November 19, 2010

My Blackforest Cake

I had stated "My" Blackforest Cake as the title for this confectionery because as you can see from the picture, the cake looks pretty unfinished, unrefined and sits on a weird base paper that I had amateurishly torn and recycled from my kitchen.  The truth is, I'd never participated in any cooking or baking class before to care about how the cream should be professionally plastered onto my cake.  So, in case any cake connoiseur raises the alarm that this is not a bonafide or conventional blackforest cake, I'd better claim responsibility from the onset for making it look a little queer.  As a token of self-pity for my lack of cake decorating skills, I would like to say it's my personalised version of the cake.  No harm done to the gorgeous taste of the cake, though.  Thank God ;)

I have to confess that the freshness of a homemade cake is so remarkable that it convinces me even more that we shouldn't buy food if we can help it.  Cook your own - it's healthier, fresher and more satisfying 

It was my husband's birthday and he loves his Blackforest Cake.  I've enjoyed cooking so much since I came to Australia that I even decided to make a birthday cake instead of buying one for him.  With Morello and fresh cherries going for a song here, I didn't take long to propel into cake making motion.  I didn't have any cream piping bag but was not very keen to drive out just to get one optional apparatus.  Towards the end of the cake making process, I arranged the cherries on the cake and apologetically said to my husband, "This must be one of the ugliest cakes you've ever seen in your life".  He smiled and took the first bite.  Then like an ego fertiliser for me, his eyes shut in contentment and lips spread in a small smile (I would like to believe that's a universal body language which means "heavenly!").  He gleed in delight and moved on to the second bite, the third, the fourth, the fifth...and I gave up counting! 


2/3 cup self-raising flour
2 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
4 eggs - separate whites from yolks
1/2 cup castor sugar (for cake)
1/2 cup sugar (for cherries)
1 1/2 cups cream
425g pitted Morello or canned cherries
Grated chocolate or chocolate flakes
Fresh or maraschino or canned cherries for decoration


1.  Pre-heat oven to 180*C.  In a saucepan, mix Morello cherries with sugar and cook over low heat for 7 minutes, stirring it occasionally.  Turn heat off.  Transfer into a bowl, let cherry mixture cool down before refrigerating it for about 1 hour.    

2.  Brush the base of a round baking tin (20cm wide) with butter.  Lace the base and sides with baking sheets.  Set aside.

3.  In a cake mixer, beat egg white until fluffy.  Add sugar, one spoon at a time.  Continue to beat mixture until sugar is dissolved and mixture appears shiny.  Add egg yolks and beat for a further 20 seconds.  Turn off the cake mixer.  

4.  Add cocoa and self-raising flour.  Using a spatula, gently fold in the mixture.  Transfer into the baking tin and bake cake for 15-20 minutes until cake is fully cooked.

5.  Take cake out of oven and let it cool in the baking tin for 5 minutes before transferring it out onto a cooling rack.  When cake is cooled, slice into halves at the middle section, overturning the halves so that both the sliced surfaces are facing up.  These are the surfaces that you will be working the cream on later.

6.  In a cake mixer, beat the cream for 2-3 minutes.  Do not overbeat as cream will turn into buttermilk with overbeating.

7.  Working on one of the sliced halves of the cake, smear the cream on the surface.  Top the creamed surface generously with the sweetened and cooled Morella cherries.  Cover the layer with the other slice of the cake so they become sandwich-like.  Smear the remaining cream all over the cake's surface and sides.  Decorate the cake with grated chocolate and cherries to your liking.  


- Cake is best served chilled.  When left in the fridge, remember to cover the cake with a cake cover as otherwise the cream will harden.

- I didn't add cocoa powder to my cake mixture, as it's optional. I had also sliced the cake into 3 layers instead of 2.  Use your creativity and customise the cake according to your liking. 

Fearlessly Simple & Home Cooked

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