The Hungry Dad is a huge fan of black forest cake and it recently occurred to me that I had yet to make it for him.
We were headed out on a picnic with some friends and I decided to bake this cake. Let me interrupt myself here by saying that picnics for me are heaven, while The Hungry Dad treats them as something along the lines of purgatory. All that eating in the fresh air – pah, says he.
So this cake was a peace offering / bribe to encourage him to enjoy the day. And a good time was had by all. Hooray!
This recipe is based on Donna Hay’s little black forest cake recipe, which I tweaked. For starters I made one big cake rather than two smaller cakes. I also reduced the sugar and didn’t dress mine with chocolate shards and fresh cherries. I didn’t have kirsch so I used dark spiced rum. Hers were a masterpiece to behold, mine was much more portable for a picnic.
110 grams of butter, diced, at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon best quality vanilla extract
½ cup milk
425 gram tin or jar of pitted cherries, drained and syrup reserved
1/3 cup dark spiced rum or kirsch
1 cup double cream
½ cup sour cream
1 cup pouring cream
300 grams dark chocolate, chopped.
LET’S GET TO IT:
Preheat oven to 160C and line and grease a 20cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
In bowl of electric mixer beat together the butter, vanilla and sugar for 10 minutes.
Scrape down sides with a spatula then beat in eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down sides again. With machine on low add cocoa, flour, baking powder and milk and mix until combined. With a silver spoon gently stir in half the cherries then scrape the batter into the tin.
Bake for 35-38 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven, leave in tin for 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.
While it is cooling make ganache by cooking cream and dark chocolate in a small pan over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until glossy and lump-free. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
When ganache and cake are both cold carefully slice cake in half horizontally (I have no tips here as I outsource this job to the Hungry Dad. Being an engineer it is all about straight lines for him whereas my attempts look like my mini schnauzer cut it).
In a small bowl mix together the cherry syrup and alcohol and use a pastry bush to baste each cake.
Meanwhile beat together the cream, sour cream until soft peaks form.
Place one cake half on serving board, spread with ganache, top with cream then add remaining cherries, then top with remaining cake. Spread remaining chocolate ganache over the top of cake.