Black Forest Cake
Filipino Favorite Cherry Liqueur Chocolate Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour [240 g]
2 cups granulated sugar [400 g]
3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder [75 g]
2 tsp baking soda [10 g]
1 tsp baking powder [4 g]
1 tsp salt [6 g]
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil [120 mL]
1 cup buttermilk (room temperature) [237 mL]
1 cup hot coffee [237 mL]
2 large eggs [100 g without shell]
1 tsp vanilla extract [5 mL]
4 cups (1 lb) bing cherries, pitted (can be fresh, frozen, or canned) - I use frozen [454 g]
12 maraschino cherries for décor
1/4 cup kirsch (cherry liqueur) - can substitute with apple brandy or cherry vodka [60 mL]
2 tbsp granulated sugar [25 g]
4 cups heavy cream [950 mL]
1 cup confectioner's sugar [120 g]
1 tbsp cornstarch [7.5 g]
1 tbsp kirsch (or vanilla extract if not using kirsch) [15 mL]
8 oz high-quality bittersweet chocolate (I use Callebaut chocolate) [226 g]
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Line two 9" round pans with parchment paper (do not grease sides or parchment paper). Wet cake strips in cold water and place them around cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups AP flour, 2 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp of salt. In a separate bowl, add 2 eggs and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, until thickened and lemon in color. While continuing to beat, slowly add in 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil, 1 cup of buttermilk, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and then the 1 cup hot coffee, until well combined. Then add in dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly between 2 pans and bake in the middle rack of the oven at 350 F (175 C) for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes. When slightly cooled, invert them onto wire racks, and pans should easily slip off. Peel off the parchment paper and let the cakes cool to room temperature. Slice the cake layers in half (cross-sectionally) with a long-serrated knife to make 4 layers.
Cherry Filling / Syrup:
Roughly chop the 1 lbs. (4 cups) of pitted Bing cherries (fresh, frozen - thawed, or canned) - I use frozen - and put in a medium bowl. Add in 1/4 cup of kirsch. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
Drain the cherries in a sieve over a bowl. Keep both the cherries and syrup. Add 2 tbsp granulated sugar to the syrup and mix it in till dissolved. You should end up with about 1 cup of syrup total.
(put mixing bowl and whisk attachment in freezer 30 min before using)
Add 4 cups of heavy cream and mix with whisk attachment on high speed until slightly thickened.
Slowly add 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 tbsp of kirsch and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Put in the fridge until ready to use.
Assembling the Cake:
Put the first layer of cake on cake stand and brush the top with 1/4 of the cherry syrup. Spread about 3/4 cup of frosting over it (about 1/4 inches thick) and top with 1/3 of the chopped cherries. Repeat this with the remaining layers and top with one of the "bottoms" (flattest layers). The top layer will be brushed with 1/4 of the cherry syrup, but will not be topped with cherries.
Put about 1.5 cups of the frosting into a pastry bag with a big flower tip and keep it in the fridge. Fill the cracks along the sides of the cake with frosting. Then frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Put cake in the fridge for frosting to harden a bit.
Take half of the chocolate (4 oz) and melt it over a double boiler. Then spread it thin over the back of a baking sheet using a spatula. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 20 minutes. Then use a knife or food scraper to create bark-like shavings. Cover the sides of the cake with these chocolate shavings.
Take the other half of the chocolate (4 oz) and using a potato peeler, shave the chocolate to make big curls. Spread this on the top of the cake, leaving a 1-inch perimeter at the edge for the rosettes. Creating a small mound of chocolate curls in the middle of the cake.
Pipe 12 big rosettes on the top perimeter of the cake. And put a maraschino cherry over each rosette.
Refrigerate cake for a minimum of 6 hours but preferably overnight before serving, in order for the flavors to come together. Enjoy!