Chocolate Blackout Forest Cake
This is the second part of my birthday cake post.
I was hungry for a Black Forest cake, but more specifically chocolate and cherries. I thought about making this for Valentine’s Day but plans (LASIK surgery) got in the way. So I decided to make this and share with family for our youngest daughter’s first birthday. The thing I love about black forest cake is the chocolate and the cherries, so I wanted to feature those two things in my cake.
Growing up, I remember eating a cake from a box that used this special fluted pan and as far as I can remember, it was called black forest cake. It was a layer of chocolate cake, that when it was inverted to cool, you poured this packet of cherry pie filling in it. Not sure if there was anything else to it, but that’s what I remember. So going on childhood memories I decided to make my own cake.
I have some fabulous recipes for chocolate cake and chocolate frosting and that’s what I used here. I picked another element, chocolate ganache, from a Chocolate Raspberry Torte our family makes. Two out of the three recipes I used are actually already on this blog, and the ganache was a cinch to make.
I used my ever popular Black Magic Cake for the cake part. This chocolate cake is so incredibly moist and gets right to the point to fix any chocolate craving.
I divided the batter between two round cake pans and for some added chocolatey goodness, I sprinkled some semi-sweet chocolate chips on top of the batter to melt into the cake as it cooked. The cake bakes for about 30-35 minutes until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
More Chocolate – Icing and Ganache
Most Black Forest Cakes are iced and filled with a cherry flavored whipped cream and chocolate curls, but I wanted mine to highlight my favorite components. Instead of filling the cake with maraschino cherries and whipped cream I simply used my Fudged Fudge Frosting as the cake filling. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate ganache as smoothly as possible over the top of the cake and messily down the sides. The cake kind of took on a rustic look with the ganache randomly flowing over the sides – because I can never get it smooth enough without the filling getting in the way.
Pipe a fudge frosting border (or moat) with your favorite decorating tip to contain the cherry pie filling on the top.
Once the ganache and icing set (or crust) a bit, add the cherry pie filling in small spoonfuls. The entire can of filling most likely will not fit, but most of it will. It is far easier to add more filling then to take cherries off.
From there, you can choose to add a bear – like I did or eat as is.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
- -----*To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.
- 1 cup strong black coffee OR one of the following options:
- -----*2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee, plus 1 cup boiling water
- -----*1 tablespoon instant espresso, plus 1 cup boiling water
- ¼ c vegetable oil + ¼ unsweetened applesauce (OR ½ c vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and begin boiling just over a cup of water (to make coffee). While the oven is pre-heating prep 2-round cake pans (8" or 9")
- Sift or mix together, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Add eggs, buttermilk (or soured milk), coffee, oil (or oil/applesauce mixture) and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined. Batter will be VERY thin.
- Pour batter evenly between the two pans.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Fudged Fudge Frosting
- 6 cups Confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 c Crisco
- 4 – 1oz squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1/2 boiling water (added some powdered espresso)
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
- Beat on low until well blended
- Beat at least 1 minute more
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup Heavy Whipping cream
- Place ingredients in microwave safe measuring cup.
- First cook for 45 seconds, stir gently
- Continue to cook in 30 second intervals until chocolate is smooth. Do NOT overcook, or chocolate will seize.
- Use an offset spatula to spread evenly over cake surface.