Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day & Black Forest Cake

As promised, this is the second of two Valentine's Day desserts (that would be perfect to serve any day). The first of which being a rich and decadent Hazelnut Torte I served topped with ganache and gently whipped cream. This time, I took a sweeter approach for something really special to serve to my love on this Valentine's Day. My husband adored the cake. So much so that he awoke and requested it for breakfast...while reciting lines to the best of his recollection from one of my favorite Pablo Neruda poems.

May you awake in love to something sweet and poetic everyday.

Black Forest Cake


24 ounce (700 ml) jar of Morello Cherries in syrup, or jar of sour cherries (I found mine at Whole Foods)

4 tablespoons Kirsch or Cherry Brandy

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

Directions for Cherries:

Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid. Place the cherries in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons Kirsch. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. Place 1 cup (240 ml) of the reserved cherry syrup in a small saucepan, along with the sugar, and heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons Kirsch, and let cool.

In colander (or using hand) over medium bowl, drain cherries. Save liquid. In separate bowl, add cherries and combine with two tablespoons Kirsch. Cover bowl and place aside. Add one cup of saved liquid from cherries into pan with 1/4 cup sugar. Heat on medium until sugar has dissolved. Move pan off heat and add in two tablespoons kirsch. Allow to cool completely.
Recipe courtesy and adapted from Joy of Baking

Proceed with cakes.

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY®'S Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup boiling water

Cake Directions:

1. Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow to preheat. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, or coat with butter, then flour, turn and gently tap to remove excess flour. I like to both line with parchment and butter and flour.

2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Pour in eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat with mixer on medium speed until ingredients fully incorporate. Carefully stir in (I a used fork) boiling water. Batter will become thin.

Equally divide batter between two prepared cake pans.

3. Allow cakes to bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted into middle of cake removes clean. When done, allow cakes to cool ten minutes in pans. Transfer cakes from pans onto a wire rack and let cool completely. I put cakes in freezer for about 20 minutes to make sure they were very cool before adding whipped cream.
Recipe courtesy and adapted from Hershey's via All Recipes.com

Once cakes have cooled completely, proceed with Whipped Cream Frosting.

Whipped Cream Frosting:

2 1/2 cups (600 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35% butterfat)

4 ounces cream cheese, preferably Philadelphia

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 tablespoons (35 grams) granulated white sugar

Whipped Cream Frosting:

Add cream cheese to bowl and mix on medium speed until broken. Continuing to beat on medium, slowly pour in heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Beat until mixture increases in volume and just begins to become stiff. Add in sugar. Continue to beat until you've formed stiff peaks, or just until sugar is combined.
Recipe courtesy and adapted from All Recipes.com

Assemble Cake:

If needed, slice mound off upside (top) of the bottom layer of cake to flatten and make more steady to support second cake. Brush off excess crumbs. (*Note: Many places instruct simply turning one cake over so that the bottom of cake becomes the top, but I find that if your cake baked with a slight mound on top, the cake will not sit as flat on cake plate or dish, but if you don't have that issue, you can simply turn bottom layer of cake over and proceed with directions normally.) Brush top of the bottom layer of cake with 1/4 cup of reserved cherry syrup with Kirsch you made earlier.
Spread one cup of whipped cream over the top of moistened cake. Cover whipped cream with Kirsch soaked cherries. Turn over top layer of cake, so that the bottom is facing up, and brush with 1/4 cup of reserved cherry syrup. Place moistened side of cake (bottom) on top of cherries and whipped cream. Press down gently. Set one cup of whipped cream aside and frost cake with remaining whipped cream. Add remaining 1 cup of whipped cream to pastry bag and, using large star tip, pipe rosettes around top of cake. Decorate with cherries, fresh or maraschino, and chocolate shavings and Refrigerate for several hours or overnight covered before serving.


  1. What a fabulous Valentine's Day (or any day) dessert! Happy Valentine's Day!

  2. that looks sooo delish! what i would do to take a bite!

    happy valentine's day!!

  3. wow! I love black forest is my favorite and this look georgeous!! happy valentine to you dear!

  4. I don't think anything can beat a black forest cake. Hope you had a great Valentine's Day. Diane

  5. This beautiful cake would make anyone's day sweeter! Happy Valentine's Day! <3

  6. That looks incredible! It puts my V-day dessert to shame.


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