November is the month for party & celebration in my house. Other than regular festivals we have 4 birthdays and 2 wedding anniversaries to celebrate and out of these 6 celebrations 5 fall within the period of 10 days . This year I decided not to bake any cakes for anniversaries but for birthday's no excuse. So today I'm sharing this birthday cake I baked for my little one, she is two now, independent enough to do everything by herself(at least that's what she thinks). She had lots of fun whole day singing her b'day song...."Happy birday toote cakeah" and do I need to say the girl enjoyed the cake as much as she enjoyed singing her b'day song.
Recipe is simple, you basically need two or more layers of chocolate sponge cake, fresh heavy whip cream, some maraschino cherries and some good quality chocolate bar. And once you assemble all this tasty stuff into layers the end result will be Black Forest Cake. My cake won't count as true Black Forest as cherries are missing from mine, mainly because b'day girl love MnM's and also I opted not to use any cherry liquor(kirsch) which is traditionally used to soak the cake but rest of the elements are there. Mainly it's the whip cream which my kids love to eat cakes with so I decided to go for this. I baked the batter divided into 2 equal parts in 6 inches round pan, it sounds small but with our family of four I found this is the perfect size of cake plus it's going to be double layer so everybody gets enough.....plus I've a personal reason also, if I bake big cake then I get to bake less often....so small cakes mean more baking. Now for the recipe :
What U need :
For Cake :
- 1 cup all purpose flour/maida
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup sugar(not using much sugar here as we r using sugar syrup & sweet whip cream)
- 1 cup buttermilk OR 3/4 cup of home made dahi + 1/4 cup of water
- 4 tablespoon butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon regular white sugar(adjust as per your taste, how sweet u like)
- 1&1/2 cups fresh heavy whip cream(I only had 2 layers of cake in case if u r using more layers, will need more cream)
- 2-3 tablespoons on confectioner sugar(depending upon once taste.....more or less sugar)
- handful of M'n'M's (for filling if U can find small M'n'M's that works great, I was out of them so I used regular size only)
- semisweet chocolate bar
For Cake :
- Mix all the dry ingredients & sift them to make sure no lumps are there.
- Cream butter & sugar. Add buttermilk or dahi. Mix it.
- Slowly add dry ingredients & mix everything together.
- Divide the batter into two 7 inches greased pans & bake them in pre heated oven at 350 degree F till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool completely.
For Syrup :
- In the mean time while cake is cooling mix the water & sugar & make a syrup. Keep it in the fridge.
- Whip up the cream with confectioner sugar to stiff consistency.(* see Baker's Notes) Keep it cold by placing it in the fridge when not working with it.
- Keep one cake onto cake board/serving plate, using a pastry brush drizzle/rub some syrup into it.
- Spread some whipped cream, around 1/2 inch thick layer & sprinkle some M'n'M's(see Notes if using cherries) onto it.
- Now put second cake upside down on it (* see Baker's Note at the bottom).
- Drizzle some syrup onto it.
- Using a offset spatula spread some icing on all the sides, if U have a turntable make sure to use it here because it really makes it easy. If icing on sides is not very smooth don't worry as in any case chocolate shavings will cover the sides.
- After icing on the sides ice the top of the cake, smooth it out.
- On parchment paper grate/shave the chocolate bar, I like to use my vegetable peeler, just make sure it's washed & dry(no vegetable odors)(*see Notes)
- Now come the most tedious or U can call it fun part decorating the sides with the chocolate shavings. I did it the way I've always done it. Before starting with icing I always cut 4-5 strips of wax/parchment paper around 4-5 inch wide put them around & under the cake in a way so that half of the strip(width wise) is under the cake, so in case if icing etc. fell on the cake platter it's much easy to clean. Now either use your hands directly or put some choc. shavings on a piece of parchment paper & try to put it on to the edges.....icing will work as glue and will hold the shavings but there will be lot of chocolate shavings falling down & will get sticky & melty too so when it's done, to clean up U just pull the strips at the end and as a bonus U get to lick all that chocolate which falls on these strips...BUT now this is tedious way that's what I think & till now I never thought about googling it also as I normally decorate a cake once in a while(and my kids in routine are happy with
somelots of whip cream & sprinkles on top). But now as I was writing this post thought about checking on web about same issue.....except the first result of my search nothing else(at least on the first page) delivered what I was looking for but that one result does answer this problem(click here if interested) and next time I'm gonna try that and yes it will change the sequence of steps in the filling & assembly part as according to that forum this should be the first step.
- Decorate the top of the cake as U wish with M'nM's or cherries or cover it totally with chocolate shavings.
Click of Baby Black Forest (it's hardly 4-5 inches in diameter) I made last year when hubby dear said no to Black Forest cake for his b'day (made after his b'day to satisfy my craving) & instead he wanted this one.
- If using cherries drain & de-seed them.
- For filling crush some cherries and spread them inside the layer along with the whip cream, making sure do not spread them to the edges, keep at least 1 inch margin from the edge of the cake, otherwise when U put the second layer on top of it filling will come out.
- Try to handle grated chocolate gently as it will melt quickly with your body heat.
Baker's Note :
- Whenever U want to decorate a cake make sure to use downside up(or call it upside down) because that's the smooth side.
- When whipping the cream make sure the bowl, whisk & cream everything is chilled otherwise it might not give U the right results.
Off goes this cake to Champa for her weekly bake-off.