Last week, my family and I celebrated my mum’s 59th birthday. Ever since I embarked on a baking journey, my mother has been bugging me to bake her favorite cake – The Black Forest. We used to buy them from neighborhood bakeries, not bothering about the contents of the cake. Learning to cook and bake has made me a more conscious eater – both in terms of what I put in my mouth, and in terms of halal ingredients used. I know some bakers might disagree with me, but I am still reluctant to use vanilla extract, or anything that contains alcohol.
So upon learning that most Black Forest recipes use Kirsch, a kind of brandy, I stayed clear of them. My mother has been deprived of her favorite cake because of this although the durian cake I made last year was quite a hit with the family.
Finally, this year, I mustered the courage to make her favorite cake. I was intimidated because I thought it would be very difficult. Little did I know I just needed a good recipe, and patience to make the cake.
I got the chocolate sponge recipe from Sailu’s Kitchen, and adapted it to make it extra tasty. The whipped cream frosting is my own, and I got the maraschino cherries from Phoon Huat.
Black Forest Gateau
For the cake:
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 and a half cups caster sugar
- 3/4 cup Valhorna cocoa powder
- 1 and a half tspn baking soda
- 1 tspn baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup full cream milk
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1 tspn vanilla essence
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 and half tbspn instant coffee powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups whipping cream (I used Red Man)
- 1 tbspn of vanilla essence
- 2 tbspn caster sugar
- 1 jar of maraschino cherries
- Shaved chocolate
- Heat oven to 175 deg centigrade. Grease and flour two round 8-inch pans. (I’d recommend lining the base with greaseproof paper)
- Mix the coffee and hot water together and set aside.
- Beat melted butter, sugar and vanilla essence till well combined and sugar has dissolved. Beat in eggs slowly until well incorporated.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder and salt. Add into the batter slowly.
- Gradually add in the milk and coffee into the batter until well combined. The batter will be very watery, DO NOT WORRY.
- Divide the batter into the two tins. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins, or until skewer comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool for at least two hours before layering.
- Meanwhile, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla on a medium speed for about 5-6 minutes. I realised 7-8 minutes may be a bit too long, so do watch out for the cream before it becomes butter.
- Chop about 10 cherries into small pieces. When cake has cooled down, cut the cake into layers. You would want to layer the cake, followed by the cream, then cherries.
- Finish layering and then frost the cake as desired. Decorate with whole cherries and shaved chocolate. (I used crushed Kit Kat because I forgot to get dark chocolate heh)
- Cool in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving.