February 5, 2015

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

The last time I made Black Forest cake was maybe 4 or 5 years ago. The urge to make was triggered by a cookbook called The Art Of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer. I borrowed the book after reading so many glowing reviews specially the Black Forest cake which one rater said "the best recipe ever". Well, I didn't try the recipe, returned the book, and rated it 1-star because the recipes are the same ones you can find in many many baking books. The author offers nothing new or revolutionary and I didn't like the endless anecdotes about his childhood, etc. I can't understand why cookbook authors have to talk about their past and the people who influenced them. They should either write a cookbook or a separate memoir, but please don't mix the two. But the most disappointing is the supposed to be great Black Forest Cake. Pfeiffer adds gelatin to both the cherry liqueur syrup and the heavy cream frosting. I'm sorry, but no. The cake shouldn't have gelatin, nah uh.

Anyway, I have had this cake for forever dating back to the late 80s in the Philippines. The Austrian Pastry chef in one of the hotels baked the most delicious and moist cakes I've ever eaten. I remember it very chocolatey but light as a cloud, not too sweet nor boozy, had the right amount of cherries, simply iced with unsweetened heavy cream, and garnished with a few, not tons, of chocolate curls. 

I have also made it a few times, the cake adapted from the Hershey's cocoa container, substituting black cocoa for a quarter cup of natural cocoa powder. I use either fresh or bottled black cherries and cherry liqueur. 

Black Forest Cake
extremely dark chocolate cake
1¾ cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup natural cocoa powder
¼ cup black cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup light olive oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

cherry liqueur syrup
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup fresh cherry juice or water
½ cup cherry liqueur

about 2 cups macerated black cherries, halved; leave a few whole for the top
2½ cups heavy cream, whipped

dark chocolate shavings or curls
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • Lightly oil and line two 9-inch round pans with parchment paper. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and mix with a rubber spatula. 
  • Divide into the prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until cake test is done. 
  • Transfer onto a wire rack and leave for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely. 
  • If preferred, slice each into 2 discs or leave as is. Transfer one layer on a cake board or plate. Brush generously with cherry liqueur syrup. Arrange cherry halves on top of layer and cover with a third of the whipped cream. Place the second layer on top. Repeat brushing, layering cherries, and frosting. Place the remaining whipped cream in a disposable pastry bag with a large star tip. Make a few round swirls on the edges of the top of the cake and put a whole cherry on each swirl. Garnish sides of cake with chocolate curls or shavings. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Black Forest Cake


sylvie said...

Love cakes, love chocolate more than I should and Black forest cake is one of my favorites... Your chocolate cake looks terrific, so smooth and airy and so CHOCOLATE! Will try this version :)

Lulu said...

This was the most popular cake in Manila when I was growing up in the late 70s, early 80s? Wasnt it? Who else remember this little tidbit?

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