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BlogRecipe

Winter Black Forest Cake

serves

Prep

Cooking

A celebration cake soaked in kirsch filled with layers of cherries and cream and coated in chocolate bark.

From Le Creuset

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 225g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 90ml hot water
  • 175g plain flour
  • 50g corn flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch salt

for the chocolate bark pieces

  • 300g dark chocolate

for the kirsch syrup

  • 100g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 50ml Kirsch

for the cake filling

  • 1 jar sour cherries in syrup (160g drained weight), plus the juice 200ml
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 5 gelatin sheets
  • 35ml kirsch
  • 600ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the cake decoration

  • 600ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g fresh cherries
  • Rosemary sprigs

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C Fan/ Gas Mark 6
  • Line the base of the Toughened Non-Stick Bakeware 24cm springform with baking paper, do not grease the edges.
  • Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and hot water together in a bowl at full speed until light and creamy and holds its shape. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
  • Mix the flour, corn flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Sieve the mixture over the egg mixture. Gently fold in with a spatula until all the dry ingredients have been combined.
  • Pour the batter into the springform and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven once a skewer comes out of the cake clean. Let it cool completely.
  • Remove the cake from the tin and wrap in clingfilm, store in the fridge overnight. This means the cake will not crumble when sliced.

chocolate topping

  • Place the dark chocolate in a Le Creuset saucepan over a low heat to melt. Once melted, pour half onto a sheet of baking paper and smooth down a little. Put another sheet of baking paper on top.
  • Using a rolling pin, carefully roll out the chocolate between the sheets of baking paper. The chocolate should not run out the sides. Then, roll up the paper thinly and place it in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Repeat this with the other half of the chocolate.
  • Take the rolls out of the freezer and then unroll after at least 1 hour. This will break up the chocolate to form bark-like pieces.

kirsch syrup (next day)

  • Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool, then add the Kirsch.

filling

  • For the cherry filling, drain the can of cherries and collect 200ml of the juice. Mix the juice with 2 tablespoons of corn flour. Heat in a saucepan and continuously stir until the mixture thickens. Stir in the cherries and leave to cool.
  • Soak the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, warm the Kirsch slightly in a small saucepan, squeeze out the gelatin and dissolve in the Kirsch, making sure to continuously stir. Remove from the heat.
  • Whip the 600ml of double cream and vanilla extract together until stiff.
  • Slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the cream and fold together.
  • Place the cream in a piping bag.

assembling the cake

  • Cut the cake into four layers. Place the first layer of cake in the base of the springform cake tin. Drizzle 1/3 of the Kirsch syrup over the cake base, then put the prepared cherries on top, leaving about 1-2cm of edge. Pipe the edge with cream and then layer the next cake on top.
  • Drizzle 1/3 of the Kirsch syrup onto this base, then spread half of the cream on top and cover with the third layer of cake.
  • Drizzle the third tier with the last of the kirsch syrup, then spread the remaining cream on top and top with the fourth layer of cake.
  • Chill the cake for 1 hour.

final decorations

  • Remove the cake from the tin and place on a cake stand or serving plate.
  • Whip the remaining 600ml of double cream with the vanilla extract until thick.
  • Spread the cake with 2/3 of the whipped cream. This works best with a palette knife.
  • Place the remaining cream into a piping bag with a star nozzle and make small ‘snow hills’ on the cake. Place a large dollop of cream in the middle.
  • Decorate the edge of the cake with the chocolate bark pieces. Pile a small ‘campfire’ with the rest of the chocolate in the middle of the cake.
  • Decorate the cake with cherries and small ‘Rosemary trees’.
  • Chill the finished cake for at least 4 hours and take it out of the fridge about 1 hour before serving.

cook's notes

  • The sour cherries are often only available at Christmas time or in delis so you can use 160g of frozen cherries cooked with 200ml water instead.

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