Black Forest Cake
I've recently been experimenting with my Black Forest Cake recipe, and have landed on this awesome version whereby I have modified my Strawberry & Cream Sponge cake recipe for a chocolatey, moist, light and gorgeous version. Although I still have my previous black forest gateau recipe on here, at the moment this is my new favourite version! The instructions may appear lengthy, it is only because they are detailed which will help guide you through each step so you end up with a moist perfect cake.
If you do not have cake flour, you can make your own by simply measuring 1 1/4 cups plain/all purpose flour, then remove 2 and a half tbsp from it and substitute with 2 and a half tbsp of cornflour/cornstarch. Sieve together and use as per the recipe.
First prepare the syrup. Mix the sugar in hot water until dissolved and then add the vanilla. Set this aside for later. Also, macerate your sliced strawberries by sprinkling the 2 tbsp sugar on them, cover and refrigerate to make them soft and juicy for the cake filling later.
Preheat the oven at 170C.
Grease and line two 8" round pans, then grease over the parchment paper and dust the inside of each pan lightly with flour.
Sift the flour with the cocoa powder and baking powder 3 times, then add the salt to it and set aside. These will be your dry ingredients.
Put the butter and milk in a small heatproof bowl and set aside.
Take a pan filled a quarter-way with water and put in on the heat, allow it to gently heat up but not come to a rolling boil. We will need this to act as a double boiler in a little while.
Put the eggs and castor sugar in a large bowl and beat using a hand mixer for 1 minute. Then place this bowl over the prepared pan of simmering water and continue beating the egg mixture for 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and turn off the heat. Place the bowl with the butter and milk in this hot water so that it melts gently. Take care that the water does not go into the butter/milk mixture.
In the meantime, continue beating the egg mixture for another 5 mintues until thickened. Then take a hand whisk and whisk the egg mixture for a few seconds just to make sure everything is well combined.
Now put the dry ingredients in a sieve and sift ALL of it gently over the egg mixture. Using a spantula, fold the flour into the egg mixture using long gentle strokes, you can count the strokes, they should not exceed 40. Then add the vanilla and the melted butter/milk mixture. Again, fold the mixture with your spatula using gentle strokes, this time not more than 60 strokes to ensure everything is well mixed. Be very gentle and use a light hand to avoid deflating the batter too much.
Once done, pour the batter into the prepared pans. Tap the pans once on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Then bake in the preheated oven for about 23-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Careful not to over bake.
Immediately on taking the pans out of the oven, tap them on the counter (pick the pan and drop gently a couple of times) to prevent the cake from shrinking as it cools.
Now turn the cakes over on a rack but do not remove the pans. Let the pans cool down until they are easy to handle with your hands without getting burnt.
In the meantime, whip your cream with icing sugar and vanilla and keep it ready.
Remove the pans, remove the greaseproof paper. Slice each cake in half, drizzle or brush the sugar syrup all over the cut halves, then on each layer add sliced macerated strawberries. Cover the strawberries with whipped cream, put the second half of the cake and cream that as well. Continue until you have your 4 layers of cake stalked with strawberries and cream filling between the layers. Cover the entire cake with more whipped cream. Decorate the top with chocolate shavings and whole cherries or strawberries. Chill until the cream sets and enjoy your yummy cake!