Thursday 24 July 2014

Black Forest Chiffon Cake

My friend wanted a black forest cake for her dad's birthday that is not too sweet and not too high in fat (but as yummy as possible so dairy cream was used instead of whip topping) so I came up with this :).

I filled the cake with cream only between 2 sandwich layers and on top to minimize the amount of cream and used less sugar to fulfil my friend's requirement. I loaded the cake with lots of cherries and used fruit liquor to ensure that the cake is still packed with flavor.

I love the simple but elegant design of my ombre lime chiffon cake so I decided to use a similar design for this black forest cake. I melted some dark chocolate and piped out some leaves on a baking sheet with template of leaves drawn on the reverse side. I didn't know what to do with the excess chocolate so I piped out teeny chocolate kisses :p.

The recipe is adapted from Do What I Like. There aren't that many black forest chiffon cake recipes around to begin with but I tried looking for one. My friend preferred chiffon cake as the cake base as it is lighter and vegetable oil can be used instead of butter.

Recipe for chocolate cake
Ingredients (makes two 7" layer cakes):
3 egg yolks (65g eggs)
11g caster sugar
60g canola oil
100g water
2.5 tsp kirsch or rum (I used Choya because I am drinking the rest of it :p.)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
20g cocoa powder
92g cake flour
1/6 tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
40g caster sugar

1. Line base of 7" round pans with baking sheet and wrap the exterior with homemade cake strips. This ensures that the cake will be level. You may choose to bake without cake strips but reduce baking time by 5-10minutes,  or you may choose to make a single tall cake and then slice into 2 or 3 layers. Adjust baking time accordingly if you are doing so. I prefer not to have the hassle of slicing cakes :p.

2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

3. Prepare the egg yolk batter. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and all sugar has dissolved. Add in oil and whisk until well combined. Add water, kirsch and vanilla extract and mix well.

4. Gradually add in sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until no trace of flour can be seen.

5. In a clean metal bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. You should be able to overturn the bowl without the meringue falling out.

6. Gently but quickly fold in the meringue in 3 additions until no trace of egg whites can be seen.

Scoop the batter into the 2 pans and level the batter with a spoon or spatula. Bang the pans on the table a few times to release any trapped air bubbles.

7. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 150°C and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake is cooked through. You may test using a skewer or by gently pressing the top of the cake to see if it springs back.

8. Let the cake cool in the pan upright for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling it inverted on a cooling rack.

Freshly baked chocolate cakes!

You may wrap it up with cling wrap  and freeze it until it is time to assemble.

Assembly of black forest chiffon cake
250ml whipping cream
2 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp gelatin powder
1 tbs cool water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Canned cherries, drained
Fresh cherries for decoration
2 7" chocolate cakes
Some dark chocolate for decoration

1. Sprinkle gelatin in water and let it sit for a couple of minutes until the gelatin has absorbed the water.  Microwave at medium high heat for 20 seconds or until the gelatin has dissolved.

2. Take 2 tbs of cream and warm it up. Add the warm cream to the gelatin mixture. Add vanilla extract to the gelatin mixture. Set aside.

3. Use an electric mixer to whip the whipping cream with icing sugar until soft peaks form. Gradually add in gelatin mixture and gently whisk by hand until firm peaks form. Be careful not to over whip or the cream will separate.

4. Place one layer of cake on the cake board. Pipe or apply a layer of cream. Add canned cherries.

5. Add a bit of cream before placing the other layer of cake on top. Pipe a layer of cream on top of the cake. Add chocolate decorations/ shaved chocolate and fresh cherries.

You may trim the stems of the cherries if you prefer a neater look.

My friend is looking forward to having this healthier version of black forest cake with her family. Will update with reviews :).

Update: Cake was very well received by my friend's family, from the really young to the elderly. Even my friend who is not a cake person enjoyed it :). They really loved the fact that the cake is not too sweet or creamy and is loaded with fruits. So maybe if you are considering a healthier version of black forest cake, this cake fits the bill!

With love,
Phay Shing

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