Peaches and Cream Peaches and Cream

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Black Forest Cake

I always get so giddy and excited when someone asks me to make a cake.  Then I obsess over it until its finally complete.  I enjoy the challenge, but I dream, sleep and think about cake all day.  The only relief I feel is when the cake is eaten and enjoyed by everyone!  I love making cakes but seem to be a little of a perfectionist when it comes to it.  Is anyone else this way??  I hope I'm not the only one!  Luckily,  I was told what kind of cake to make, so all I had to do was research  which method/recipe sounded the best to make.  No big deal, right?  Wrong!  It was only for Gavin's dads birthday...I like to make a big deal out of birthday cakes.  And Black Forest is his favorite kind of cake.  Oh boy.  Challenge...Accepted!!  I had to be overly organized and prepared otherwise this was going to fail-the only time I had to make this was after working two 12 hour shifts.

I couldn't figure out which recipe to use, so I picked the best out of the two recipes and hoped like the dickens it would come together well.  I doubled the cake so it would make three 10 inch layers.  I started off by using Passionate About Baking's (a new blog I found, it's great!) boozy syrup and cherries recipe.  I then used Brown Eyed Bakers cake and whip cream recipe, which produced a super moist, chocolatey cake and a light attractive flavorful cream for in-between the layers and for decorating.  When it came to finally assemble the cake I was a nervous wreck!  Gavin can definitely agree to that.  But everything seemed to come together as it should and it was enjoyed by everyone.  Gavin reported it had just the right amount of booze to compliment the cake...I didn't taste that much of the booze-and I swear I'm no lush!  My allergies this past week have been acting up so I can't taste as well as I normally do (my excuse, of course).  Gavin says it was the best Black Forest Cake he's ever I was pretty pumped to hear that.

The most important thing I would stress about making this cake is: be organized. Be prepared.  Start the little things in advance-such shaving the chocolate, pitting the cherries and freezing them.  That was a little tricky and more time consuming that I thought it would be.  I learned new skills, however!  I definitely enjoyed making this cake, even though I was a little stressed and pressed for time-but I have to admit I would classify this as a good stress.  And I'm pleased as punch that Gavin's dad and everyone else enjoyed can't put a price tag on that.  It's one of the best feelings in the world to be trusted to make a cake for a special occasion and to have everyone enjoy it.  Thank you Sandy for asking me to make it-I truly enjoyed and appreciated the unique aspects of baking this cake!

Black Forest Cake

For the Cherries:
600gms fresh cherries, pitted. Set aside 8-10 for the topping
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar (depends on the sweetness of the cherries.  I used 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup brandy/liqueur/kirsch

For the Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 tbsp cherry brandy/liqueur/kirsch (optional* I used regular brandy)

For the Cake:
4 cups sugar
3½  cups all-purpose flour
1½ cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cup whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cup boiling water

For the Whipped Cream:
3 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Decorating:
Approximately 1 to 1½ cup shaved dark or semisweet chocolate

For the Cherries:
Instructions on how to pit cherries-see link here.

Toss the cherries in the preferred amount of sugar and freeze them for a minimum of 2 days (the sugar helps the cherries maintain their shape). Remove the cherries from the freezer the night before use, and drain any of the excess liquid. Roughly chop the cherries and stir in brandy. Refrigerate before use (I let them sit together while I baked the cakes)

For the Syrup:
Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly until all the sugar has dissolved. Take off heat, stir in the liqueur if using, cover and allow to cool (Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month). *I did not use all of the syrup-I had approximately 1/4 or less left of it*

For the Cake:
Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 10-inch round baking springfoam pans.

Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will become really thin at this point). Divide batter between the three prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until thin knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

For the Whip Cream:
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip on medium-high speed until soft to almost-stiff peaks form. Refrigerate the whipped cream until ready to use.

Once the cakes have cooled, level the tops. Sprinkle both sides of the cake with the syrup. Place the bottom layer on the serving platter. Top with approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the whipped cream and create an even layer. With a slotted spoon top the whip cream with half the cherries in the bowl and spread evenly. Repeat with the remaining layer.

To decorate:
Reserve approximately 1/2 cup of the whipped cream for the rosettes.  Spread the rest of the whipped cream over the cake and create an even layer. Sprinkle the sides and top of the cake with the shaved chocolate as desired. Using a Wilton 1M, pipe rosettes as desired. Place cherries on top of rosettes. Chill until ready to serve.

 (I used a 1M tip to pipe on top and placed the reserved cherries on top of each decorative star, and then lined a bottom border with chocolate shavings.)

Source: Cake and Whipped Cream from Brown Eyed Baker, Cherries and Syrup from The Passionate Baker; originally from The Cake Bible.


  1. This looks incredible!!! Black Forest Cake is my very favourite cake too. My birthday is in 3 weeks. Do you think this cake would ship well? *hehe*

    1. Awwwe, thanks Courtney! I wish this cake shipped well...I would totally make it for you! Xoxo....What day is your birthday? :D



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