Black Forest Cake
This is my simple but delicious version of the old classic Black Forest Gateaux. It has all the familiar flavours – chocolate cake, cream and cherries – without being hard to make! The cake is beautifully soft and moist, especially with the addition of the reduced down cherry syrup. You can add cherry liqueur (or kirsch) if you like, but I haven’t here.
- 250g flour
- 65g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 400g sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup oil (120ml), eg canola or vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk*
- 1 cup (240 ml) hot water
- 2 x 425g canned stoneless black cherries in syrup
- 400ml cream, whipped
- Chocolate shavings (optional)
- A shot of cherry liqueur or kirsch (optional, I didn’t use)
* Don’t have buttermilk? It’s easy to make your own – just stir 1 tbsp white vinegar or 1 tbsp lemon juice into 1 cup milk, and leave to one side for 5 minutes to thicken. That’s it!
- Preheat oven to 180°C fan. Grease and line the bases of two 20.5cm cake pans.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla essence, oil, buttermilk (*or homemade version), and water. Add the water slowly to avoid scrambling the eggs! Beat the mixture until smooth.
- In a large bowl, sieve flour and cocoa powder. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix together.
- Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Gently whisk to remove any lumps, but don’t OVER mix.
- Pour equal amounts into both cake tins (it’s supposed to be quite a runny mixture!). Bake for approx. 35 mins or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
- While the cakes are baking, drain the cans of black cherries. Put the cherries to one side and keep about 200ml of the syrup. Pour the syrup into a saucepan and simmer over a low heat until it’s thickened and reduced (to about 70ml). If you’re using a cherry liqueur, add this to the saucepan and simmer at the same time.
- Once cooked, leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack – one cake upside down and one cake the right way up.
- While the cakes are still warm, brush with the thickened syrup. Brush the base of one cake, and the top of the other (so that when they’re assembled the base of the bottom cake won’t be sticky on the the plate!).
- Place the cake with the brushed syrup on top, onto a cake stand or plate. Layer with half the cream and half the cherries.
- Lay the second cake on top, and decorate with the remaining cream and cherries. I like a simple rustic look, but you can pipe the cream if you prefer! Grate chocolate shavings over the top.
- Using buttermilk, rather than normal milk, helps make the cakes soft and moist.
- Brushing the cakes while they’re warm helps the syrup soak in – the cakes will be super moist and delicious!
- Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days (although it NEVER lasts that long in my house!).
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