Last weekend was my Pop's 90th. A pretty awesome effort to get to 90 so i thought he deserved a pretty awesome cake. Unfortunately due to other commitments I didn't have to time to create a fondant-covered cake so instead set out to make a black forest cake with black forest cupcakes.
I used a recipe from AWW 'Bake' to create the black forest cake. However, considering i can never follow a recipe exactly, i tweaked it a bit and coated the cake in a chocolate cream and flakes, rather than just coating the top with cream. The result was pretty spectacular and i had lots of happy family members scoffing down cake! The only problem with the cake was trying to cut it into enough (small) pieces!
For the cupcakes i just used a standard chocolate cake recipe. I won't post it below because although they tasted great, they weren't so uniform when they came out of the oven. Luckily i could cover it with the cream! Inside these little beauties was cherry jelly/puree. What i did was puree a jar of morello cherries, strain them to get a juice then i heated it with 1/4 cup plum jam (for sweetness.) Then i added agar (1/2 tsp per cup of liquid) and let it set. The plan was to cut out disks and place in the middle of the cupcakes however remembering back to an episode of Heston whereby he blended set agar i thought i'd give it a shot. It was genius! The set agar turned into a puree which made it so easy to spoon into the cupcakes. With their lid popped back on and chantilly cream piped on, they were good to go!
Have a lovely long weekend!
Black Forest Cake (The original AWW recipe can be found here or in 'Bake')
1 tbsp instant coffee
200g dark chocolate, chopped
440g caster sugar
225g SR Flour
150g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
600ml thickened cream
50g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 jar (670g) morello cherries, drained, halved
2 cups chocolate cream (whipped chocolate ganache 3:1 ratio chocolate to cream)
12 fresh cherries
Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Grease and line a 23cm round cake pan.
Place butter, water, coffee, chocolate and sugar into TMX bowl. Heat at 70 degrees for 5 minutes on speed 2 or until mixture is melted and smooth.
Leave mixture for 30 minutes to cool.
This is where you could do the rest in the TMX but i like doing things by feel so i went old school with a spoon and mixing bowl ;)
Sift the SR flour, plain flour and cocoa powder together.
Add a third of the flour mixture and gently incorporate. Keep adding the flour in thirds until all combined. Next add the extract then the eggs, one at a time, stirring in between.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1hr 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let the cake rest for 5-10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool.
Once the cake is cool cut into 3 pieces horizontally.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add icing sugar and extract and whip until firm peaks.
Place the one cake layer on a serving plate and brush with a third of the kirsch. Top with one third of the cream then place on top half the cherries.
Repeat the layering once more then top with the final cake layer. Sprinkle the remainder of the kirsch on the top.
Spread the sides and top of the cake with the chocolate cream. Pipe rosettes around the border of the top of the cake with the plain cream. Top with fresh cherries.
Crush the flakes. Stick to the sides of the cake and place any larger chucks on the top of the cake.
Store in the fridge until serving.