Once upon a time, I asked my dad what cake he would eat if he could only ever eat one type of cake. He chose Black Forest gâteau.
Ingredients for Cake:
-300g self raising flour
-90g cocoa powder
-400g caster sugar
-150ml sour cream
-150ml vegetable oil
-150ml strong hot coffee (I used filter coffee, but instant is fine)
Ingredients for Chocolate Mousse:
-70g dark (70% cocoa solids) chocolate
-5tbsp double cream
-1/2tbsp caster sugar
-1 egg white
Ingredients for Filling/ Decorating:
-200g plain chocolate, grated
-600ml double cream, whipped to spreading/ piping consistency
-1 can black cherries
-1/2 can black cherry pie filling
-150ml kirsch or brandy
1) Grate the chocolate and (if applicable) make the decorations in advance. It'll take that little bit longer than you think and you'll feel much less rushed when it comes to decorating the cake if you do this part the night before.
2) Drain the cherries and place into a bowl, sprinkle with kirsch/ brandy, cover and refrigerate overnight to infuse.
3) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C, and grease and line two 8-9" round baking tins.
4) Sift the flour and cocoa together in a large bowl, and add the rest of the dry ingredients. With an electric mixer, whizz all of the wet ingredients straight into the dry (easy!)
5) Evenly divide the cake batter between the two pans, and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean, and leave to cool completely.
6) While the cakes are still in the oven, make the chocolate mousse: melt the chocolate and cream together in the microwave in short 20 second bursts, stirring in between each burst until completely melted. Leave the chocolate mixture to cool, and whisk the egg white until it forms a meringue, whisking in the sugar once the egg whites forms 'stiff peak' stage. Add a bit of the meringue mixture to the chocolate to loosten it up, and fold all of the chocolate mixture straight into the meringue. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours.
7) Sieve your cherries, but keep the boozy cherry liquid to soak the cake with.
8) To assemble your cake, place one cake layer on a cake board/ whatever the cake will be served on, and brush with half of the leftover kirsch/ brandy soaking liquid.
9) Pipe a ring of double cream around the edge of the cake layer (this will stop the chocolate mousse from squishing out later). Fill the centre with chocolate mousse, and dot with the infused cherries (keep back 12 for the top).
10) Place the second layer of cake on top and brush with the remaining soaking liquid. Carefully smooth more double cream around the top and sides, and use your chocolate shavings to cover the sides. Do this over a large baking tray to catch the excess to use in another project! It's easiest to hold the cake on its board in one hand grab handfuls of chocolate shavings with the other. Work quickly though: that chocolate will melt in your hands, and fast!
11) Pipe 12 florettes of cream on top around the edge, and place a cherry and chocolate decoration on top of each one.
12) Finally, fill the centre with cherry pie filling, and refrigerate for about an hour to set the cream a little before slicing and serving.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!