Black Forest Cake

When I was younger, I used to be kind of a tomboy. I grew up with two older brothers so I always wanted to do stuff with them.
The only way my mom could get me to wear anything besides my brothers old hand-me-downs was to buy something with The Little Mermaid on it.
Meeting me now you probably wouldn’t have any idea I was like that though, I must say i’ve turned pretty girly over the years.
Now i’m not afraid of dirt and I do like challenges. In fact I even did Warrior Dash this just last November and came 6th in my division!
However, I do enjoy dressing more girly and decorating more. I love cooking and making things pretty, even though half the time my food doesn’t come out too grand. I just enjoy pretty things more I guess.

While my cake isn’t the prettiest the taste makes up for it!
Black Forest Cake is so decadent and stunning even if it is messy. Layers of chocolate cake, pastry cream, cherries and frosted with whip cream. It’s a perfect cake to make for a holiday party!
For the chocolate cake I used my go to chocolate cake recipe from miss Ina Garten. The pastry cream came from Pastry affair. The whip cream created by me.

Black Forest Cake

(Recipe adapted from Pastry Affair &  Ina Garten)
For the cake

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
For the Pastry Cream

1 1/2 cups milk (whole milk will give the richest cream, 2% a less rich cream)
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tspn salt

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until it’s warm. Set aside until its cool enough to touch (aka until you can stick your finger in for more than a few seconds).
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and sugar until smooth. Mix in the flour and salt. Slowly pour in the warmed milk while stirring constantly. This should prevent the eggs from cooking.
Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. The mixture should thicken to the consistency of pudding. Once the pastry cream begins to bubble, watch the clock and continue stirring for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Strain the mixture over a bowl with a fine/medium mesh strainer to get out any lumps. Press plastic wrap against the pastry cream and refrigerate until its set (at least two hours). Pastry cream can be kept refrigerated for 5 to 7 days.

For the Cherries

1 cup cherries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbls rum
1 tbls lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, rum, and lemon juice. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until warmed and starting to thicken*. Remove from heat. Cool completely before applying to the cake.

**If you want it thicker stir in some sort of starch, such as cornstarch 1/2 tsp at a time until desired thickness.

For the Whip Cream
2 cups heavy cream
6 tbls sugar
2 tbls whiskey

In a stand mixer whip the cream and sugar until medium peaks form. Slowly add in the whiskey until incorporated evenly, and continue whipping until it reaches stiff peaks. Try not to eat all of it straight from the bowl.

To assemble the cake place one layer of chocolate cake on a cake stand, spread a layer of pastry cream over it and top with 3/4 of the cherry mixture. Place second layer of cake on top and frost the whole thing with whip cream. Garnish with the remaining cherries.

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