Monday, February 25, 2008

First valentine day and black forest cake

It was our first valentine day celebration together after marriage and i was wondering how to make this day extra special. But my husband being a food lover i know what i need to do. I decided to bake something which he will love. And the first thing came into my mind is this black forest cake. I started searching for the recipe. The one constrain for me is i don't own a kitchen scale. So i needed the recipe with the measurement in cups not in weight. And finally i found one recipe, and beleive me it was very simple to follow. The only change i did in the recipe is with the cherry pie filling. Instead of using Maraschino cherry ( which is generally used in black forest recipe ) i made my own strawberry syrup. The final result was delicious and was appreciated by everyone whoever tasted it. And i know i m going to use this recipe very frequently in future so writing it down .
Here is the recipe:
For Cake :
1/3 cup boiling water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant-espresso powder
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs

For topping :
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp powder sugar

For filling :
I changed the filling by using frozen strawberries .Can use fresh if available .Though i bought the maraschino cherry bottle for the cake but we didn't like the taste of it .I think the preservatives were too strong .So thought of using strawberries instead of cherry and who doesn't love chocolate and strawberry combination
So here is what i used for the filling :
8 to 10 -Strawberries ( reserve few for decoration )
2-3 Tbls sugar (adjust according to the tartness of berries )
3/4 cup water

Method :
1. Make cake layers:
a) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper and butter and flour it.I used two 8 X 8 inch pans to make two separate cakes and then layer them .
b) Whisk together water, cocoa, and espresso powder until smooth, then whisk in milk and vanilla.
c) Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
d) Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy, then add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing at low speed until just combined.
e) Divide batter into two baking dishes equally , bake for 20-25 minutes till tester comes clean. Cool completely. Set aside.

2. Whip the heavy cream till it forms soft peaks. An electric beater does this job quickly. Fold in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp powder sugar and set aside.

3. Chop the strawberries in small pieces .Put the berries, water and sugar in a pan and boil it until thickens a little .set aside

4. Put the two cakes on a plate and spread the cherry mix on both along with the syrup .Keep it for 5 min so the cake gets moist .

5. To assemble, place the lower layer on a cake dish. Spread with 1/3 of the cream filling. Lay the top layer over this. Spread the top layer and sides of the cake with the rest of the cream mixture. Decorate with some cherries and sprinkle on the chocolate shavings liberally.

6. Chill for a few hours, then serve!. an awesome treat is waiting for you :)


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