Black Forest Cake is the well known German cake, that is made with layers of chocolate sponge cake filled with whipped cream and kirsch soaked cherries, decorated with chocolate and more cherries.
Makes about 12 servings
Chocolate Sponge Cake
6 large eggs, separated
1 cup (200g) sugar
4 oz (120g) semisweet chocolate, melted
¼ cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (1g) instant coffee
25 oz (700g) fresh black cherries
½ cup (120ml) cherry brandy (kirsch)
2 tbsp (30ml) water
1 tbsp (8g) cornstarch
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 ¼ cups (550g) whipping cream, 35% fat, chilled
3 tbsp (24g) powdered sugar
1 tsp (5g) vanilla extract
3.5 oz (100g) semisweet chocolate, cut in small pieces
⅓ cup (80g) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15ml) cherry brandy (kirsch)
Fresh black cherries
1. Pit the cherries, cut in half and transfer into a bowl. Pour the cherry brandy (kirsch) over the cherries and let them soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or even overnight.
2. Prepare the chocolate sponge cake. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease with butter an 8 inch (20cm) round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
3. In a bowl sieve flour, salt, cocoa powder and instant coffee. Whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
4. In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually incorporate sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
5. Pour the melted chocolate over the yolks and stir to combine. Pour the chocolate yolk mixture over the whites and using a spatula gently fold them in.
6. Gradually incorporate flour mixture.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
8. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
9. Let it cool in the pan for 10 mins then invert the cake on a cooling rack and cool completely.
10. While the sponge cake is baking prepare the cherry filling.
11. Drain the cherries and keep the kirsch for later use, to soak the layer cakes in.
12. Transfer the drained cherries into a saucepan, add sugar, water and cornstarch. Place over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Simmer, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until reduced and thick.
13. Let it cool completely.
14. Prepare the whipping cream. In a large bowl whip cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
15. Assemble the cake. Divide the sponge cake into three cake layers. Place one cake layer on the serving platter.
16. Soak with a third of reserved kirsch. Spread half of whipped cream and then half of cherry filling.
17. Add the second cake layer, soak with another third of kirsch, spread the remaining whipping cream and cherry filling. Finish with the third layer, prick with a toothpick if necessary and soak with the remaining kirsch.
18. Prepare the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate, cream and kirsch into a small saucepan, place over very low heat until chocolate is completely melted.
19. Pour over the cake and let some letting some to drip down the sides.
20. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving.
21. Before serving decorate the cake with fresh cherries and chocolate curls if desired.
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