Home Sweet Black Forest

Black Forest

Difficulté : Medium
Catégorie : Sweet
Here is my version of the “Black Forest”, this great classic with whipped cream, chocolate and cherries in syrup. I had precisely in mind what I wanted the result to be in my mouth. A thin sheet of crunchy chocolate, a creamy whipped cream, a sponge cake generously soaked in kirsch syrup, “amarena” cherries and a chocolate whipped cream. The result is a wonderful dessert, very fresh and light even though it is rather rich. I give you all the details for this cake here, so there are a lot of explanations and pictures, but in reality, it is very simple to make. It is best to read the key steps once or twice and then jump in head first. Even the chocolate leaf around the Black Forest is a piece of cake! You can still do without it and use more traditional chips!  

Recipe for a large black forest of 20cm or 2 of 12cm (4.5cm high anyway!):

Chocolate sponge cake:
-3 eggs
-95g of sugar
-90g of flour
-20g of cocoa powder
-30g of butter

Whipped cream with mascarpone:
-200g of mascarpone
-200g of whole liquid cream
-50g icing sugar

Chocolate cream:
-300g of full cream
-150g of dark chocolate
-10g of powdered sugar

-cherries in syrup (for me, it will be “amarena” cherries) 
-100g of dark chocolate and/or chocolate shavings

Start by preparing the sponge cake:
Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer (or a bowl where you whip with an electric whisk).

Beat with whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, then on medium speed for 10 minutes.

The result is a very bulky and light device.

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder.

Add this mixture to the sugar-eggs cream. Add a little at a time, lifting the mass like a chocolate mousse, so that it doesn’t fall apart.

Add the melted butter.

The sponge cake is ready to go in the oven!

Pour the dough onto one or more pieces of parchment paper. 

Note from Bernard:
if you make a large black forest, you can very well bake the sponge cake in a classic cake pan (almost the same size as the circle that will be used at the end) and then cut the sponge cake in 3 in the thickness. In this case, we will have a thicker black forest (because there will be 3 layers of sponge cake instead of 2), probably for the greatest pleasure of the gourmets! 

Spread quickly to obtain an even layer of half a centimetre in height. Transfer the paper to a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes for baking sheets or 25-30 minutes for a cake tin. Invert the sponge cake and remove the paper carefully then let cool on a rack. 

Cut pieces from the sponge cake with a circle one centimeter smaller in diameter than the circle that will be used to make the black forest(s). For example, if you use a 12cm final circle, cut the sponge cake with an 11cm circle. If you only have one circle, then you only need to plane the sponge cake to fit! If it’s not clear, look at the rest!

Prepare the syrup to soak (puncher) the sponge cake. Just collect some syrup from the cherries, add a little kirsch and water and taste! 

Prepare the mascarpone whipped cream: put the mascarpone, cream and powdered sugar in a bowl with the beaters in the fridge for 30 minutes. This way, everything will be cold and the whipped cream will rise right away!

Whip until you get a whipped cream   . 

Spread a generous layer of whipped cream inside the chosen circle (or circles if making several small black forests). The circles must be the same height as the final Rhodoid .

It is easier to see the result on the following picture. Place the circle on a sponge cake, itself on parchment paper.

Soak the sponge cake in syrup. I soak a lot, as long as the sponge cake can drink the syrup!

Place a few cherries in syrup.

Then put the circles in the freezer. 
Why is this?
This way, the whipped cream will harden completely. When you add the chocolate whipped cream and the other layer of sponge cake, the mascarpone whipped cream will not crush against the wall of the circle. Moreover, we put of all way everything in the freezer for the stage (if we choose it) of the sheet of chocolate. 
When the circles are frozen, place the whole cream in a bowl with the beaters. Put the whole in a cool place. 

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Let cool. 

Whip the whipping cream with the powdered sugar (10g) into a fairly firm whipped cream. 

Add the melted chocolate and continue to whisk to combine. 

Put the ganache in a pastry bag and garnish between the cherries and on top. 

We cover completely the cherries.

Place a second sponge cake on top. 

Soak well and push a few more cherries on top. 

Cover with a final layer of chocolate whipped cream. 

Smooth with a knife. If there is too much volume (like here because of the cherries) just smooth it out into a flattened dome.

Put in freezer. 
When the circles are frozen, remove by passing a hair dryer around the circle (or a heat gun). Gently remove the circle. Put back in the freezer while preparing the chocolate sheet. 

You can skip this step and just put   chocolate chips on the whipped cream. But I think it’s more fun to put a chocolate crunchy leaf. 
How to do it?
First of all, here is the Rhodoïd. The roll must of course be the same thickness as the circle. Here, 4.5cm high.
Cut a strip slightly larger than the circumference of the circle.

Melt the chocolate (no need to temper it this time!) then pour it all along the strip.

Spread with a spatula or a chocolate knife (you can find the same thing in hardware stores for much less).

Gently lift the chocolate strip. 

Then apply it around the frozen whipped cream. 

In one minute the chocolate is cooled completely and the Rhodoïd strip can be removed. By pulling slowly but surely, the trick will be perfect. You can see on the picture below, that the chocolate on the right is not perfect, but it will leave with the sheet of Rhodoïd, because in fact it is the chocolate that was under the excess sheet. It may not look very clear in writing, but I guarantee that it is very easy to do and the result is perfect! 

Finish by adding mascarpone whipped cream on top of the cake. 

We can stop here and add a cherry on top…

Or add a few chocolate shavings as well!

Allow to thaw completely in the refrigerator for 5 hours before enjoying ultra-fresh! A real ordeal!

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