir until smooth and lump free. Add Grand Marnier to the chocolate mixture and let cool down. Once the chocolate has reached room temperature, refrigerate for about 30 minutes to an hour.  When chocolate mixture firms up, whip chocolate mixture until it looks like a firm whipping cream.

With a spoon, pull 1 tablespoon of the chocolate ganache for each truffle. Roll and coat with either powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Keep in cool area.

Amaretto Torte


8 ounces almond paste

4 ounces unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons Amaretto Liquor

5 eggs

½ cup cake flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

Toasted almonds and powdered sugar for decoration


Process the almond paste in a food processor until it forms small pieces. Beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy then add almond paste and Amaretto liquor. Add eggs slowly, one at a time and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients slowly to sugar mix. Bake at 325 degrees for about 50 to 60 minutes. Garnish with toasted almond and powdered sugar.