Cakes have always fascinated me! I used to love to eat cakes as a child and as far as my culinary journey goes, even before I started cooking, I started making cakes.
And I cant tell you how much I love to make great cakes for celebratory occasions. Birthdays and anniversaries always call for special cakes and I’m ever ready to oblige.
My husband’s birthday falls in the first week of May. This is a time when stone fruits like cherries, plums, peaches, apricots and ofcourse the mangoes are in abundance and the strawberries have just gone out of season in India, but still available with that one vendor!
This time I decided to go back to basics and make one of the most popular cakes of all times, the divine Black Forest Cake!
Blackforest Cakes are quite common place now. But, when we were growing up they were deemed quite exotic. A good blackforest or pineapple pastry, which are now available practically in every corner of the bakeries that dot the towns and cities of India were a rare phenomenon back in the 80s and 90s.
Despite black forest cake being so common now, I can safely say that a good piece of black forest cake is not so common after all.
With its origins in Germany, a classic black forest cake will have kirsch apart from the usual elements i.e, chocolate cake, whipped cream, chocolate gratings and cherries.
My version of this cake has a delicious cherry syrup which flavours the cake abundantly and gives it a great depth as well.
I had a surprise planned for my husband with his friends and this cake was the star attraction. Many of them were not even aware that this cake had no eggs and I did not bother to clarify.
The best compliment for this cake came from our friend Uzma Khan, when she said that this was the best blackforest cake she has had!
This cake is one of the richest, softest and luscious cakes I have made. A rich chocolate cake, with layers of fresh cream, slivers of chocolate and cherries- tell me what’s not to love in this classic black beauty? And with these magical ingredients, icing the cake and making it look pretty is a breeze!
But don’t take Uzma’s or my word for that matter. Make this and experience the delightful flavours for yourself.
Watch how to make Eggless Blackforest Cake here –
Eggless Blackforest Cake Recipe
Using good quality ingredients, chocolate, cream and cherries is vital to the success of this recipe.
For the chocolate cake:
200 gm (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
50 gm (1/4 cup) good quality cocoa powder
30 gm (4 tbsp) fine sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda/ sodium bicarbonate
1 tin/400gm sweetened condensed milk
150 gm (3/4th cup) butter melted
1 tbsp vanilla
250 ml (1 cup) water
For the cherry syrup:
175 ml (3/4 cup) water
1 cup cherries
4 to 5 tbsp sugar
For the whipped cream:
2 to 3 cups whipping cream
sugar if required
chocolate shavings and fresh cherries for decoration
Begin by greasing and lining the bases of two 8” round cake tins with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/butter paper. Alternately use a deep 9” or 10” round pan and then cut the cake into layers. If you have only one tin then, you can bake twice using the same cake batter.
In a mixing bowl, assemble 200 gm (1 1/2 cups) flour, 50 gm (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, 30 gm (4 tbsp) sugar, 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda, mix with a spoon and sieve once to make the mixture uniform.
Preheat the oven at about 150 c/300F.
Add in the condensed milk, 150 gm melted butter, 1 tbsp vanilla and 250 ml (1 cup) water to the flour mixture. Beat with an electric hand mixer, stand mixer, whisk or spoon just until the mixture is uniform and smooth and there are no lumps. This shouldn’t take more than a minute with an electric hand mixer/beater. Be careful not to over beat as this tends to stiffen the batter which might lead to a less softer cake.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake for 25 to 30 or until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
After the cakes are done, allow them to rest in their tins for 3 to 4 minutes and then invert them on to a cooling rack.
For the cherry syrup
When the cakes are baking, make the cherry syrup. In a small saucepan, you need to put in 175 ml (3/4th cup) water, 4 to 5 tbsp sugar and 1 cup of pitted cherries. You have to heat this until the sugar dissolves and begins to boil. After the syrup boils for 2 to 3 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool. After it is cool, strain the cherries and reserve the syrup.
While the cherry syrup cools, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Place one half of the cake over a serving plate. Put some cherry syrup all over it. Spread the whipped cream, leaving 1/4” space at the borders. Place the strained cherries over it.
Carefully place the other half of the cake and moisten it with the cherry syrup. With the help of a palette knife level both the cakes, by pressing the knife over the sides, rotating the cake at the same time.
Whip the remaining cream until stiff peaks form.
Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake and cover it over the sides as well. With the help of a cone and an icing nozzle place stars or rosettes on the edges of the cake. To make it prettier, place a cherry on the top of each design.
With the help of a vegetable peeler, peel a bar of chocolate to get chocolate curls. Place some chocolate curls in the centre of the cake. If the temperature is hot, then you can chill your chocolate and that will make it easier to shave off the chocolate. Place some mini chocolate curls on the sides of the cake as well.
Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 hours before slicing.
Makes one tall 8" cake