Friday, August 13, 2010

Black Forest Cherry Cake

Black forest cherry cake, something I should have added here a long time ago. This is a rich, moist, and chocolaty cake which can be quite a bit of work to make, but is well worth it for special occasions. Just make sure you make the cake at least a day ahead of time (two is better) and refrigerate it, or the amount of kirschwasser in the cake can make eating this like doing shots.

1 3/4 C flour
1 C brewed high quality coffee
1 t vanilla
1 C buttermilk
1 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 C sugar
3/4 C cocoa powder (use good stuff like Hershey's special dark)
1 t salt
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 eggs

Butter cream filling:
5 egg yolks
2/3 C sugar
1/3 C water
1 C unsalted butter, softened
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
3 T good quality Kirschwasser (a cherry brandy)

Whipped cream topping:
2 C heavy cream
1/3 C powdered sugar
2.5 T kirschwasser

Dark cherries, pitted, preferably fresh, but canned will work (drained if using canned).
4 T kirshwasser
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate

Start by buttering and flouring two 9" cake pans. In a large bowl mix together the dry cake ingredients, then slowly add in all the wet ingredients other than the coffee and mix to combine. Add in the coffee slowly while mixing. Pour in to pans and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until done. Remove pans from the oven and allow to cool.

Butter cream filling:
Beat egg yolks, then separately bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir while heating until the soft ball stage is reached (238 F). Very slowly whisk the sugar in to the egg yolks, being careful not to cook the egg. Mix in the butter, chocolate, and kirschwasser. Refrigerate for at least an hour before assembly, you want it as thick as possible for assembly.

Whipped cream:
Whisk cream while slowly adding in sugar and kirschwasser. Whisk it until it forms stiff peaks (this will take a hell of a lot of work if you try to do it by hand); be careful not to over-mix and form butter.

Split the cakes so you end up with four layers, and level off the top of one of them. Place the first layer and sprinkle with a 1 T kirschwasser, then spread butter cream filling. Be generous with the filling, and let it soak in for a couple of minutes. Top the layer with 15-20 halved cherries, put the second layer on and repeat. After the first three layers are on, put the fourth layer on (this should be the unleveled cake top), sprinkle with 1 T kirschwasser, and coat the top and sides with whipped cream topping. Decorate the top with halved cherries and shaved semi-sweet chocolate.