chocolate and glace cherry cake
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Chocolate and glace cherry cake is my version of a deconstructed black forest gateau, the chocolate and black cherry torte. Glace cherries mixed simply into the batter, cream served on the side, it’s a mere suggestion of the black forest cake...
I’ve never tried, let alone baked, Black Forest gâteau. It’s iconic and a throwback at the same time. Crisp chocolate biscuit base, squidgy and fudgy chocolate layer and in between them billowing cream studded with glistening cherries; all enrobed in dripping, luscious dark chocolate ganache. At least that’s my idea of a good Black Forest gateau slice. Incredibly appealing.
I wonder why it is so tempting to my mind as ordinarily I’m not a huge fan of chocolate. Chocolate cake is what I usually bake when I want to curtail my cake intake, as that is the type I resist second helpings of with the least difficulty. Blondie always wins with me over brownie and I prefer vanilla to cocoa.
Perhaps it is all in the name; I do get seduced by the sheer sound of some dishes’ names. The French are particularly good at it: just compare iles flottantes with spotted dick. Profiteroles sound fascinatingly like something you might do in your economics module and I refuse to admit that a tuile is just a decorative wafer.
German desserts are not famed for their finesse: everything is Kuchen or Stollen. Matter of fact and to the point: Mohnkuchen, Baumkuchen, Käse Strudel or Obsttorte – except Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, unexpectedly poetic and sumptuous.
Now of course you’ll have seen that this cake is not exactly Black Forest Gateau; in fact the main thing it has in common with the famous German relation are cherries – or rather the pathetic excuse for cherries that glace fruit undoubtedly is. I clearly also made away with layers and ganache, and whipped cream is served on the side.
Cherries are added straight to the batter and the batter is nothing special either, although I’m not going to diss it: it’s a great little low maintenance recipe from Samin Nosrat’s Salt Acid Fat Heat. No electric mixer, no fancy ingredients, no beating butter until pale and fluffy. This is a soft and dewy*, squidgy cake which is at the same time good enough to be layered and frosted into a proper celebration gateau.
But I didn’t – so there we have it. A stripped down, deconstructed Black Forest Gateau; it is in fact a signal, a hint, an intimation of a Black Forest Gateau; a pictogram or an acronym for it. And if you ignore my verbal emoting over this production, it is simply a super easy and reliably delicious chocolate and cherry cake.
*the word I propose to replace ‘moist’ with
chocolate and glace cherry cakeServings: 12-14Time: 1 hour
- 255g (2 cups) plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 55g (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 300g (1½ cup) sugar
- 125ml (½ cup) groundnut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 350ml (1½ cup) boiling water
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 12-15 glace cherries, quartered
- whipped cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Butter and flour a 23cm (9 inch) round cake tin.
2. Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and sugar together into a large bowl; stir thoroughly to break any lumps.
3. In a smaller bowl stir together the oil, vanilla and boiling water.
4. Gradually whisk the oil mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth. Whisk in the eggs; the batter will be very runny. Stir in the chopped cherries.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, tap the tin against the worktop to remove air bubbles and transfer to the oven, on the middle rack. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Mine always cracks but it doesn't affect the taste in the slightest. Cool the cake in the tin.
6. Dust with icing sugar if you like, and serve with whipped cream.