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Black forest cake is a German chocolate cake layered with whipped cream and cherries. I made the Indian version of black forest cake, which is easy to bake and put together with ingredients readily available in any pantry or near by supermarket.
I made the cake few days ago for our marriage anniversary. I used a genoise chocolate sponge cake and decorated the cake with freshly whipped heavy cream and canned cherries. I got this recipe from a cooking class I attended years ago in Hyderabad, before I moved to US. I also have a black forest cake recipe from that class. That recipe calls for genoise sponge cake, boiled chocolate frosting and whipped cream. I tweaked the recipe and took the easy route. I baked the sponge cake as per the recipe and used just whipping cream for decorating.
I made a small cake, 6” cake and it was the perfect size for just the two. In fact, that day Mr U skipped lunch and ate only this cake. Though I wasn’t happy with the decoration, the cake tasted amazing! Cake was spongy, moist and melt in the mouth kind.
Though black forest cake is rich with all that whipped cream, the sponge cake itself is almost butterless, with only 1 ½ tbsp of butter, unlike most cake recipes that call for lot of butter. I don’t know why I didn’t bake this sponge cake sooner! This is going to be one of my go to cake recipes from now on. The only tricky part with sponge cake is beating sugar and eggs to right consistency before folding in the flour.
Genoise Chocolate Sponge Cake
- 3 Eggs, room temperature
- 75 grams Sugar
- 75 grams (about ¾ cups) Flour
- 1 ½ tbsp. Cocoa Powder (I used unsweetened cocoa and skip cocoa powder to make a plain sponge cake)
- 1 ½ tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted and at room temperature
- 1 tbsp Milk at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease and flour dust the cake pan(s) and keep aside. I used two 6” cake pans as I wanted two layers. If you do not have two cake pans of same size, bake in one pan and then slice the cake horizontally into two, for a two layer cake.
- Take eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat until thick and creamy. I used my hand held electric beater/mixer and it took about 10 minutes. Yes, you have to beat it that long to get a nice creamy mixture.
- Fold in the flour. Use the fold mode or the lowest setting on the mixer to fold in the flour. Or, using the beater or a wooden spoon, fold in the flour in circular motion.
- Lastly add milk, butter and gently mix.
- Pour the batter into a greased pan(s) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Since I was making a layered cake, I baked in two pans and these cakes were done in 19-20 minutes. If baking in one pan, baking time could be longer.
- Let the cakes cool, run a knife around the cake in the pan, invert the cakes. Cakes are ready to assemble.
- If you are not assembling the cake right away, once the cake cools or after cooling the cakes for 10-15 minutes, remove the cakes from the pans, wrap in a saran or cling wrap, put back the cakes in the pan and keep it on the countertop until ready to frost. If frosting the cake the next day, the cake can be refrigerated. I baked the cakes night before, wrapped in saran wrap and left them on the countertop.
Black Forest Cake
- 6″ Chocolate Cake (I baked the above recipe in two pans for two layers or bake in one 6″ cake and cut to make two layers)
- ¼ cup Sugar Syrup (¼ cup water + 2 tbsp Sugar + ½ – ¾ tsp Instant Coffee (I used Bru) )
- 1 (14 oz) can Pitted Sweet Dark Cherries
- 2-3 tbsp Juices from can of Cherries or can use Apple Juice or Rum
- Chocolate Shaving as need (I used dark chocolate but any chocolate would work. I used a peeler to shave the chocolate)
- ¾ – 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (Used as needed)
- 3 tbsp Confectioners Sugar or Powdered Sugar
- Sugar Syrup – take water and sugar in a saucepan and cook on medium – medium low flame until sugar melts. Add instant coffee, mix and turn off the flame. Let the syrup cool before using.
- Cherries – Open the can of cherries, keep aside some juices, chop some of the cherries into small pieces to fill the heart, cut some cherries into half or smaller to put on cake layers and keep aside some whole cherries to put on the cake. Keep the cherries aside until ready to assemble the cake.
- Whipping Cream – Place the bowl and beaters of the mixer in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes before whipping the cream.
- Create an ice bath by taking some ice cubes in a very large bowl, a bowl large enough to hold the whipping bowl. Pour some water in the ice bowl.
- When ready to whip the cream, remove the bowl from the refrigerator, place it in the ice bath, pour cream in the bowl and whip until soft peaks form. When you lift the beater, peaks should form on the beater.
- Add confectioner’s sugar and whip for few seconds until sugar blends into cream. Or add sugar to cream before whipping. This way need not worry about deflating the cream.
- Assembling the cake – Scrape or slightly cute the top of the cakes to even the surfaces.
- Take two pieces of wax papers and place on a serving platter or cake stand such that the edges of the paper overlap in the middle. When decorating the cake, the mess is on the the wax paper and once the cake is decorated, just pull off the wax paper.
- Place a round board on the middle of the wax paper. I forgot to do this. You can skip it if you don’t have one.
- Place one cake on the wax paper or a card board if using one. Sprinkle some sugar syrup and cherry juice on the bottom cake.
- Spread about ¼ of the whipping cream on the top of the cake.
- Place sliced/halved cherries on whipping cream.
- Place the other slice of cake on cherries.
- Sprinkle sugar syrup and cherries juice on this cake, if you have not already done so.
- Put more cherries slices on the second cake. Or you can fist put a thin layer of whipping cream and then cherries on the cream layer, as we did for the bottom layer.
- Top the cake with whipped cream and spread the cream all round to cover the cake, keeping aside some for piping the edges and on the top of the cake. I whipped 1 cup of heavy cream and had some leftover cream. If one is not calorie conscious, they can use all the cream.
- Sprinkle chocolate shavings around and on top of the cake. I did this step after decorating the cake and left I would have done it before piping cream on top of the cake.
- Take some whipping cream in a piping bag or a ziploc bag, using a star nozzle, pipe it on the cake. I made a star boarder on top of the cake and a heart in the middle, as it was an anniversary cake. One can decorate as they like.
- In the heart, I filled with chopped canned cherries. You can substitute chopped cherries with a fruit jam or a preserve as well.
- Gently pull off the wax paper from beneath the cake.
- Place whole canned cherries around the border. Fresh cherries would be a great idea but it was a bit too late to run to the store, hence used leftover canned cherries. Decorating is not my skill and the idea of putting cherries around the cake was Rajani’s suggestion, when I shared the cake photo on What’sapp. Thanks Rajani! When I started decorating the cake, I had no idea how I wanted to decorated except for the heart idea I borrowed from one of Rajani’s cakes. For some block forest cake decorating idea, do a goole search for the cake and also visit a nearby supermarket bakery section.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This day in 2015: Baby Back Ribs
Events: This goes to this week’s Cooking from Cookbook Challenge.
This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016