Black Forest Cake: Childhood Sweethearts
This post comes a couple of months late, but by heck have I been busy! Another post will explain all…
For my most recent Clandestine Cake Club meet up the theme was ‘Childhood Sweethearts’ which made me instantly think- “Blackforest Gateaux!”
I think I’ve said this on previous posts but basically my favourite cake is ‘Blackforest’ as it is the cake I always remember from childhood birthday parties. Back then it was the Sara-Lee frozen kind and more recently, home baked creations by my mum. It’s something about the way the sour cherries cut through the sweetness of the cake and the whipped cream balances out the bitterness of the dark chocolate… or am I over-thinking this? 😀
It’s not the first time I’ve made this recipe, in fact I made mini versions for a Christmas afternoon tea (not Christmas themed, but it took place on Boxing Day!). Despite making up the recipe as I went along at Christmas, the turned out quite well. This time, it wasn’t so! After a couple of attempts at the chocolate sponge, I ended up with something passable but not my best baking to date. What can I say? For me, baking under pressure does not result in a tasty cake!
- 200g good quality dark chocolate
- 200g butter
- 85g self-raising flour
- 85g plain flour
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200g light muscovado sugar
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 25g cocoa powder
- 3 medium eggs
- 75ml milk
- grated chocolate to decorate
- 1 can or jar of cherries (use fresh pitted cherries if in season), saving some for decorating
- 3 tbs sour cherry jam
- 1 tbs cornflour
- 750ml double cream
- 1 tbs icing sugar
- Butter a 20cm round cake tin and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3.
- Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat.
- While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml milk
- Pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is baking, warm through 3 tbs cherry jam in a saucepan and add the whole cherries. Stir in 1 tbs cornflour to help thicken the mixture, ensuring there are no lumps of flour remaining. Set aside to cool completely.
- Whip the double cream with 1tbs icing sugar until soft peaks form.
To build the final cake:
- When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into two or three layers depending on how much it has risen and how confident you are that it won’t fall apart!
- Using just under a third of the whipped cream, evenly cover the bottom layer of sponge then add a third of the cherry jam filling
- Top this layer with another layer of cake and repeat the previous step. Do this again if you have a three layer cake, ensuring you have enough cream and cherry filling for each layer.
- Decorate the top with piped cream and grated chocolate. Decorate the cake with the saved cherries as you see fit. I took inspiration from Sara-Lee’s classic frozen Black-forest Gateau for mine!