Black Forest in Southend, Essex!

August 22, 2010

I was once asked by someone, what would I cook to impress someone coming for dinner.

I think I am not the kind of home cook who would do things to impress friends who coming for a meal. I rather like to make food that somehow would reminded them certain events or places that they experienced. I often find clues of what my friends like through various of our conversations.

For some reasons, I have never the desire to make Black Forest gateau until yesterday! This desire of making this cake mainly because of my friend, Cynthia Cheong!

She and her friend have been touring around Europe for the last 50 odd days, and she was gutted that she did not manage to taste the real Black Forest gateau while she was in Black Forest! So I thought I will try to recreate Black Forest while they are staying at my place in Southend, Essex. UK! So a Black Forest in Southend! I have to admit, this is the first time ever I try to make this cake, it wasn’t easy! I made each of us a small individual cake. The off cut of the cake is now sitting in the fridge for future experiments!

This cake is a twist of a combination of 2 different recipes I found online!

To make the Chocolate Ganache:

  1. 240g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
  2. 300ml freah double cream

Put the cream in a heavy pan and bring to boil. Stir occasionally. In a big bowl, put the chocolate and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir until a smooth paste achieved. Set aside to cool completely.

To make the filling:

  1. Approximate 300g to 400g fresh cherries (pitted). Leave some with stem for decoration later
  2. 75 ml cherry brandy
  3. 60g caster sugar

Add all the ingredients in a pan, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cherry are just soft. Set aside to cool completely.

To make the chocolate cake:

  1. 125g self-raising flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 200g butter (softened)
  5. 5 eggs (separated)
  6. 150g caster sugar
  7. 1-2 tbsp instand coffee powder (or to taste)
  8. 2 tbsp coffee extract
  9. approximate 1/2 of the chocolate ganache

Pre-heat oven to 150’C. Line and butter the base and side of a 20cm cake tin.

Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together and set aside.

Beat the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until firm peaks. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk one at the time. Fold in the coffee extract and powder in the mixture and then the chocolate ganache. Mix well.

In several batches, fold the flour mixture and egg white alternately into the butter mixture (gently). Mix well to a smooth paste.

Pour the mixture in the prepare cake tin and level the top with a spoon.

Bake the mixture in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the care emerges clean. Remove from oven and cool for few minutes in the cake tin. Later, remove the cake from the tin, and set cool completely on a wire rack.

To assemble the cake:

Cut the cake into 2 halves (horizontally), and spoon the cherry brandy syrup over the cake. Add further cherry brandy if you prefer a bit more kick!

In a bowl, pour in 300ml fresh double cream and 2 tbsp icing sugar and beat until soft peaks. Put the cream in the pipping bag.

Place the bottom half of the cake in a stand. Pipe the chocolate ganache around the top edge of the cake. Put the cream in the middle and spoon the cherry compote on the cream. Place the other half of the cake on top of the cream mixture.  Line the two halves nicely and put it in the fridge to harden slightly.

Take the cake from the fridge. Use a cake palette knife, cover the side of the cake with the chocolate ganache. Depending on experience, try your best to make it as presentable as you can..(It wasn’t easy! I have never use a cake palette knife before for cake decoration, so I find it difficult and definitely required a lot of experience to make it nice and smooth!)

In a separate pipping bag, put in the remaining chocolate ganache. Pipe the chocolate ganache around the top edge (make it as presentable as possible). Pipe or Spread the cream over the top of the cake, and arrange some fresh cherries on the cream…You could also sprinkle some grated chocolate on top before serving the cake to your friends!

This is not a very sweet cake which is a good thing! I think!

I hope Cynthia and her friend are not too disappointed with the presentation!! But at least they have a taste of the Black Forest in Southend!


6 Responses to “Black Forest in Southend, Essex!”

  1. denizdalya Says:

    I must necessarily translate this recipe to Turkish:)Looks delicious:)very nice photo…

  2. This looks insanely rich and decadent. I would certainly be impressed if you served this to me.

    • kokloongw Says:

      I wish I can decorate the cake better, It looked a bit amateurish!
      This taste of the cake is quite good, according to my coffee/chocolatey but not too sweet.

  3. Anna's Table Says:

    Nice touch adding coffee to your recipe. The cake looks decadent and so delicious. You did a great job.
    P.S. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and leaving some very helpful and much needed suggestions on the proper cooking method for cai xin.


  4. Cynthia Cheong Says:

    Well…Is honored very much has the opportunity to eat this ‘ Black Forest in southend’,Uk. The taste of this cake is good,not too sweet & rich chocolate. I think more cherries inside the cake will be better also.

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