Today I am embarking on my first blogging Marathon. I will be posting every day for the whole week, which is a huge feat in itself for me, considering how my posts appear in bursts on this blog, more so because of my new job nowadays. As if life was not hectic enough, I now work half days and somehow try to manage all other things in the other half. I am now in complete awe of all you ladies who manage a full time career with kids!
Coming back to the blogging marathon, my chosen theme is ‘Seven Days of Cakes’. Now thats another ‘new’ for this blog. Although I bake every other day and make cakes almost every week, this blog is yet to see most of my creations. That is one of the major reasons that I chose this theme. This will ensure that I post all those lovely cakes that I have tried and have been making regularly.
I start off the week with Black forest Cake, which for us, is synonymous with a Birthday cake. This is our favourite cake when asked to choose, just like so many other people I am sure. Back in India, planning for a Birthday either meant ordering a big Black Forest cake (if we were expecting a lot of people for the party) or picking up a 1/2 Kg cake on the way back home in the evening (when the celebration was restricted to the immediate family). And more often than not, Monginis would be the chosen bakery, for the major reason that it was conveniently located.
Once I started baking, I tried to re create this at home and it took around 2-3 attempts to get it exactly the way it should be. Moist, chocolaty and with lots of fresh whipped cream. The recipe for the basic cake has been adapted from Meeta’s Chocolate cake, which has never let me down till date, whenever I have used it as a base for Iced cakes or even when I have been in the mood for Chocolate indulgence. The rest I have settled on after trying out a couple of things. But really once you have the chocolate cake, most of the job is done and all you need to do is put together the cream and other things.
Black Forest Cake
For the chocolate cake
- 1.5 cups Plain Flour
- 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/2-3/4 Sugar (Increase if you want the cake sweeter)
- 2.5 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 80 gm Cherry/Blackberry preserve (I sometimes skip this)
- Milk (About 250 ml)
For the Filling and topping
- 300 ml Double cream (or whipping cream)
- 3-4 tblsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Can of Black Cherries in juice
- 1 cup grated chocolate (or chocolate shavings)
Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease and line 6” Square Pan (or 6”-7” round )
Cream together the butter & sugar till completely mixed and looks light & fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, keep whisking/mixing after each addition till it is mixed well. Mix vanilla extract & the preserve.
Sieve in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and the cocoa powder into this butter-sugar mixture. Pour in the milk & mix gently. Pour the batter in the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. The baking time depends upon your oven.
Once it is cooked through (check by inserting a tooth pick, if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked), take it out of the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. then turn it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cake is completely cooled, cut it horizontally into two & keep the bottom portion on a serving plate or a cake board and reserve the other half.
Now to make the filling, add the sugar & vanilla essence to the double cream and whisk till it starts to thicken and you get soft peaks when you lift the whisk. Chop the pitted cherries from the can roughly and keep aside. Reserve some (about7-8) whole cherries for decoration.
Sprinkle the bottom part of the cake, placed on the serving plate, with some of the juice from the cherry can & spread about 1/3 of the cream on it, taking care not to spill out too much on the sides.
Then place the chopped cherries on this and top it with the other half of the cake. Before placing it, sprinkle some juice on this half too.
Now spread the remaining cream on the top and sides of the cake, completely covering it. To get a neat and crumb free look, cover the cake roughly and chill in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. This will ‘set’ the first coat of the cream and will prevent the crumbs from sticking out. Once it is chilled top it again with the remaining cream and give a generous coating to completely cover it.
Cover the sides with grated chocolate and decorate some more with whipped cream & the reserved cherries.
My Notes: As I have mentioned, the chocolate cake gives it a very good base and the cream filling & topping makes it really delicious and hard to resist. And of course you have the satisfaction of having made it at home!
Check out what my other Blogging Marathoners are doing (BM#4 hosted by Srivalli)
Diabetes Diet/Management: PJ
Seven Days of Indian Bread: Monika,
30 Minutes Meals: Archana