Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Black Forest... me is a trip to my childhood. And, yes, sorry for the rain checks. Things are getting hectic since it's nearing my good friend, Cho's birthday. For her birthday this year, she requested a black forest cake. Of course I gladly complied, considering black forest is my family's "tradition" for birthday cakes. Don't get me wrong, we varied our birthday cakes every year, however the black forest always, ALWAYS managed to find a way to sneak back into the line-up. There were times when I hated the black forest out of sheer frequency of seeing the cake on my birthday, and my dad's and my mom's... It's not until I moved to the US did I really appreciate this cake, simply because I've not found the "right" one.

This recipe for black forest is modified from "Black Forest Gateau" from the book Glorious Dessert by Martha Day.

Black Forest Gateau

For the cake:
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup melted butter

For the filling:
1 can black sweet cherries in syrup
1/8 cup Godiva chocolate liquor
1/8 cup rum (any brand will do, but get a really good rum. If you can get British navy rum, all the better)

1. Soak cherries in liquor (if you can, however, it's best to soak overnight). 
Note for the filling: If you're making this cake for kids, don't soak the cherries overnight. Rather, just boil the cherries in 1/4 cup rum to evaporate all the alcohol.
2. Melt butter, set aside to cool down (but still liquid). Preheat oven to 350 F. 
3. Whisk eggs and sugar until thick and the color changes to white on the highest mixer speed. This process will take up to 30 - 45 minutes. You will see when it's ready, because when your mixer makes a bubble, it almost seemed like the bubble has a "skin". This is probably the hardest step of making black forest.
4. When ready, sift together flour and cocoa and fold it into the egg batter. Make sure to fold it thoroughly since the egg batter is rather "foamy" and the dry ingredients will be trapped in between the batter.
5. Stir in the butter, again, make sure to stir thoroughly.
6. From this point on, you can either spoon the butter into cupcakes mold or you can pour the batter to 2  pre-greased cake pans (I used 9-10 in round pans, but feel free to make a square gateau).
7. Bake for 20 minutes.

Directions for cupcakes:
1. After the cupcakes are baked, cut off the top of the cupcake (the one that looks like muffin tops).
2. Make indentation using the back of a spoon/fork, big enough so the black cherries can fit in it.
3. Place the black cherries into the indentation, press lightly until the cherries are embedded into the cupcakes.
4. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cherry syrup onto the cupcakes.
5. Let sit overnight and on the next day garnish with whipping cream and maraschino cherries.

Direction for cake:
1. Divide the cake horizontally and trim all the "crispy" cake surfaces (these are the surfaces that are in contact with the cake pan).
2. Divide the cherry syrup into 2 parts (approx. 1/3 cup per part) and spoon the syrup onto the cake (1 part per cake).
3. Let sit overnight.
4. On the next day, spread whipped cream on the surface of one cake and embed the black cherries into the whipped cream layer. Top with the other half of the cake.
5. Garnish with more whipping cream and maraschino cherries.

Hope you'd enjoy this. Just remember, keep the cakes/cupcakes cold. The whipping cream will melt otherwise.

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