Black forest cake is one of the first cake that I fell in love with several years back. The best part of this cake is its light, spongy layers with delightful fresh cream frosting. It is not too- overly sweet chocolate cake. It offered a sharp contrast to the dense and rich butter cakes that were more commonly available in our local bakery. Now those traditional butter cakes have a charm of its own, but and I fell in love with this elegant dessert mainly because of its light texture. This cake is a favorite in India and often found proudly displayed in the windows of most pastry shops, and bakeries. It is also sold as individual portion pastry slices and was always my number one pick. I made this cake for my husband’s birthday and it is easy to prepare this impressive cake.
The filing for this cake is a stewed cherry filling. Traditionally tart cherries are used, but for this recipe, I have substituted with sweet cherries because they are easy to find. If fresh cherries are not available, you can substitute with frozen or canned cherries. Maraschino cherries or glazed cherries are also a good option. This is an intense chocolate cake with the flavor of cherry rum. Kirsch has a cherry flavor and will enhance the flavor of your cake. The flavors, intensify the next day, so if you are planning a party make this the day before and let it chill in the refrigerator. Try this recipe and let me know how it turned out for you. Enjoy!
The key ingredients to make the cake are cake flour, sugar, eggs, and Dutch-processed cocoa. Cake flour and whipped egg whites give the texture light, spongy texture. Now when it comes to cocoa powder, use unsweetened cocoa or Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Unsweetened cocoa gives the lightest texture, and is often the best choice for sponge cakes. Egg whites also help to bring the light texture, for this cake. Dutch-processed cocoa is darker and less bitter than regular cocoa.
This cake has been flavored, with Kirsh. It has a cherry flavor and will enhance the flavor of your cake. If you don’t want to add alcohol in your cake, you can skip it, use vanilla or rum essence, or use cherry juice instead. For the filling, use fresh tart cherries or sweet cherries. If cherries are not in season, you can use canned or frozen cherries. Cherry pie filling is also a good substitute.
Beating egg whites should always be the last step in preparing the batter. Once the egg whites reach firm peak fold into the egg yolk, flour mixture in batches with gentle strokes to avoid deflating the egg whites. Pour into cake tins and put them into the oven immediately.
For garnish, use whipped cream, fresh cherries, and chocolate shavings or curls. Instead of dark chocolate, you can use semi-sweet milk chocolate or white chocolate as garnish.
Black Forest Cake/ Black Forest Cherry Torte
Sponge Cake Ingredients
Cake Flour- 3/4 cup
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Dutch processed Cocoa powder-1/3 cup
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Cream of tartar- 1/4 tsp
Butter melted- 5 tbs
Rum or Kirsh- 2 tbs
Whipped Cream Frosting
Heavy whipping cream- 2 cups
Sugar- 1/4 cup
Fresh Sweet cherries-2 cups
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Water- 1 cup
Lemon juice- 1 tbs
Lemon zest- 1 tsp
Corn starch- a tsp
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
Sugar syrup- 1/2 cup
Chocolate grated, chocolate curls and cherries
Poached Cherries Filling
Wash and pit cherries. In a saucepan, add pitted cherries, water, sugar, and lemon zest. Heat over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Strain out 1/4 cup of liquid and set aside for later use. Cover and cook over low heat till it is tender, and it thickens. If it does not reach the desired consistency, add a tsp of corn starch to thicken the mixture. When it cools down cover, and refrigerate and let chill till it is ready to use.
To make the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. First separate, egg yolks, and egg whites. Beat egg yolks lightly in a large bowl. Mix in sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is pale and thick. Add melted butter and gently fold in the flour and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar. Whisk at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat the sugar and continue beating at high speed until whites are stiff and shiny but not dry. Gently fold about 1/3 of the whites to the egg yolk mixture until nearly incorporated. Fold in the rest of the egg whites into the batter.
Transfer the prepared batter into the cake tin. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool down completely before frosting.
To make the whipping frosting– Chill a large bowl and the beaters. Pour the chilled whipped cream, add sugar, one tsp of kirsch (optional), and beat until stiff peaks. Refrigerate till it is ready to use.
To Assemble the cake
Using a serrated knife and cut cake into layers. Drain syrup from the poached cherries. Brush cake layers with the syrup. Spread a layer of whipped cream and arrange poached cherries evenly. Place the second layer on top. Reserve about 1/3 cup whipped cream for garnish. Spread the remaining cream on the side and top of the cake. Using a pastry bag and a decorative tip, pipe the reserved whipped cream to make rosettes on the top edge of the cake. Decorate with grated chocolate and cherries. Refrigerate the frosted cake and chill before serving.
Hope you will all enjoy!