Ever need an excuse to make an elaborate 4 layer cake?
You should live with my roommates. They came up with about 25 reasons for me to make this unreasonably decadent cake yesterday. For one, it was the first day of August (despite barely cracking 60 degrees, awesome work San Francisco). For two, it was recently Beatrix Potter’s birthday. For three, it was my roommate’s SISTER’S birthday. For four, July was national ice cream month. For five, it was a Sunday. For six, I don’t know. We just fucking wanted to eat some cake?
So I made a super dense buttery chocolate cake (seriously this is my new favorite chocolate cake ever ever), sliced it up into 4 layers, spread dark chocolate ganache in between each layer, then topped that ganache with mascarpone whipped cream frosting and dark cherries.
Then I frosted the whole fucking kit&caboodle. THEN I made some dark chocolate trees, it being a black forest cake and all. You know how I love to heavy-hand themes to death.
And then we ate it. And that’s how you make a ridiculously complicated cake on a random Sunday and justify the hell out of it. You’re welcome.
Black Forest Cake
adapted from Tartine and here
(I used the Devil’s Food Layer Cake recipe from Tartine for the base)
1 3/4 Cups All-purpose flour
4 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/4 Cupa Cocoa powder
1 tsp Salt
1 Cup Unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 Cups Sugar
5 Large eggs
1 1/4 Cups Full-fat buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour the sides of two 9-inch cake pans, knocking out the excess flour. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper cut to fit exactly.
To make the cake layers, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat on the same speed until light in color and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until incorporated before adding the next egg. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 equal batches alternately with the buttermilk in 2 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then mix again for another few seconds.
Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched or a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
For dark chocolate ganache:
3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
2.5 oz. manufacturing or heavy whipping cream
Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the cream just until simmering. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute or so. Whisk the cream into the chocolate until smooth.
Spread a thin layer of ganache on top of both of the cooled chocolate cakes. Let set for at least two hours, or an hour in the refrigerator.
For dark cherry filling:
12 oz. frozen dark cherries
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp kirsch or brandy
Place the cherries in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cherries begin to release their juices.
Add the sugar into the cherries, stirring until dissolved. Pour some of the cherry juice into a small bowl. Add the cornstarch to the juice and whisk until the corn starch is completely dissolved. Add the cornstarch and juice back into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the kirsch or brandy. Let cool before using.
For mascarpone whipped cream:
1 cup mascarpone cheese
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
Combine the mascarpone cheese and cream in a bowl. Whip until soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar to the cream, continue whipping just until you reach stiff peaks. Be careful not to overwhip! Use immediately.
1. Spread a layer of mascarpone whipped cream on the prepared ganache-chocolate cake.
2. Top the whipped cream with the cherries.
3. Place the next layer of cake on top of the cherries and whipped cream, etc.
4. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining cream. Decorate with chocolate shavings, chocolate trees, fresh cherries, or a dusting of powdered sugar/cocoa powder, if desired.
5. Store in the refrigerator.