The classic cake with a modern design. Black Forest cake is usually decorated with whipped cream and chocolate decoration in any form. This recipe is for a chocolate cake based cake, but there are many different versions of black Black Forest cake. My grandmother's recipe is made just with eggs, powdered sugar and ground nuts. You find it at the end of this post.
Sweet cherries, a moist chocolate cake, fresh whipped cream and kirsch spirit - these are the key ingredients for this delicious black Black Forest cake
Traditional with whipped cream frosting
Black Forest cake is made with whipped cream frosting. Usually it is stabilized with lots of powdered sugar which make it rather sweet. I prefer to mix in gelatin to make sure it holds up without making it too sweet. To make stabilized whipped cream soak gelatin in water. If you are using gelatin sheets you can just cover it with cold water. If you have powdered gelatin use 2 tbsp of water for each tsp of gelatin. Soak it for about 5 minutes.
Then make it liquid using the microwave. Warm it in the microwave for about 8 seconds. When you stir it it should be nice and liquid. without any lumps. If it did not melt completely microwave it for another 3 to 5 seconds. It is important not to let gelatin cook as it would loose its gelation properties. Then mix the melted gelatin with some whipped cream before adding it into the big bowl of whipped cream to avoid lumps of gelatin. Mix it in quickly and whip it until stiff.
Black Forest Chocolate Cake
Ingredients for 3 8-inch layers
1 3/4 cups (310 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (80 g) cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups (400 g) sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) butter milk
1 cup (240 ml) coffee
1/4 cup (60 ml) kirsch liquor
For the stabilized whipped cream:
3 cups (720 ml) heavy cream, very cold
1 cup (130 g) powdered sugar
5 sheets gelatin or 5 tsp powdered gelatin
For the cherry filling:
3 cups (630 g) fresh sweet cherries, halved
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
3 tbsp corn starch
For the chocolate ganache:
1/4 cup (120 ml) heavy cream, hot
1/2 cup (85 g) chocolate chips
8 cherries for decoration
In a big mixing bowl combine eggs, salt, buttermilk, oil and sugar. Mix with a hand mixer until foamy and lighter in color. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder. Mix on low until almost combined, then add the hot coffee. Mix until smooth.
Divide between three greased and lined 8 inch baking pans. Bake at 350 °F for about 22 to 25 minutes. Insert a skewer to test if the cake is baked completely. Let the layers cool on a cooling grid. After 4 minutes take them out of the baking pan and let them cool on a parchment paper on a cooling grid.
To make the filling use a medium sized pot and add cornstarch, sugar and water. Mix it until smooth. Then cut the cherries in half and remove the seed. Add half of the cherries to the pot and place the pot on a stove top. Heat it at medium heat until it comes to a simmer, mix it every few seconds to avoid burning. Let it cook for about 3 minutes. When it is nice and thick add the rest of the cherries and mix it under. Set aside until needed.
For the stabilized whipped cream soak gelatin in cold water. If you are using granulated gelatin let it bloom in 10 tbsp water for 5 minutes. Use a tall mixing bowl or measuring cup and add the very cold heavy cream. It helps if you place the heavy cream for a few minutes in the freezer before whipping it. Add powdered sugar and whip it with a whip attachment until soft peaks form. Remove water from the gelatin sheets and place them in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave them for about 8 seconds then stir it. If it is not completely melted microwave it for about 3 seconds more. Stir it and combine it with about 1/3 cup of whipped cream. Then add it to the rest of the whipped cream and mix it in quickly to avoid any lumps. Mix it with the hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form. Place it in the fridge until needed. If it softened up a bit just whip it for about 2 minutes and it will become stiff again.
To decorate the cake, place the bottom layer on a plate and soak it with a bit of kirsch liquor. Spread half of the cherry filling on top and smooth it. Cover it with whipped cream and smooth it. Add the second cake layer and repeat the steps. Then apply the last layer and cover the cake with whipped cream on top and its side. Smooth it out and let it cool in the fridge for about 40 minutes.
Prepare the dark chocolate ganache while the cake is resting in the fridge. Heat heavy cream in a small sauce pan. Cut chocolate into small pieces and add it to a small bowl or measuring cup. When the heavy cream is hot to the touch pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for 3 minutes, then whisk it until it comes together. It should have a smooth consistency but not be too runny. Let it cool for about 5 minutes before transferring it into a piping bottle. Then decorate the cake with the ganache drip on its sides and on its top if desired. Simply fill the top with ganache and spread it with a spatula.
Decorate the cake with whipped cream and fresh cherries.
My grandmothers Black Forest cake recipe calls for 5 eggs, 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar and 2 1/2 cups almond meal. Simply whip the eggs with powdered sugar until nice and foamy. Mix in the almond meal with a spatula, fill into 8 inch baking pan and bake it at 350 °F for about 45 minutes. Cut the cake layers two times