And I present to you my black forest cake…
My sister called me almost two weeks ago to ask me if I can make her husband’s favorite cake, the black forest, for his birthday. Of course I had to say yes! I have been wanting a cake project for a very long time so I jumped with enthusiasm!
It’s a cake I have never made before and never thought of making! I immediately searched for different recipes and I settled on a simple-looking recipe for the chocolate sponge cake from here. My biggest problem were the cherries. What was I supposed to substitute the kirsch with? Anyway I went grocery shopping to find inspiration and shop for my trial cake. I saw these candied cherries so I figured those must do the job. I went home and made a sugar syrup and then I soaked the candied cherries in the syrup, then used the cherries for both decoration and filling and the syrup to soak the cake layers. The end result was just too sweet but the cake layers were perfect!
A week later, it was time for me to make the actual birthday cake. Again, I went grocery shopping to buy ingredients that were missing and saw fresh cherries! I told myself I will figure it out when I get home.
So this is what I did…
Halve and pit the cherries (about 700 grams) and then poach them in water (about 1 cup) for 10 minutes, then remove the cherries using a slotted spoon. The water turns a nice pinkish color and then add 1/2 cup sugar to make sugar syrup. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until it is syrupy. Remove from heat and then add the cherries again to soak in the syrup. This made all the difference in the world. The cherries were soft and had the right sweetness. It went perfectly with the chocolate sponge and the cream.
Bake the cake layers as directed here but reduce the quantity of sugar to 1 1/4 cups.
Cool cake layers for 1-2 hours.
Prepare the whipping cream.
Mix on high speed, 3 cups whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and seeds from 1 vanilla pod (alternatively you can use 2 teaspoons vanilla essence). If you wish, add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar. It is supposed to make the cream keep its shape longer. There are some disputes online about this but I used it anyway and the cream stayed for hours!
Whip the cream until you get this consistency…
Make the chocolate curls using a coarse grater
Drain the cherries from the syrup and reserve the syrup to soak the sponge layers.
Have everything ready in front of you and bring your serving dish. Place the first layer of chocolate sponge on the plate then cover all the space around the cake with aluminum foil to keep the dish clean.
Spread a thin layer of cream then add half of the cherries, then add another layer of cream.
Add the second layer of chocolate sponge and repeat. Add the third layer of cake and soak with the remaining syrup. Cover the entire cake with the remaining cream.
Now make it look pretty…
For optimum taste, leave the cake overnight in the fridge covered so the syrup soaks in the cake layers and the flavors mix together.
24 + hours later…
The Birthday Cake…
I loved loved the cake! Mashallah it was just so perfect! It had all the right combination. It was light, chocolatey and had the right amount of sweetness (after the alterations of course).