I’ve been holding back on blogging this cake for far too long. You see, when most of you were celebrating Thanksgiving last Thursday we were celebrating my husband Brad’s birthday. I knew I had to give a bit of time for everyone to come out of Thanksgiving coma in order to fully appreciate how stunning this cake is!
Black Forest Cake is Brad’s favourite but I have never made it for him. Unfortunately for him, I never cared for it much and mostly for good reasons-the artificial taste of chocolate layers and the electric red of maraschino cherries never appealed to my European taste. Some call it snobbism, I call it “I didn’t grow up in North America syndrome”. 🙂
However, the cake is actually German and I know I LOVE German cakes. Love love love them. This version of Black Forest is plenty traditional. It’s dark. It’s boozy. It’s Black Forest.
Four chocolate layers filled with vanilla bean and brandy mousse, studded with Morello cherries and ganache drizzled over in a Jackson Pollock manner. I have to admit I was hoping to end up with something of an artistic mess but ended up with just mess. A delicious I can’t stop eating type of mess. The kind if it fell on the ground I would get a fork and continue eating it mess. 5 second rule be damned.
I am also happy to tell you that the cake is incredible easy to make. This is how you do it.
Bake a 2 layer chocolate cake. Split each layer in 2. Fill each layer with vanilla bean brandy mouse and morello cherries.
This is what it will look like when all 4 layers are filled.
Then cover the outside of your cake with your mousse. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Mine wasn’t.
Drizzle ganache all over it and decorate with more cherries.
- Flour- 1¾ cups
- Sugar- 1½ cups
- Cocoa- ¾ cup
- Baking powder- 1½ tsp.
- Baking soda- 1½ tsp.
- Salt- 1 tsp.
- Eggs- 2 large
- Milk- 1 cup
- Vegetable oil- ½ cup
- Vanilla- 2 tsp.
- Whipping cream/double cream- 2.5 cups
- Sugar- ½ cup
- Brandy- 2 tbsp.
- Vanilla bean-1
- Gelatine- 3 tsp.
- Water- 3 tbsp.
- Morello Cherries, soaked in ¼ cup brandy overnight- 2 cups
- Cherries from Cherry Conserve (I used Italian Amarena)- 8 cherries for decorating
- Whipping Cream- ½ cup
- Dark Chocolate, chopped- 125 gr
- The night before soak Morello Cherries in brandy.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C
- In a large mixing bowl combine sifted flour and cocoa, sugar, baking powder and baking soda and salt.
- Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Pour into two 8" pans.
- Bake at 350F/180C for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- In a 1-cup glass measuring cup combine cold water and gelatin. Let stand for 2 minutes. Place measuring cup in a microwave and heat for 15 seconds until gelatine is completely dissolved.
- Run a sharp knife along the length of a vanilla bean, open it and with a blade of a knife scrape out the seeds.
- In a large mixing bowl beat whipping cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and brandy with an electric mixer on medium speed while gradually drizzling gelatin mixture over cream mixture. Continue beating cream mixture until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Adding gelatine to the filling gives it more stability.
- Cut each cake layer in two. You will have 4 layers.
- Fill the cake with the cream filling and brandied morello cherries. Leave ¼ of the filling for the sides and the top.
- Cover the sides and the top of the cake with the cream filling.
- Heat ½ cup of whipping cream in a saucepan and take off the heat just when it's about to come to a boil.
- Pour over chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir.
- Drizzle chocolate ganache over the top of the cake. Decorate with cherries.
- Chill in the fridge for the mousse filling and chocolate ganache to set. Keep refrigerated.