Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Black forest cake


The sky hasn't been very accommodating lately. Some days the sun shines like an intensified beam through a magnifying glass, casting harsh shadow and blinding whites in every photo I tried to take. And then on other days the clouds smothered the sky, so tightly woven that not even the smallest slither of sunlight could seep through rendering the house in darkness even with every curtain parted painfully open. Although I baked and sautéed, I could not take a decent photo of anything produced in my kitchen until one short moment when I hastily pulled a half eaten Black Forest cake from the fridge and managed to take two snaps before whatever remnants of greyed light turned to dust.

The first time I had black forest cake I was in the 7th Grade and I made it with my two best friends for our German class. We had my father video tape us whilst we baked away in the kitchen, using a packet of Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake mix as we aimed for ease over quality back then. I can't exactly recall what it tasted like, but I remember not being overly impressed by it.

Fast forward 13 years (man that sounds like a long time) and here I am, making it for the second time, from scratch, with a completely changed palette. Black Forest Cake Take #2.

1969 Black Forest Cake
recipe from Gourmet Traveller

Serves 8-10

Ingredients
300g dark chocolate (63 percent cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
1½ tablespoons kirsch
155g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
6 eggs
55g dried breadcrumbs
250g almond meal
155g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
6 eggs
55g dried breadcrumbs
250g almond meal
300ml thickened cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300gm canned pitted sour (mrello) cherries, drained
chocolate curls, to serve

Method

Combine 130g chocolate, kirsch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted, then stir until smooth. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together in an elec
ctric mixer for 5 minutes or until pale and creamy, add eggs one at a time, allowing each to be incorporated before adding the next, and beat until combined. Add chocolate mixture, mix to combine, then fold through breadcrumbs and almond meal. Spoon into a baking paper-lined 20cm round cake pan and bake at 180C for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre withdraws clean. Cool on a wire rack, then halve cake horizontally.

Combine thickened cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Place base of cake on a serving plate and spread with half the cream, top with cherries, then cover cherries with remaining cream and place top layer of cake over cream.

Melt remaining chocolate over simmering water and spoon over cake, scatter with chocolate curls and serve immediately.

ease: 4/5.
prep time: 22mins.
cooking time: 40mins
total: 1 hour & 2mins.

taste: 4/5. A rather tasty forest indeed.

I must admit that initially, I was quite unsure of the addition of breadcrumbs to a chocolate cake, but any uncertainties were cast aside once my teeth sunk into the soft yet toothsome cocoa layers. This cake is basically composed of three flavours, a softened and sweet chocolate, voluptuous cream and cerise cherries plump with a tart sweetness.

I don't know if I mentioned this before but for some unknown reason I just don't like eating cream with cakes, it somehow makes them too heavy for my taste buds and overpowers whatever flavours the cake is portraying. Therefore it seems, even 13 years on I am still not a great fan of the Black Forest Cake, my husband on the other hand rather enjoyed this, hence the 4/5.

would I make it again: No - I personally prefer the chocolate mousse incarnation of the black forest flavours.

15 comments:

  1. The light has been incredibly frustrating, you're right. A lovely picture though. The lighting in this photograph almost makes it feels like the cake is lying on a plate in a forest :) That video of you & your friends must be v cute. I tend to agree with you re cakes, cream & feeling heavy.
    Heidi xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. The light in my apartment is horrible even on a good, softly-sunny day, so I feel your pain! The only place I get okay light is a square of my bed in the afternoon. *sigh*

    I've never been big on Blackforest Cake either, but must admit yours looks so gorgeous and jewel-like!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your honesty. The first picture looks so pretty that I would have thought that you'd make these quite regularly and not only your second time... but since you don't think you are going to make it again - I probably won't either... maybe I'll wait for the chocolate mousse version? :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Trissa

    here is the black forest mousse recipe I mentioned

    http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/23837/black+forest+mousse

    ReplyDelete
  5. The last time I made black forest cake was for the Mad Men themed 60s dinner party I had during PFB. My main issue with it was the cream, which I see was your issue too. It did taste great, it was just so heavy.

    Good that the hubs enjoyed it, though! But then men usually do enjoy things slathered in cream ;)

    Jax x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Una bellissima torta, bravissima ! ciao

    ReplyDelete
  7. The cake looks amazing. I have extremely fond memories of Black Forest Cake as well. My mother reserved making it for special occasions so we always looked forward to a massive wedge of it when it was unveiled for dessert.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wish this had worked out better for you as it's very pretty and tasty looking. I've made my own improvisation of black forest cupcake but they were far from authentic. Must try the real deal soon.

    ReplyDelete
  9. breadcrumbs? color me fascinated! and wowza--that thick layer of filling is terrific. very well done!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is absolutely irresistible! I especially love the cherry filling.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well, it sure LOOKS good. I've never made one. I'm taking your advice and copying the mousse recipe. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I really love this photo actually. I thought you put some kind of sepia effect on the image to give it a romantic feel!
    True, cake + cream is really rich and heavy, although yours looks wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Brilliant!!! Such a mouth-watering liquor-moistened chocolate cake. Mmmm.....

    ReplyDelete