Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Black Forest Cake

Posted by osakaben41 on September 11, 2009


This one was another birthday cake commission, which despite some trepidation ended up being a whole lot of fun to put together.  On it’s own a Black Forest Cake didn’t seem to offer much of an interesting challenge.  We’re talking about a fairly straightforward chocolate cake with cherries and whipped cream.  But in the spirit of making your own fun, lets try to find a way to get slightly offbeat while staying true to the basic premise.

Let’s stipulate off the bat that we’re going to stay true to the strict Chocolate, Cherry, Cream formula, and focus instead on presentation.  Flipping through flickr for ideas, the traditional approach looks to be slapping a good half inch of whipped cream on the sides, maybe throw a maraschino cherry or two on top, or just hose the whole thing down with chocolate shavings.  In short, the standard just felt ham-handed and inelegant. 

At this point I discovered a true chocolate artist on you-tube, and just had to start practicing making cornets for chocolate piping.  The basic technique isn’t actually that hard, but after some time working on control issues, we need to start getting into serious artistic pieces.  


I had also come across a raspberry charlotte that used thin slices of a jellyroll to make a crust, and thought that might be fun to try.  A small rectangle of chocolate genoise was then rolled up with some Cherry flavored whip-cream and lined a 10” ring mold.  Perhaps the whipped cream wasn’t the best filling, as it tended to spill all over the place.  What was supposed to be a row of chocolate/cherry circles surrounding the cake may have been obscured by pink filling smeared all over the acetate.  Next time, maybe just a jam or something with more body.

Behind the rings is a chocolate cake base, soaked in cherry syrup, topped with whipped cream and cherries, covered with another layer of chocolate cake.  This was then topped with a dark chocolate mousse, and finished with a cherry glaze and some decorative chocolate swirls.


Lessons learned this time, 1) how to make a cornet out of parchment paper, and how to pipe chocolate decorations, 2) how to make a clear mirror fruit glaze 3) what not to fill a jelly roll with.  Other than that if you want something to look like it was crafted with care, you have to actually craft it with care.  Holding a crying boy in one arm while trying to spread a chocolate mousse is going to look like you were holding a crying boy while spreading your chocolate mousse.  I might have to go back to late night cooking again.  Trying to watch the kids and bake at the same time only guarantees kids dancing near the top of the stairs and sloppy chocolate work.

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