Sunday, November 13, 2011

Black Forest Cake

Remember about a year ago when I said I was going to post a Black Forest Cake and then I didn't do it? I ended up making that cake between midnight and 2am for a function the next day and was so rushed I didn't take photos or anything. I know.  I'm kinda flakey sometimes.  Sorry.

But then it was Mum's birthday yesterday and my brother (very accurately) posited that she would want a Black Forest Cake.  I had already volunteered to make the birthday cake, so I got a second chance!  I used a different recipe this time, taking one from the BBC website.  And wow! Wowowowow.  The thing that made this cake amazing was, in my opinion, the quality of the actual cake.  And the thing that made the cake so amazingly dense and chocolatey was the calibre of the cocoa - proper Dutch cocoa.  I am not usually a massive bowl licker, but this cake mix was so delicious that I scraped it clean with my finger and then my tongue.

So that is my advice to you.  Make this cake with the best cocoa you can find.  Clean your finger and flex your tongue.  You won't be sorry.

Ingredients - for the cake:
  • 340 g unsalted butter
  • 340 g castor sugar
  • 240g self raising flour
  • 100g cocoa
  • 6 eggs
For the filling and icing:
  • 1 tub cream
  • 1 large jar morello cherries in syrup
  • Big splash of Kirsch
  • 100 g dark cooking chocolate

Heat the oven to 170 degrees, and grease and line a 20cm cake tin.  Using the right size tin is important, as you want the cake to have enough height to be able to slice it into layers later on.

With beaters, cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time.  Sift the flour and cocoa and using a metal spoon, fold into the mixture.

Scoop into the cake tin.  This mixture is so moussey and thick it will sit in the tin, so take a spatula or knife and spread it evenly into a cakey shape.  THEN LICK EVERYTHING THE COCOA HAS TOUCHED.

Place in the oven.  The original recipe said bake for 35 or 40 minutes, but at 40 minutes my cake was still super wobbly.  I ended up cooking it for just over an hour, and moved the rack to a higher position after about 50 minutes.  Next time, I'll set the timer for 50 minutes and check it every five minutes until it's perfect.  Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for five minutes.  Then continue to cool on a cake rack for another five to 10 minutes.

While the cake is baking prepare the ganache icing.  Pour half the cream into a saucepan and scald until almost boiling.  Then put the chocolate in the cream and take off the heat, stirring continuously until mixed through.  Then put in the fridge to cool.

Next pour out about 3/4 cup of syrup off the cherries into a saucepan and add a generous splash of Kirsch.  I didn't want my cake to taste too boozy so I cooked off a little of the Kirsh for a few minutes. Then put this aside to cool too.

Once the cake is cooled on the rack, slice into thirds.  Then spoon the cherry syrup mixture evenly over the three cake slices.  Then allow the syrup to sink in while you prepare the remaining cream by whipping it with a tablespoon of icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence.

Now for the assembly!  Spread half the cream over the base of the cake.  Then take half the cherries, squeeze out any excess juice and spread them over the cream.  Then place the next layer of cake on and repeat the layering.  Once you've placed the top on the cake, press down gently on the whole cake with your hands to firmly set it all together.

Take the chocolate mix from the fridge and stir it up with a knife, then spread this over the cake too.  Finally, grate some remaining cooking chocolate over the ganache, and place the cake in the fridge for the icing to set.

Mum will approve.

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