BLACK FOREST CAKE




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Black Forest Cake was a staple when I was growing up (much to my dismay…read on). You know, the grocery store kind with the nuclear red maraschino cherries? My mom loooooved that cake and always got it for her birthday, and often at other times throughout the year as well. This was epically disappointing to me. Why on earth would you ruin a perfectly delicious cake with those sickly sweet, sticky, artificial tasting cherries? Whyyyyy? Needless to say, I ate around them, but they totally tainted the cake and frosting. Sad times. Now that I think about it, it’s probably been a good 20-25 years since I’ve had that cake.

I’ve talked about my disdain for maraschino cherries before, and that feeling still holds true to this day. I have caved and used them as garnish because, I will admit, they look pretty and just go with certain desserts, but they get plucked right off before eating the cake.
Thing is, I actually love cherries. Real cherries. Fresh cherries. They are one of my favourite summer seasonal fruits. So, I set off to re-create the decades old Black Forest Cake my way.

INGREDIENTS
Chocolate Cake:
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Cherry Liqueur Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cherry liqueur

Whipped Cream Frosting:
  • 3 cup whipping cream cold
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • Chocolate Bark:
  • 250 g good quality dark chocolate chopped

Assembly:
  • 2 1/2 cups cherries pitted and cut in half
  • 1 bar dark chocolate for shavings (optional)
  • cherries

INSTRUCTIONS
Chocolate Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease two 8" round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.
  2. Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in slowly as not to cook the eggs).
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
  5. Pour evenly into prepared pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.
  6. Bake for 45 mins or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. 
  7. Cool 10 minutes in the pans then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  8. Cherry Liqueur Syrup:
  9. Place sugar and water into a small pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 min then remove from heat. Stir in cherry liqueur and allow to cool completely.
Whipped Cream Frosting:
  1. Whip cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks. Ideally in a cold bowl with a cold whisk.
  2. Chocolate Bark:
  3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in 20 second bursts in the microwave.
  4. Using a large offset spatula, spread melted chocolate in a thin layer on a large sheet of parchment.
  5. Roll up from the short side of the parchment. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  6. Unroll to create chocolate bark. 
Assembly:
  1. Cut each cake layer in half horizontally.
  2. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Brush generously with cherry syrup. 
  3. Top with approximately 1 cup whipped cream and spread evenly. Top with approximately 1 cup of cherries and gently press them into the whipped cream. Repeat with remaining layers and frost the outside of the cake.
  4. Decorate with chocolate bark, chocolate shavings, rosettes, and cherries if desired.
NOTES
Chocolate Bark tutorial here and here.

More Deliciouse Recipe Black Forest Cake @ livforcake.com

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