O black Forest cakewhich originated in the Black Forest region of Germany, is typically made with a light chocolate sponge cake, soaked in cherry syrup, then layered with whipped cream and cherries. This version replaces the chocolate sponge with a denser chocolate cake with a delicious effect. But cutting a rich chocolate cake into four thin layers can be a little tricky. To make the job a little easier, cool them down completely before cutting. The cherry jam and syrup can be made in advance.
FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup/240 milliliters vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pans
- 1 ½ cups/140 grams of cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups/360 milliliters of boiling water
- 1 cup/240 milliliters of milk
- 4 big eggs
- 1 ½ cups/330 grams of dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups/385 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
FOR THE CHERRY JELLY:
- 4 cups (about 600 grams) of fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
- ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon of almond extract
- 1 to 2 Kirsch’s Tablespoons
FOR WHIPPED WHIPPED AND MOUNTAGE:
- ⅓ cup/40 grams icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- 4 cups/960 milliliters of sour cream
- 6 ounces/170 grams bittersweet chocolate, grated into bunches
- 8 fresh or frozen whole dark sweet cherries, pitted
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round pans with oil and line the bottom of each with parchment paper.
- To prepare the cake, in a large bowl, combine cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Add the buttermilk and 1 cup of vegetable oil and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then whisk to combine. Divide the dough evenly between the two forms.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes, then turn the cakes onto the wire rack and allow to cool completely. Turn the cakes over again so the domed part is on top and cut off a little of the dome of each cake to flatten the top. Carefully cut each layer in half horizontally, creating four layers.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the cherry jam: in a small saucepan, combine the cherries and sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the cherries with a wooden spoon or potato masher, until the fruit releases its juice, about 6 minutes.
- Strain the cherry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the syrup in a medium bowl and setting the cooked cherries aside. Measure out 1/2 cup/120 milliliters of syrup. (If you have more, store the rest in the fridge for another use). Transfer 1 tablespoon of 1/2 cup syrup to a small bowl and stir the Kirsch into the remaining syrup; Reserved to cool completely.
- Add 1 tsp cornstarch to 1 tbsp cherry syrup set aside in small bowl; tap to match. Transfer to the pan, add the cooked cherries and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely. (You should have about 1 1/4 cups/300 milliliters of jam.)
- Prepare the whipped cream: In a small saucepan, combine the icing sugar, cornstarch and 1 cup heavy cream. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thickened to the consistency of thin pudding, reducing heat as needed to prevent scalding, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cream mixture to a large bowl to cool completely.
- Assemble the cake: Whisk the cream mixture to loosen it and add the remaining 3 cups of heavy cream. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the mixture to medium peaks, about 2 minutes. Place a layer of cake on a serving plate, cut side up. Brush with a little of the Kirsch-cherry syrup, spread about 1 cup of whipped cream on top and then 1/3 of the cherry jam. Shake the jam and cream a little to spread evenly. Repeat this process two more times and top with the last layer of cake, cut side down. Then cover the entire cake with a thin layer of whipped cream. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Finally, cover the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Prepare the chocolate shavings: heat the chocolate bar in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, then use a vegetable peeler to create curled chocolate shavings. Press the chocolate shavings down the sides of the cake and about an inch from the edge at the top. Top with the 8 cherries. Store leftovers, well packaged, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.