I know I’ve posted a black forest cake attempt before, but this one follows a different recipe for the chocolate sponge and look, this time I have fresh cherries on my cake so it looks like a proper black forest! 🙂
Hello hello! I hope that the new year has started well for everyone! If not, that’s ok too. You have the the whole year to better it. 🙂 It’s currently a very toasty summer here, so that also means cherries are at their prettiest and freshest to buy and eat. Black forest cake is one of my parents’ favourites and they asked me to make one when our relatives came over for a new year lunch.
When I’m making a cake for a rather large party and I want to make sure that everyone gets at least one slice should they want a piece, I sometimes like to use the decoration as a guideline. For example, there were 15 people (including 2 children) that day, so 15 cherries on top it was.
As you can see I really didn’t do anything fancy to decorate this cake yet I think it turned out rather pretty. I really love my dark reds, so I particularly like how the cherries look against the cream. For the chocolate shavings I generally use dark chocolate, reasons being I like the darker colour and that dark chocolate is not as sweet, but hey when you’re the baker, the choice is yours!
It has only occurred to me just now but this cake is really the cake of three Cs: Chocolate, Cream and Cherries. (How did I just realise this now??) and it’s a very nice combination indeed.
For a while now I’ve been trying out a lot of cake recipes that don’t require butter in the batter. My reason for this is because a lot of the time I have to make my cakes in advance (i.e. they might be in the fridge for a few hours before serving) and I find no matter how much simple syrup I add, my cake layers end up much too firm for my liking. When you make a cake that contains whipped cream in the summer and it is not going to be eaten immediately, you don’t really have a choice but to put it in the fridge.
A bit of digging around the internet led me to Elena of As Easy as Apple Pie and her Chocolate Italian Sponge Cake, and I think from now on this will be my go-to chocolate sponge.
Her recipe yields a cake that is delicious on its own, but while it remains firm enough when cooled to slice into layers, it still remains springy and soft even after it has been stacked to make a cake and put into the fridge. What’s especially good is that it is simple to make and her recipe does not call for any fancy or fidgety ingredients that you might have to go out of your way to buy. If you’re looking to make this cake in a different size, Elena has also listed the amount of ingredients needed on her page 🙂
*Added 17 Jan 2016: I think when making sponge cakes the type of flour you use is important, as it will play an important part in how soft and airy-fairy your cake will eventually turn out. No one wants a ‘tough’ sponge, and this is where using cake flour will help. Don’t fret if you do not have cake flour on hand because you can easily make your own by substituting out 2 tablespoons of plain flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch from every 1 cup of plain flour you use. And then it’s just a matter of sifting the cornstarch in with the plain flour very thoroughly. If you’d like to understand how this combination works,have a read of Joy the Baker’s post on the science of it all: Baking 101.
As I have mentioned before in another post, my family isn’t too keen on too much cream, so I generally use just enough to pipe and cover the cake. I usually find that about 600ml of whipping cream is enough for me, but if you’re a cream fan, go ahead and add about 300ml more cream and 15 grams powdered sugar to whip!
For all the curious bunnies, l’intérieur de mon gâteau:
So there you have it! Another Black forest cake attempt from me and I am personally quite satisfied with my efforts. If you try making this cake following the recipe listed below then I’d love to hear how you went! If there is anything you don’t understand or didn’t work, please feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment below 🙂 I will get back to you in a jiffy! Thank you for visiting and may your baking adventures be successful for the 2016 year:)
350 ml (12 ounce) jar of Morello Cherries in syrup
4 tablespoons Kirsch or Cherry Brandy (optional)
25 grams (1/8 cup) granulated white sugar
5 eggs at room temperature
150 grams granulated sugar
120 grams cake flour
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
Whipped Cream Frosting
600 ml (2 1/2 cups) heavy whipping cream (double cream)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (35 grams) icing sugar
Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid. Halve cherries, making sure all pips are gone. If using brandy, place the cherries in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons Kirsch. Cover cherries with plastic wrap and set aside. Place 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the reserved cherry syrup in a small saucepan, along with the sugar, and heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; if using cherry brandy add 2 tablespoons to mixture and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (338 degrees F).
Butter and flour or spray with baking spray a 22 cm (9 inch) pan.
Beat the sugar and eggs until very fluffy and pale yellow (about 15 minutes on medium/high speed, or mixture has tripled in volume).
Sift the flour and cocoa powder on top of the egg mixture, a little at a time, and fold it gently with a spatula or wooden spoon, from bottom to top.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Don’t smooth the top or bang the pan on the counter, leave it as it is.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Don’t open the oven for the first 20 minutes as this will cause the cake to collapse.)
Turn off the oven but leave the chocolate Italian sponge cake inside for at least 10 minutes. You may use a wooden spoon to prop open the oven door slightly to help the cake cool slowly. After removing the cake from the oven, continue to let it rest for another 10 minutes before turning it out. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting into desired amount of layers.
Whipped Cream Frosting
In your mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and icing sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and wire whisk in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, then beat the mixture just until stiff peaks form.
Assemble Cake: Using a sharp knife, cut the sponge, horizontally, into two layers. Turn over the top layer of the cake (top of cake becomes bottom) and place on your serving plate.
Brush the cake layer with 1/4 cup (60 ml) cherry syrup.
Mix in the halved morello cherries with 3/4 to 1 cup of whipped cream before spreading it onto the moistened cake layer.
Place other half of cake layer onto the cherry filling and brush the second sponge layer with remaining syrup. Remember to reserve one cup (240 ml) of whipped cream (for piping) and spread the remaining cream over top and sides of cake. Place reserved cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe rosettes on top of cake.
Decorate the sides and top of the cake with dark chocolate shavings. Cover and refrigerate cake for several hours (preferably overnight) before serving. Place cherries or other fresh fruit on top of the cake before serving.