Three layers of chocolate sponge soaked in cherry brandy then filled and topped with Vanilla buttercream, cherry compote/conserve and fresh cherries, make this Cherry Black Forest Cake the perfect dessert for any occasion.
For the chocolate shards using the recipe link mentioned above
250gmilk or dark chocolate
For the chocolate sponge
100gmilk or dark chocolatemelted
100gsoft brown sugar
100ggolden caster sugar
3medium eggslightly beaten
½teaspoonsbicarbonate of soda
For the filling and decorating
3tablepsoons double cream
3tablespoonscherry brandy for soaking the chocolate sponge cakes
400gfresh cherriesstone and slice 200g of the cherries in half
340gjar of cherry conserve or cherry compote
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You will need to make the chocolate shards first. But to simplify things all you need to do is;
Melt the chocolate in a bain marie
Spread the chocolate out onto some baking parchment.
Rollup the baking parchment, secure the ends with paper clips
Place the roll of chocolate in the fridge to set.
Make the Chocolate Cake Batter
While the Chocolate Shards are setting in the fridge, start to make the rest of the Black Forest Cake. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease and line 3 x 19 cm round loose-bottomed cake tins. If you are using baking bands, now is the time to soak them in a bowl of water.
If you haven’t already done so, melt the (100g) chocolate, which will be later added to the cake batter, in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water. Do not allow the bowl to touch the simmering water or it will burn the chocolate. Once melted, take the bowl off the heat and leave it to one side to allow the chocolate to cool but not set.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, if you feel the mixture is beginning to curdle, add a little of the flour.
When all the eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract, the cooled melted chocolate, sieved cocoa powder, coffee powder, flour and bicarbonate of soda. Mix until well combined. Finally, mix in the soured cream.
Pour the cake batter evenly into the three prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for 20-25 or until baked. Testing the centre of the cakes with a cake skewer until it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tins to cool for about 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While still warm, pour the cherry brandy over the cakes, about 1 tablespoon per cake, allowing it to soak through.
MAKE THE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM ICING
Beat together the butter and the icing sugar until lighter in colour with a fluffy texture. Add the double cream, vanilla extract and mix some more. You should have a very think pipeable consistency. Place two thirds of the mixture into a piping bag with your favourite star nozzle and leave the rest in the mixing bowl to be used to fill and coat the outside of the cake. Do not place it in the fridge or it will become hard and difficult to pipe and spread on the cake.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE
Decorate your cake in any way you wish, but this is how I did mine.
Step 1. Place one layer of sponge onto a cake stand or large plate.
Step2. Pipe the edge of the cake with buttercream, fill the centre with Cherry Compote/conserve and add a few of the fresh cherry halves.
Step 3. Place the second layer on top and repeat the process.
Leave the remaining buttercream in the piping back for more decorating later.
Place the third cake layer on top. Cover the top and sides of the cake with buttercream from your mixing bowl. Pipe more rosettes around the edge of the top and fill the centre with more cherry compose as you did with the first two layers.
Now start to add your chocolate bark around the sides of the cake. You may need to dab on a little more buttercream to make the shards stick. If your hands are a little too warm and the chocolate begins to melt, use food tongs or tweezers to make the job easier and less messy.
Complete the look with more fresh cherries and pieces of broken chocolate.
STORAGE AND TIPS
This cake will keep for a couple of days at room temperature if covered.
There is no need to keep this cake in the fridge. If you do, the sponge and buttercream will become very firm and you will need to bring it back to room temperature before serving.
If you don't want to make your own Chocolate Shards for decoration, use the rest of the buttercream on the sides of the cake. It will still look stunning.