Updated: Jan 10, 2021
Black Forest Cake is almost like a tradition for most of my friends and family. To those with their big day that do not fall in line with cherry season would usually find themselves disappointed, but December babies are the lucky ones here in Australia as December being so close to Christmas as well, there are so many reasons to be making Black Forest Cake. I have tried making Black Forest Cake with canned cherries but it is just not the same and can often come off as artificial in taste.
My Black Forest cake has layers of homemade cherry compote saoked with Kirsch and vanilla then paired with a delicious moist chocolate cake goodness. The leftover cherry compote can be reserved in jars and use as toppings for other applications.
This cake is fairly simple to make if you prepare and organize ahead of time. I would not recommend you trying to make all the components in one day on a tight schedule. You can prepare the cherry compote and chocolate cake a few days ahead. The cake are better to be baked in advance and stored in the fridge for easy handling. Alternatively if you are an early bird like myself, it is possible to have all the components done and assembled in a day!
So, if you are in an area where cherries are in season, give this cake a try and you won't be disappointed! Truly truly!! :)
Equipment: 2 x 20 cm round springform cake tin
255 g Plain Flour
450 g Castor Sugar
75 g Cocoa Powder
13 g Bi-Carbonate Soda
6 g Fine Salt
120 g Unsalted Butter (melted and cooled)
60 g Full Cream Milk
170 g Sour Cream
240 g Hot Water
2 Large Eggs / 100 g Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
340 g Pitted Cherries (I use Fresh Cherries)
195 g Castor Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon powder
130g Lemon Juice (around 3 large lemons)
45 g Kirsch
Whipping Cream (To Test)
300 g Thickened Cream (35% Fat)
50 g Icing Sugar (sifted)
Tempered dark chocolate
For Cherry Compote
Pit the cherries and place all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat to reduce by letting it simmer until it thickens. As it starts to boil, the additional water in the cherries will start to rise above the pot and evaporates. Keep boiling the compote, occasionally stirring the bottom to avoid catching and burning for around 20 to 25 minutes. Ensure that you have a large enough pot for the compote to rise and to avoid any overspill.
Pour over a clean bowl and place a cling film touching the surface and allow to cool completely in the fridge.
For the Chocolate Cake
1. Sift all the dry ingredients together and place them in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool.
Meanwhile, line two 20 cm round springform baking tin with parchment paper on the base and around the sides. Lightly spray the tin with oil to help adhere the parchment papers.
2. Whisk the Milk, Vanilla Bean Paste, Sour Cream and room temperature eggs together in a separate bowl. Stream in hot water while whisking in with the wet mix ensuring that you do not coagulate the eggs. Lastly, incorporate the cooled melted butter.
3. Add all the mixed wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients and mix over medium speed until all the ingredients have come together.
4. Divide the cake mix equally into the two pre lined cake tin and bake at 170°C for 50 minutes to an hour or until when tested with a skewer it comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let it cool in the tin at room temperature before removing the tins.
5. Once the cake have completely cooled, slice the top off each cake to remove the crusty crumbs then slice each cake horizontally to make two equal slices with each cake ending up with 4 equal slices. Wrap the cakes in clingfilm and place them in the fridge or freezer to firm up slightly.
The cake can be made days in advance, just wrap the cut sponge individually in cling film and place them flat in the freezer. Thaw in fridge before using.
Whip the cream with icing sugar until it comes to a spreadable consistency.
(Note: do not overwhip the cream as it can cause it to split. If your cream starts to split, simply add some cold un whipped cream to the mix and fold it through the split cream, gently whip by hand to bring it back to the desired consistency as necessary. You may need to add more icing sugar to adjust the taste.)
6. Starting with the first slice of cake, pipe a ring around the border roughly 5mm / 0.5 cm high, then fill in the center with the cherry compote. Top the filled cake with the next slice of cake and repeat the process until your last slice of cake. Top the cake and final slice with cream, reserving some for piping rosette on top for final decoration, and spread them around the sides as well. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and place cherries on top. Enjoy!
For the Chocolate Decorations
You can buy store bought chocolate for the decorations and chocolate shavings. For the chocolate shards, simply spread a thin layer of chocolate on a parchment paper then roll it in to a rod and secure with tape. Allow the chocolate to set in the fridge then unravel the roll of parchment. As you unravel the parchment paper, the chocolate will start to peel off the paper and fall off in to individual pieces. Simply break to desire length and decorate.
Black Forest cake stored in the fridge can keep for up to 5 days. Make sure that it is well covered so that the cake do not dry out too much.