Black Forest Cake
- 2-¾ cups light brown sugar, packed
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/3 cups milk
- 2/3 cup corn oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/3 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons kirsch
- 3 tablespoons rum
- 1 container (30 ounces) of maraschino cherries, drained (reserve syrup)
- 2/3 cup syrup from the maraschino bottle
- ¼ cup rum
- 2 tablespoons kirsch
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 packages unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup hot water
- 6 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar or to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate shavings or curls (for decoration)
- Grated chocolate, optional (for decoration)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously brush three 8-inch round cake pans with softened butter and dust with additional cocoa powder. Tap out any excess and set aside.
- Combine together light brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift once and make a well in the center. Set aside.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, corn oil and vanilla. Pour into well while gently stirring to combine. Pour in boiling water while stirring until batter is free of lumps. Batter will be slightly thin after adding the water.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until tester inserted comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks. Combine together kirsch and rum. Pour into a spritzer bottle and spritz over cakes while still warm and allow to be absorbed, until cakes are completely cooled.
- Alternatively, if no spritzer bottle is available, pour kirsch mixture over cakes by the teaspoon until all are used up.
- Set aside 12 to 16 cherries for decoration and cut the rest in halves. Place in a deep pot or pan and add reserved syrup. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until tender and liquid begins to evaporate. Stir in rum and kirsch.
- Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to filling mixture in the pot. Stir until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Sprinkle gelatin in hot water and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside.
- Whip cream, using chilled bowl and beaters, over medium-high speed until it reaches soft peak stage.
- Gradually beat in dissolved gelatin, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until fully incorporated.
- Increase speed to high and beat until stiff. Set aside.
- Reserve 1/6 of frosting for decoration. Set aside.
- Place 1 cooled cake on a cake plate or serving tray. Spread with 1/3 filling. Spoon about 1/6 of the frosting mixture over filling and spread. Cover with second cake layer. Repeat the filling process. Add the top layer and spread with last 1/3 portion of cherry-rum filling. Spread a thin layer of cream frosting over the top and sides of cake. Chill until set, at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once crumb coating is set, cover cake with remaining frosting, using an offset spatula. Pipe 12 to 16 rosettes into a ring over top of cake. Place reserved cherries over rosettes. Pile chocolate curls inside the ring of frosting rosettes. Press grated chocolate onto sides of cake or additional chocolate shavings. Chill cake until frosting is set. Cut into wedges before serving.
- Go beyond the traditional round cake and bake batter in a 13x9x2-inch rectangular baking dish. Cut cake into two, and pile on top of each other to create 2 layers. Follow steps above in assembling the cake.
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