Baked Goodies

Forever popular: Black Forest Cake

7:19 PM

Another cake post? You must be wondering what's happening. Well nothing much, except for the fact that this time of the year holds many special occasions in my family. So while we celebrate our anniversary on 28th Jan, only a few days later - 9th Feb, happens to be my husband's b'day. And we all know what a special day 14th Feb is. So yes, its quite a sweet time of the year indeed. And I'm more than happy to try out different cake varieties and add them to my learnings as a home baker. So after the red velvet cake, here's the black forest cake!

Many a times I might have mentioned my husband's non - picky and non-demanding foodie preferences. So I rarely get any suggestion or demands for any menu planning or any occasions. But strangely for cakes, he always held Black Forest Cake in the top spot, inspite of the fact that he isn't much of a chocolate lover. 

I guess this love for black forest cake, as a celebration or b'day cake from its pride of place in the Indian pastry shops. So yes during our growing up years, almost most of the birthday cakes belonged to this category itself. And also the combination of chocolate sponge with cherries and fluffy vanilla cream seemed to be a winning combination for all tastebuds.

Thankfully Indian pastry shops have expanded their offerings now, so that my son and his generation would get lot more variety to choose from. And if he doesn't demand, his mom would surely attempt at all varieties at all given occasions.

So this was one of those rare occasions, wherein I wasn't raking my brain on what to bake till the last moment. I knew much in advance that it had to be this and hopefully I didn't disappoint him. As many of you might be knowing black forest cake originated in Germany as black forest gateau, and is one of the most popular cakes worldwide. Though its universally made with layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream, maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings; yet the use of rum or alcohol varies from country to country or as per personal preference.

Since I was making this cake only for family, I decided to make only 1 chocolate genoise, which when cut into 2, gave me an 8' 2 layered cake. And though honestly I was quite skeptical about getting a very thin cake, yet with the cherry and cream filling and frosting on top, it was of decent or at least a presentable layered cake. Also keeping my son in mind, I didn't use any rum/ alcohol but in fact used the cherry syrup for moistening the cake. Goes without saying that it saved me from making any syrup as well!!

Black Forest Cake Recipe
For an 8" 2 layer cake, it involves:
1 Chocolate genoise recipe
1 can pitted cherries - 430 gm/ 250 drained or 250 gm fresh cherries
1 cup whipped vanilla cream
1/4 cup sugar syrup 
1/3 cup chocolate shavings for decoration

Chocolate genoise recipe - Yields 1 8"/9" chocolate genoise/ Italian sponge cake
(Based on Rose Levy Bernabaum's recipe via passionateaboutbaking)

Bittersweet Chocolate - 120 gm, roughly chopped
Water - 3 oz
Eggs - 4, room temperature
Sugar - 1/2 cup 

All Purpose Flour - 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Cornflour - 2 tbsp

  1. Preheat oven at 180C and line the bottom of an 8"/9" round pan. Grease and flour it and keep it aside.
  2. Add chopped chocolate and water in a pan and heat on medium heat, while stirring constantly; till it thickens to a pudding consistency. About 5-6 mins. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  3. Sift both the flours in a bowl and set aside. Mix it lightly with a fork.
  4. Now, in a large bowl beat the eggs and sugar with a hand or stand mixer on high, for about 6-7 mins till it triples in volume. Add vanilla and beat it as well.
  5. Now fold in the flour mixture in 2 batches, till it disappears completely. Then fold the chocolate mixture and pour the batter in the prepared cake tin
  6. Bake the cake for 25-35 mins, or till the skewer comes clean from the centre of the cake. Let it cool completly before inverting the cake.
  7. Keep in fridge for an hour or so before frosting it.

Cherry Filling
Cherry - 250 gm
Sugar - 1/4 cup appx.

Simply drain the cherries of all liquid (and preserve that) and if not pitted, do it now. Then toss it in about 1/4 cup sugar (less or more) as per sweetness of the cherries. Then place it in the freezer to help it in retaining its shape. I guess I didn't do it long enough and that's why my cherries were not firm enough. Don't forget to defrost it in advance before using it.

When ready to use, keep 8-10 cherries aside for decoration and chop the rest of it small pieces. Drain it again to avoid your cake getting soggy.

Vanilla Whipped cream recipe
Whipping Cream - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Vanilla - 1 tbsp 

Mix all three in a bowl and place it in fridge for 30-35 mins along with the hand mixer attachments. Then beat it on high for 6-7 mins till peaks form.

Assembling the cake:
  1. Once the baked genoise is sufficiently cooled, cut it horizontally with a serrated knife into two. Brush away all the crumbs.
  2. Brush both the layers of the cake on both the sides with the cherry syrup/ sugar syrup/ kirsch to moisten the cake.
  3. Cut a cardboard of a bigger diameter (in my case it was a rectangle) than the cake to use as placemat. You can cover it with colored paper to make attractive. Or use any serving dish. Keep tissues on the sides of the dish to collect the crumbs/ cream. Don't cover the whole base of plate, so that you can remove the tissues later.
  4. Place one of the moistened cake layers. Take out 1/2 of the whipped cream and keep it aside for topping. 
  5. Spread a very thin layer of cream on the bottom layer from 1/2 of the cream. Place a  generous amount of chopped cherries on the cake, avoiding a thin border. Take a small scoop of cream and spread it on top of the cherries, to seal it.
  6. Now place the 2nd cake layer on top of it. And then do a thin coating of cream all over to seal the cake completely and hide all the crumbs.
  7. Now from the cream kept aside, make a thicker frosting all around. Use chocolate shavings to cover the sides.
  8. Pipe the top, the way you want with swirls or rosettes. and complete the look with the saved cherries on the top.
Note: For a 4 layer cake to serve 10-12 people, simply double the recipe. Also ensure that the flour gets completely dissapeared in the batter. Lastly be generous in moistening the cake.

Sharing this with Valentines Special, Sweet Somethings by Tickling Palates, Valentines Day Event, Sweet Love by Vardhini, Let's Cook for Valentines by Simply Sensational Food, Valentine fest  Serve with Love by Sizzling Tastebuds and Dish for loved ones by Srav's Culinary Concepts.

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