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Black Forest Cake

1 May

Black Forest Cake

Rare is the occasion that my co-workers and I can all get together and relax, simply being ourselves.  Work, work, work, and play a little seems to be our motto of late, so when we were able to assemble for a wine and cheese night, I had to make something special to end the night.  Wine, cheese, and toasted baguettes flowed, which made for a fun time.

This Black Forest Cake isn’t the true thing, but it captures the spirit very well.  It is missing the crumb coating and multiple thin layers, but the flavors are all there.  The chocolate cake is all chocolate with only a hint of sweetness.  The billowy clouds of whipped cream picks up the slack.  The cherries are gems waiting to burst.  The cake earned rave reviews at the party, and it has now been added to my very shortlist of go-to recipes, having made it two more times for the cool people in my life.

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

Adapted from Desserts By the Yard
Makes one 2-layer cake

For the cake

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Whipped Cream Filling and Topping

  • 2.5 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and quartered (frozen works well)

To make the cake, place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pain with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Then spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. This is a delicate cake, so preparing the cake pans is highly recommended.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

Place the cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the milk and stir until a smooth paste forms. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Combine the unsweetened chocolate with the coffee in a heatproof bowel set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar, beating until the mixture is light, fluffy, and a creamy white color, about 4 minutes.

Turn the mixer down to medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that the first egg is completely incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl before adding the second one. Add the vanilla and the melted chocolate. At low speed, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the milk and cocoa mixture. When the ingredients are smooth, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Scrape into the prepared pans. Tap the pan lightly on the work surface a few times to get rid of air bubbles. Bake, rotating the pans after the first 10 minutes, for about 20 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and cake pulls away from the sides of the pans. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pans, set on a rack. Invert onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and allow to cool completely.

For the filling and topping, beat the heavy cream and sugar in a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until medium-stiff peaks form.

To assemble the cake, take one cake layer and place on serving dish. Spread about 1/2 of the whipped cream on top. Distribute about 1/2 of the cherries in whatever fashion suits your fancy on top of the whipped cream. Now stack the second cake layer on top. Repeat the process with the whipped cream and cherries. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill before serving.

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