Black Forest Cake

20 Sep

Spring has arrived… but not quite this year. We’re 3 weeks into the season but have been getting nothing but cold and dreadful weather.

Nevertheless, we decide to hold a BBQ potluck in the backyard in preparation for the babies that are to come. I figured it maybe a while before we get to hang out with all our friends again when the expectant moms pop.

For the potluck, I made a 4 layered black forest cake filled with decadant chocolate mousse, brandied cherries and cream.

The recipe is by Martin Boetz which I found on the food safari website. There are many steps in building this cake but the end result is totally worth it.


Butter Cake
300g butter
300g caster sugar
300g flour
6 eggs
1 ½ tsp baking powder

Chocolate Cake
250g chocolate
250g sugar
1 ½ cups flour
6 eggs
180g butter

Chocolate Mousse
4 egg yolks (80g)
200g unrefined caster sugar
100ml whole milk
150g top quality dark chocolate
Generous pinch of table salt
200ml whipping cream

Chocolate Ganache
95ml whipping cream
1 tsp glucose syrup
Pinch of table salt
95g top quality dark chocolate
20g unsalted butter

1 jar of whole sour cherries (Morello)
1 vanilla bean
1 tbsp sugar

To Build Your Black Forest Cake
All of the above – ie. 2 x butter cake, 2 x chocolate cake, the chocolate mousse, cherries, cherry syrup and the chocolate ganache plus:
Freshly whipped cream
Shards of dark or milk chocolate (this is your ‘forest’)
10 whole fresh cherries that have been soaked in Kirsch for 1 week


Butter Cake
Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one by one and fold in flour and baking powder. Pour into a greased baking tin & bake at 180°C for 55 minutes. When its cooled, cut off the top of the cake to make a flat surface and cut the cake horizontally to make 2 layers.
Chocolate Cake 

Melt chocolate and butter together, then beat the eggs and sugar together and fold the cool chocolate mix through. Sift the flour and fold into the chocolate mix. Pour into a greased baking tin and bake at 180°C for 1 hour. When its cooled, cut off the top of the cake to make a flat surface and cut the cake horizontally to make 2 layers.

Chocolate Mousse
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar for 5 minutes, or until stiff. A food mixer with a paddle attachment can be used for this.

Gently warm the milk in a small pan. Remove it from the heat and stir in the beaten egg yolks. Return to a medium heat and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Use a digital probe to monitor when the temperature of the mixture reaches 80°C and remove from the heat.

Finely chop the chocolate and place it in a medium sized bowl. Pour the warm milk and the eggs over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Add the salt and leave to cool.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and place it in the fridge for at least an hour to stiffen.

Chocolate Ganache
(Martin uses the mousse recipe from the Heston Blumenthal book but any basic mousse recipe is fine to use.)
Gently heat the cream, glucose syrup and salt. Break the chocolate into a bowl then stir in the warm cream. When the chocolate has melted entirely, add the butter and stir until that too has melted.

Drain a jar of whole sour cherries (morello cherries), keeping the juice in a saucepan. Add a vanilla bean and sugar and reduce to a syrup.

To Build Your Black Forest Cake

Start with a layer of butter cake (one half of the butter cake cut across the diameter)
Splash cake with Kirsch (I spread cherry jam instead of using Kirsh)

Pipe a layer of mouse around the outside of the cake (you are building a wall to keep in the cherries)
Add the cherries within the confines of your ‘mousse wall’

A layer of chocolate cake
A layer of cream
Another layer of butter cake
Pipe on another layer of the Mousse Wall and then add cherries
Another layer of chocolate cake
Another splash of Kirsch
Then another layer of cream
Another layer of butter cake
Topped with another layer of mousse (but this time fill the mousse over all the cake – no wall and no cherries)
Final layer of chocolate cake

Pour ganache over the top

Add topping of chocolate shards (I made chocolate leaves) and whole cherries (preferable fresh ones that have been soaked in kirsch for 1 week)

Let set and settle for 3-6 hours. We couldn’t wait….

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