This is one of my favourite cakes and one I have been planning to make for ages. I just couldn’t gather enough time to bake the cake and go with the long process of frosting, assembling and decoration. So it was procrastinated for days, weeks and months. Now that it is done, though with a few pitfalls, I feel so much rewarded. It was definitely a long process. Phew! Looking at the finished cake I feel as content as at seeing my younger son smile. He has just turned three months and has started smiling.. He lights the entire home with the mere curve of his mouth... :)
The original recipe of the Black forest cake or Gateau evolved from Germany in the 1915. It was invented by Joseph Keller. Typically it consists of several layers of chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. These layers are topped with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings. Traditionally the cake is saturated with Kirschwasser (cherry brandy). I needed an alcohol free version and did the sprinkling with the syrup of canned maraschino cherries and it tasted just fine. As the entire process is a bit time consuming, it is wiser to split the process between two days… say, bake the cake, do the filling and assembling the first day... make the chocolate shavings and go with the frosting and decoration the next day. Otherwise you are sure to get pissed off by the end of the day. I have been there and I must warn you it was quite tedious.
If you are planning to make a cake of four layers here is an option. Bake two cakes and cut them horizontally with a serrated knife or using a thread. Then assemble it one by one over the other. Or if you are making a cake of three layers bake a cake with the given recipe and bake another using half the quantity of ingredients. Now split the first cake as said earlier and assemble them one over the other followed by the other thinner cake. I must confess that I made only two layers to my cake as I was too lazy to bake two cakes ;) To make the frosting and filling double whipped cream is just fine. For the chocolate shavings you can use any kind of chocolate according to your taste but it is better to use dark chocolate around 60 to 70 percent dark, to get the real dark color. Dark chocolate is bitter to taste but you hardly notice it as you are going to eat it with the whipped cream which is sweet.
This recipe is basically an eggless recipe which uses condenced milk and noo.. eggs! Now, doesn't that make it more desirable to gobble?
Black Forest Cake Recipe
Things you need:
Sweetened condensed milk - 400g
Softened butter - 100g
All purpose flour - 175g (1 ¾ cup)
Coco powder - 25g (3 to 4 heaped tbsp)
Baking powder - 1tsp
Soda bicarbonate - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Aerated soda - 1 cup (150 ml)
For soaking and filling:
Cherry syrup - 20 ml
Whipped cream - 200g
Glazed cherries - 50g
Maraschino cherries, drained - 100g
Whipped cream - 200g
Black chocolate (60 to 70 percent) -50 g
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Grease an 8 inch diameter cake tin with butter. Dust with flour and keep aside.
- Sieve together the flour, coco powder, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl and keep aside.It is better to seive the flour at least three times. This is to aerate the flour to help form a light spongy cake.
- To prepare the cake batter, add sweetened condensed milk to a bowl containing softened butter. Beat the two together thoroughly. Add vanilla essence to the mixture.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour mixture while beating continuously in low speed. Add some of the aerated soda while beating. Keep adding the flour mixture and aerated soda alternately to get a batter of smooth consistency. Do not over beat.Over beating results in a heavy cake rather than a soft and fluffy sponge.
- Once the batter is ready, pour it into the prepared baking tin immediately. Bake it in the pre heated oven at 180 C for 35 to 40 min or till the cake is done. Remove the cake from the oven and loosen the cake sides using a knife. Keep for 5 minutes and turn the cake upside down on a wire wrack. Allow the cake to cool down.
- Now cut the cake horizontally into two halves with a serrated knife or thread. Drain the cherries’ syrup into a bowl and brush the cake halves with the syrup. Take care not to over soak the cake or it will become soggy.
- Whip the cream into the desired consistency or until it forms peeks.
- Make the chocolate shavings by sliding the side of the chocolate bar on a vegetable slicer or vegetable peeler or with a knife. Make sure the chocolate is at room temperature to do this. Take care not to touch the chocolate shavings with your hands as it would melt. You can make the chocolate shavings before hand and store it in the refrigerator.
- Place the whipped cream over one of the cake halves and top it with sliced cherries. Place the other cake half on top of it to sandwich the cream and cherries. Top with whipped cream. Cover the sides of the cake with the cream. Then sprinkle the chocolate shavings over the sides using a spoon. Then sprinkle it on top of the cake. Transfer the remaining whipped cream into an icing bag and pipe it onto the edges of the cake through a star nozzle to form rosettes. Decorate the cherries on top of the rosettes. Refrigerate covered for at least two hours. Serve after chilling.
- The cake tastes best if you eat it after keeping for two days for the cake to absorb the cherry flavour.