Black Forest Magic

One strange thing about me–I’m no big fan of chocolate. I always get really strange reactions from people when I say this, because cooking is a passion of mine, yet my tastes are rather peculiar. I suppose what gets me through is my appreciation for flavors, and the subtle balance you can use to make any cake tastes like heaven in your mouth.

This cake is probably one of the best to showcase for this. The chocolate, cherries, subtle almond liqueur taste, and the fresh creamy mascarpone cream in the middle…they all made this cake absolutely sublime. Even to me, the girl who dislikes chocolate.

I made this cake for a friend’s birthday, and I forgot to take pictures, but it was a good time! I very much encourage anyone who loves chocolate to try this one.

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BLACK FOREST CAKE

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Cake
1/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup pastry flour
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp hot water

Cherries in Disaronno
250 g whole cherries (weight with pits and all)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup Disaronno liqueur
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Dark chocolate ganache
75 g dark chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter

Mascarpone frosting
1 tub (250 g) mascarpone cheese
3-4 tbsp powdered sugar
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream

Decoration
milk chocolate, shaved or grated
Fresh cherries for the top

Directions

Cake
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Melt the butter and let it cool.
3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients -salt, sugar, egg, sour cream, melted butter and hot water. Stir until completely smooth.
4. Divide batter between the prepared cake pans.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in their pans before inverting them onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely before using.

Cherries in Disaronno
1. Pit and halve the cherries and put them in a saucepan with the lemon juice, liqueur and sugar. Let come to a boil and then let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring carefully every now and then, until the cherries are soft but not mushy.
2. Pour the mixture through a strainer, with a bowl underneath to reserve the liquids. Put the cherries in another bowl to cool.
3. Prick holes in the cakes with a toothpick and brush with some of the kirsch liquid. If you wish to make a thicker syrup (which you can pour over the cake), put the remaining liquid back in the sauce pan and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Pour into a bowl and let cool completely.

Dark chocolate ganache
1. Chop the chocolate finely and put in a bowl.
2. Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan until hot but not boiling, then pour the cream mixture on top of the chocolate. Leave for 30 seconds, then stir until completely smooth. Leave to cool to spreadable consistency.

Mascarpone frosting
Beat the mascarpone and sugar until creamy. Add the heavy cream and whip until thick.

Assembly
1. Put the first cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand. Spread the mascarpone frosting on top. Put all of the Disaronno cherries on top, then add some grated/shaved chocolate.
2. Top with the other cake layer. Spread a thick layer of ganache on top. Decorate with fresh cherries and chocolate shavings, and if you wish, the thickened kirsch syrup.

***

Note: Ignore the little cake, I made it for a friend with a gluten allergy, the recipe is only for one large cake!

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***

I apologize; I haven’t really kept up my promise of making one cake a week, but I’m trying my best…more cakes coming soon. 🙂

Cheers!

 

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