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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Forest Cake

Doesn't he look happy ? This was my dad's request for his birthday, it has become something of an ongoing challenge over the years, he thinks of this as the ultimate birthday cake. 

Many years ago there was a Polish restaurant in our home town that served a Black Forest cake. It was good, but it was also commercial (although I can't convince my dad of that, and the owner, of course, wasn't going to admit it either). I have made simpler versions of this with pie filling in a flat pan, because, quite frankly, I hate making layer cakes. The closest I ever came to the commercial version was probably 10 years ago, when I made a pretty sloppy one that tasted really good. My skills have improved over the last several years, so I decided to step up and take the challenge again this year. 

Black Forest Cake is really more technique than anything. It is time consuming, for sure. So, when I started running out of steam at the point where piping on whipped cream was required, my lovely husband Ray stepped in, frosted the entire thing and garnished the cake with a cute smiley face. Hooray for teamwork! 

Black Forest Cake 
1 chocolate cake  recipe (you can use your favorite recipe, even a good box mix will do here)
2 cans sour cherries, drain off 1/2 cup of the juice
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cherry brandy
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vanilla
Make your chocolate cake according to the directions, and bake in two 8 inch round cake pans. Let cool, and slice in half. While cake is baking, place cherries in a sauce pan, and add sugar and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine the reserved cherry juice and corn starch, and gently stir into the cherries. Simmer the cherries over low heat, stirring frequently until thickened, remove from heat and cool.

When you are ready to assemble the cake, whip together the cream, powdered sugar and white vanilla until stiff peaks form. Place one slice of the cake on a serving platter, brush lightly with cherry brandy, and then spread on a thin layer of the whipped cream. Spread a layer of cherries on top of cream. Top with a second layer of cake, and repeat this process. Top with one more layer, and brush with cherry brandy (you will have one layer left, which you will use for a garnish). Don't worry too much about crumbs in the whipped cream, because you are going to add a layer of them onto the outside to help cover that up !

Spread whipped cream generously along the outside of the cake, making sure you leave enough to pipe an edge on the top and bottom. Crumble the remaining layer of cake, and press the crumbs onto the outside of the cake. Using a pastry bag, pipe and edge along the top of the cake (see photo) and around the bottom. Spread remaining cherry mixture into the middle of the cake. You can add a decorative touch (like a smiley face!) to the top, if desired. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving for the cake to set.

1 comment:

  1. Awww! Lisa that's really cute! Ray is a very talented cake decorator. :) Wish your dad a Happy Birthday from Peggy and me and a big hello to your mom. Peg and I miss them. They're wonderful people and friends, as are you.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!