Thursday, April 19, 2012

Black Forest Cake, part I (Cake)

Tomorrow is the 30th birthday of a friend I've known since I was a very young teenager.  This friend is a good buddy, and a huge supporter of my baking.  With that in mind, I asked, what should I make for this birthday?  The reply: a resounding BLACK FOREST CAKE.  I asked if black forest cupcakes would be okay, since they come in individual servings, and would be perfectly easy to serve at the planned backyard barbeque party.  The reply: BLACK FOREST CAKE!

So, since only cake will do, I started searching for recipes.  This was no easy task, let me tell you.  From the myriad of (sometimes ugly) cakes online, there's everything ranging from cake mix + cherry pie filling + whipped cream cakes, to cakes with kirsch, cakes with maraschino cherries, cakes with fresh cherries, frozen cherries, jarred cherries, some with cherry Jell-o... it's enough to make your head spin!

I finally settled on a recipe from Canadian Living.  It's a black forest cake with chocolate mousse and jarred cherries.  Which really was my only 'real' option since fresh cherries are just plain out of season, and the frozen ones are nearly impossible to find.  So far, so good.  It smells delicious and is waiting to be decorated and shared.

Happy (nearly) birthday, Chris!

Black Forest Cake
Makes: 2 8-inch cake layers

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Grease sides of two 8-inch springform pans or two 8-inch round metal cake pans; line bottoms with waxed paper. Set aside.
In medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla.
With wooden spoon, stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of buttermilk. Spoon into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
Bake in 350F oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes.   Let cool in pans on rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely on rack.
(Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)


Source: Canadian Living online.

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