For a birthday cake, enter the Black Forest

Thursday was one other birthday for oldest brother Jay (of “Uncle Jake’s Favourite Recipes” to common readers), and whereas MT & I supplied to make dinner Sunday throughout his bi-weekly go to on the West Hazleton homestead, he already had deliberate a meal, however no dessert. So we agreed to make a birthday cake.

Final yr, readers might recall, I made a molasses cake with Lego timber and a lone Lego mini-figure rising from the forest to seek out a big footprint, presumably from a Sasquatch — an outdated theme with Jay. This time MT & I tossed round some cake concepts, and for some purpose the Black Forest cake got here to thoughts, one thing I haven’t made for many years. Jay had included it in his favourite recipes compilation, so he was certain to love it.

MT remembered seeing photos of a Black Forest cake and requested if it had cherries on high, and I mentioned certain, however because it’s a “forest” cake, timber would make sense. No, I didn’t put extra Lego timber on this one. Been there, achieved that, and would’ve ruined the look of this visually interesting dessert whereas making a large number of the plastic timber.

However I did lower some corners.

The primary: I used a field cake as an alternative of Jay’s from-scratch “yellow whipped cream cake” (recipe included under if you wish to attempt it). After I took up baking within the Seventies, field muffins had a well-earned status of being dry and blah, however that’s simply not true any extra, and I figured the meeting of this cake was work sufficient. And due to the whipped cream icing, I whipped and assembled after driving from Wilkes-Barre to West Hazleton.

The second: I couldn’t discover a can of darkish candy cherries, both at Schiel’s or Wegmans. They’d few cherries of any sort within the canned fruit sections. Jay’s recipe considers this situation and suggests utilizing canned cherry pie filling.

A fast internet surf advised the paucity of cherries stems from issues like a chilly snap for growers and a scarcity of staff each in orchards and factories. Regardless of the purpose, the usage of pie filling cherries adjustments a pair issues: The look, as a result of they’re redder than the darkish candy ones; the work, as a result of it eliminates the necessity to prepare dinner up a syrup but in addition makes dealing with and chopping the cherries messier; and the flavour as a result of, effectively, totally different cherries and a syrup you haven’t any actual management over.

The way you prep the chocolate adjustments the look as effectively, although with no actual affect on taste. Shaved chocolate that curls elegantly gives some actual eye sweet, however requires softening the chocolate a bit earlier than utilizing a vegetable peeler, then cooling the shaved chocolate. (Softening the chocolate is the priority for me. Nuke it in a microwave, even on medium with plenty of scrutiny, can nonetheless go rapidly from too arduous to melted mush).

I opted to attempt a grater on the chocolate as is, however that produced largely powder. MT took a crack at it with a peeler and ultimately began to get some first rate strips, however nonetheless not the curlicues. If you need the curled chocolate attract, I’d zap it for very temporary stretches at a time, checking it each few seconds till it will get to the correct peel-able softness.

One final phrase on chocolate: the recipe requires a scant ounce. I used almost three ounces to get sufficient protection of the cake sides.

Backside line, this was candy however not cloying, and refreshing as a result of the filling, cherries and whipped cream icing are all chilled earlier than meeting (and saved within the fridge after). About two-thirds of it was gone rapidly with solely 5 of us on the desk, and MT and my different older brother Ray took seconds.

After I advised Jay I used to be making a Black Forest cake, he mentioned that very thought had popped into his head too. Nicely, as I’ve typically identified on such events:

Nice minds suppose alike …

After which there’s us.

Dobru Chut!

Black Forest Cake (Uncle Jake’s favourite recipes)

Yellow cake baked in two 8-inch rounds (use a field cake or attempt the recipe on the finish).


1 pound can darkish candy cherries

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon brandy flavoring


1 cup chilled heavy cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

1 ounce candy baking chocolate (grated or shaved)

Drain cherries and reserve syrup. Add water to syrup to make 1 cup.

Combine corn starch and sugar in small pot and stir in syrup. Carry to boil, stirring consistently, and prepare dinner 1 minute. Cool to lukewarm and add brandy flavoring.

Dip 36 cherries in syrup and put aside. Lower remaining cherries into quarters and blend into syrup. Chill effectively.

Word: These cherries have develop into arduous to seek out. You need to use cherry pie filling. Separate the cherries from the jelly, save 36 for the highest, chop up the remainder and blend again within the syrup. Skip the cooking.

Ensure every thing is cool, even chilled, earlier than meeting

Whip cream with powdered sugar till very stiff. Place one cake layer the other way up on platter. Type a skinny ring of frosting across the edge and unfold filling over the middle.

Place second layer on high and frost throughout. Prepare coated cherries on high. Gently press chocolate onto sides.

Hold refrigerated.

If you need a cake from scratch, right here’s Jay’s Yellow Whipped Cream Cake recipe:

1 ½ cup heavy cream, 3 eggs, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, 2 ¼ cup cake flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 ½ cups sugar, ½ teaspoon salt

Warmth oven to 350.° Grease and flour two 8-inch spherical cake pans. Whip cream till stiff in massive bowl. Beat eggs in separate bowl till thick. Mix eggs into cream, add vanilla. Stir collectively dry elements and mix into cream combination. Pour into pans and bake 30-35 minutes.