Thursday, 23 April 2015

Eggless Black Forest Cake-- A Humble Attempt

Ever since I baked my baby's birthday cake there has been no looking back. Orders have been trickling in, sometimes more sometimes less, but nonetheless they keep me busy and my pockets jingling (oh! How I love to have a few bucks of my own). Last week there was this order for a Black Forest Cake and while I did have it umpteen times in my life, I never baked it at home. An eggless Black Forest Cake was quite a challenge and so the research began. I do have a go-to eggless cake recipe which has never failed me but I wanted to try something new and came upon a wonderful recipe with condensed milk and my half the work was done. Black Forest is actually quite a daunting name for a very simple cake which looks stunning and very impressive and with a little bit of practice, you can easily get a professional touch. Here I share with you the procedure to assemble a Black Forest Cake. The recipe for the chocolate cake has already been shared in my previous post.
2 chocolate cakes (I did a three layered cake)
1 can of seedless maraschino cherries (red cherries with syrup)
1-2 cups of chocolate shavings (depending on how much you want to use)
1 cup chopped pineapple (as my client wanted) or chopped cherries or any filling that you like (a cherry pie filling is a good option)
1 cup whipping cream (at least 35% fat)
2-3 tbsp icing sugar (as per taste)
1 tsp gelatin or agar agar powder 
4 tsp water (room temperature)
(For 2 cups whipping cream use 2 tsp gelatin/agar agar in 2 tbsp water)
Note: gelatin or agar agar is used to stabilize the cream. You can skip it if you like. 

Start with preparing the work table. Spread 2-3 newspapers to cover up the space beneath and to avoid tedious cleaning later. Now place the cakes on two cake boards and keep two extra plates (inverted) or cake boards handy. Using a cake leveller or a long serrated knife, carefully slice the cake in two layers. If your cake has a dome, carefully level it as well. Place all the layers in separate boards or plates for later use. We  will  be making a 3-layered cake and so you can keep the fourth layer aside if you  wish or make a four layered cake as well. 
Time to start the whipping process. An electric beater or a hand mixer is a perfect thing to use at this time as beating it with your hands can take you forever. You can keep the bowl of your electric beater and the paddle attachment in the freezer for half an hour for a quicker result. Start whipping the cream with the icing sugar (add as per your taste starting with 2 tbsp) and slowly increase the speed to maximum till you achieve soft peaks. Meanwhile, dissolve the gelatin/agar agar in cold water and let it bloom for 2-3 minutes. Then heat it in the microwave for 30 secs. Take it out and keep stirring until the liquid is clear and has cooled down. Do not leave it unattended as the gelatin might set. Pour the gelatin into the soft peaked cream and now beat till stiff peaks. Keep it aside. 
Next, pour some syrup from the can of cherries into a glass or a bowl and with the help of a spoon pour 3-4 tsp of the syrup onto each of the cake layers. Ensure that you put the syrup on the side of the layer that will be facing up. 
Now starting with the lowest or base layer, start spreading the whipped cream evenly of medium thickness followed by the fruit filling and some chocolate shavings. 
Now spread some more cream on the next layer on the side that will be facing down the layer you just prepared. Carefully pick it up and gently place it on the prepared layer, creamed side down. It is bound to get a bit of messy on your hands. Just bear it!
Repeat the filling process again for the next layer. First drizzle some syrup, followed by a spread of whipped cream, fruit filling and finally some chocolate shavings. Again apply some cream on the third layer of the cake on the side that  will be facing down and gently place it on the second filling. If you are doing a third filling, simply repeat the process you just did. If not, now add some more cream on top and evenly spread it on the surface and the sides. Try and achieve as smooth a finish as you can. 
Next, with the help of an angled spatula or spoon, gently apply the chocolate shavings on the side all along. Fill some whipped cream onto a piping bag and using Wilton star tip 22 make swirls in the top. Place a cherry on each individual swirl and fill the remaining space on the top with more chocolate shavings. Slice, serve and enjoy!!