Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vikalinka: Schwartzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake)

This year my mom decided she wanted a different kind of chocolate cake.  Something more interesting.  Something like a cake that takes several hours and has three different parts.  ::sighs::  But I can't turn her down.  And I especially can't turn her down if it's Black Forest Cake.  Yes, it gets put in caps.

I found this recipe on the internet, where I joined the hordes of gawkers swooning over the beauty that is a boozy cake.  I had never gotten one to work in the past, mostly because the cherry filling starts to ooze out the sides through the whipped cream, making the cake look like it's bleeding to death.  Not appealing.  But this cake just uses boozy cherries in the middle with no cornstarchy syrup.

Schwartzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake)
Adapted from Vikalinka blog

For the cake:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the filling:
2½ cups whipping cream
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
1 vanilla bean
3 teaspoons powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water

2 (14½-ounce) cans tart cherries in water, drained, soaked in ¼ cup kirsch for an hour

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, sift flour and cocoa.  Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, combine gelatin and cold water. Let stand for 2 minutes. Place the measuring cup in a microwave and heat for 15 seconds until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Run a sharp knife along the length of a vanilla bean, open it, and with a blade of a dull knife, scrape out the seeds.  In a large mixing bowl, beat whipping cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and brandy on medium speed while gradually drizzling gelatin mixture over cream mixture. Continue beating cream mixture until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight up). Adding gelatin to the filling gives it more stability.

Drain the cherries, reserving the kirsch.  Set aside 8 cherries for decoration, if desired.  Cut each cake layer in two to make four layers.  Brush each layer with the reserved kirsch, and then fill with the cream filling and cherries. Leave ¼ of the cream filling for the sides and the top.  Cover the sides and the top of the cake with the cream filling.

Decorate with reserved cherries.  Chill in the fridge for the cream filling to set. Keep refrigerated.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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