We recently wrapped up our study of Germany with a couple nights of German cuisine. I was much less intimidated by our German menu than I was when cooking in Italy!
While baking the Black Forest Cake I was skeptical about whether we'd enjoy it for our dessert. It turns out, we all decided that it was a keeper!! Even my husband who could take or leave a cake (I know, I question his sanity), loved this. The cake was moist and flavorful, the frosting between the layers perfectly sweet while the whipped cream frosting on the outside kept it from being overpoweringly sweet. I was most concerned about too much cherry flavor, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it complimented the rest of the cake quite nicely.
While a traditional Black Forest Cake is to be prepared with a type of cherry flavored alcohol called kirschwasser (enough, I read, to make you feel it!), we obviously made some substitutions to eliminate the liquor.
Cake1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
Frosting Between Layers
2 (14 ounce) cans pitted Bing cherries, drained and reserved1/2 c. cherry juice
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1 pinch salt
1 t. strong brewed coffee
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate, grated
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 9" cake pans by greasing with shortening and dusting with flour.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined.
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total.
Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup cherry juice.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick (which is was), add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk. (I used milk and more than a couple teaspoons. I just kept adding a few at a time until it was at least spreadable.)
Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling.
Top with 1/3 of the cherries.
Repeat with the remaining layers.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla to stiff peaks. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate garnish. I piped on some whipped topping with a large star tip and added the extra cherries on top.