May 08, 2012

The Imperfections of Black Forest Cake


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This is a sudden crave. I must eat a slice of black forest cake.

To be honest, I have made chocolate cake perhaps hundred times but never ever occur to me to make it black forest. It is so classic that you can see almost in any bakery this cake is sitting gracefully on the counter. So popular that I want to have it on my plate.

The thing is, I don't have cherries. Cherries are Black Forest's best friend. Without cherries, black forest won't be a black forest.

Our cherry trees in the orchard is almost naked with yellow leaves fallen down, piled to make compost for their own food supply, and there is not a single fruit up there, no matter how  much I want it. It's early winter here in New Zealand and there is no way I am going to buy $20/kg imported fresh cherries. Besides, I support local produce. I also forgot to buy Morello cherries on our groceries store last week, so well, black forest without cherries? There is the imperfection number one

OK. How about Maraschino cherries? This has been on my list for such a long time. But, you know what? I can't find it anywhere at the supermarkets, health food stores, and bulk food stores, everywhere. I give up. I don't think that horrible taste of glace cherries will do the topping. So, black forest without maraschino cherries on top? There is the imperfection number two.

Well. Now the search for chocolate cake. I want it something gluten-free. Yes, I can use my own favourite recipe, but I want something different. Something that I have never done before. I browse around. And found the Black Forest Cake on Taste, Australian online magazine website.

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Reading the recipe, I must admit that some ingredients I have to omit because of the unavailability. What is Nuttelex? Is it some kind of baby Nuttela? And I don't have baby cereal. Our baby doesn't eat cereal, as she prefers fresh fruit and yogurt or rice pudding instead of a box of cereal (I don't like feeding my baby out of mass produce baby food that comes out of a packet or a jar anyway--I'd rather cook). So I increase the use of almond meal.

I also don't have gluten-free self-rising flour, so I just use gluten-free mix and add a teaspoon of baking powder and half teaspoon of baking soda.

And I begin the adventure.

The cake comes out fine. Rather thinner than I thought. My head is full with speculations that I'd rather split it into two rather than three, because I might have really really thin layers; too thin they will break. But I determine I will split the cake into three thin layers, so I did. And there is the imperfection number three. The layers break as I predicted. The cake is so fragile as well as so moist. Split it to two layers might have been better. But well, there's no time to weep, can't glue the cake back, the show must go on, the crave is still on.

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I whip the thick cream with a little icing sugar, spread in between three broken layers, mending as I go along, sort of. I have made the chocolate shards the night before, to decorate the sides of the cake, so what I do is just to get it out of the fridge and unfold it, just follow Donna's instruction on Donna Hay iPad app on back Birthday Issue (can't get the link--sorry). I ran out of the cream, not enough to cover the whole cake, so this is the imperfection number four.

Looking into the pantry, searching for dark chocolate, I find myself disappointed. I had used all my 72% dark chocolate for the side garnish the other night, nothing left for making ganache (to replace the whipped cream). So, OK. I'll use whatever I have. Milk chocolate is my second last to list, and now I beg its mercy.

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With whatever leftover whipped cream I have, I melt the milk chocolate along in a double boiler. What did I get than a curdle mixture that started to expose the oil. I removed it out of the stove, beating like mad. The mixture stays curdled. I ran to the fridge and found a little more fresh cream in its bottle. I heat that and pour the hot cream a little at a time into the curdled chocolate. Do you know what comes next?

I just couldn't believe myself, that the mixture is getting smoother and smoother to the right consistency that I expect it should be. I was on top of the moon, in fact, I was going to Saturn!

To finish the cake, I strip off Ferrero Rocher's golden dress to reveal its nutty ball and put it on piped swirled leftover whipped cream. My dream cake is done. 

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I enjoy every bite. The layers are so moist, so chocolaty, enriched by slightly sweetened cream chantilly that goes well together, so soft that I could just use my tongue to melt it into a creaminess goods for my tummy to digest. Milk chocolate ganache which is another element for me to get worried about before is there actually to complement the dark chocolate that spiked around the edges of the cake and crumbled on top of it. 

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I love this imperfect black forest cake. 






I'm sending this cake for Sweet New Zealand, originated by Alessandra Zecchini. Jemma of Time for A Little Something is hosting this month.

6 comments:

Alessandra said...

hahaha nutelex!! Too funny!! I made a choc cake once decorated with the Ferrero Roucher but I left them in the gold paper, they actually looked quite stunning on the dark chocolate ganache... anyway, what I wanted to say, great cake, good for when I feel PMTish, just what I need in fact! You should enter it for sweet New Zealand, this month host is Jemma, info here http://timeforalittlesomething.com/2012/05/01/time-for-a-little-something-presents-sweet-new-zealand/

ciao
Alessandra

Hesti HH. said...

Mbaaaak...perfect banget menurutku! cakenya kelihatan moist banget walaupun pake tepung gluten free. Dan yang paling seru cerita pembuatannya...gimana perjuangan mbak Arfi demi sepotong black forest!

MiNDY said...

Have you tried a recipe of German Black Forest?

Peasepudding.wordpress.com said...

My goodness that is an amazing looking black forest cake, very decadent!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

What a beautiful post, Arfi, and a stunning cake. I would love a slice of that cake - it looks perfect in every way.
Sue xo

Grace Cakes said...

Oh my that looks good! I am actually craving some now just from looking at the beautiful photos!