Monday, 15 February 2016
A seventies cake for a seventies chick - Black Forest Victoria Cake
Retro. That’s me. And that being the case, it was only fitting that my birthday cake of choice would also be, like me, of a seventies vintage, the Black Forest Gateau. I don’t care if it’s naff, the combination of chocolate, cream and cherries is, quite frankly, lush, and I thumb my nose to all you dinner party aficionados who think it a gastronomic crime to serve this after your prawn cocktail and your duck a l’orange… (I lurve duck a l’orange by the way…)
I was flicking through some cookery books for an idea as to what to indulge myself with (and force upon others) for my birthday and when the book fell open on this cake I thought to myself, bingo… I have all the ingredients, so no visit to the supermarket (a dangerous business when you are in the midst of ‘healthy eating’ and feel like eating your own arms…) and I like chocolate. And cherries. And cream. And more chocolate. If I am abandoning my current pastime of living virtuously, albeit temporarily, then this is a beautiful way to do it.
This recipe is from ‘Gorgeous Cakes’ by Annie Bell. A completely apt title if you ask me. I made some adaptions, like adding some vanilla extract and salt to the chocolate cake mix, for chocolate likes vanilla and needs salt for that chocolatey ‘hit’. I brushed the warm cakes over with some kirsch because I don’t believe that you can ever have too much of a good thing, and I sweetened the cream with some vanilla and a little icing sugar. Because I can.
The other nice thing about Black Forest Gateau is that you can make it look as pretty as a picture. It didn’t need the 42 candles that should have gone on it. Just as well really as I imagine that such an amount of candles constitutes some kind of fire hazard.
Black Forest Victoria, adapted from ‘Gorgeous Cakes’ by Annie Bell
Makes a 1 20cm cake with sides of 9cm deep, (but I divided the mixture into three 18cm sandwich tins)
For the cake -
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder, sifted
4 medium eggs
Pinch of salt
10 – 15ml kirsch, for brushing over the cake
For the filling –
Half a jar of black cherry jam
1 tbsp kirsch
350ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
Approx 50g of grated chocolate (Should have used dark chocolate, chose to use milk due to fussy children!)
Cherries (I used some from a jar)
Preheat the oven to 180c and prepare tins by greasing and then lining the bottoms with greaseproof paper.
The original recipe recommends putting all the ingredients together and creaming them until combined. Rightly or wrongly I did it the way mama taught me, that is, creaming the butter with the sugar, then added the syrup, the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, putting a spoonful of flour into the mix after each egg to stop the mixture from splitting. Then I added the flour alternately with the milk and mixed to only just combined. Lastly, I added the salt and then for the final mix together I used a spatula to ensure that all the mixture was combined.
Pour the mixture into the tin(s). If using the sandwich tins then bake for about 20 mins, until the cake is firm to the touch and has shrunk away from the sides of the tin. If baking in the recommended tin, bake for about 55 mins or until a toothpick placed into the centre of the cake comes out clean).
Once the cakes come out of the oven and whilst still warm, brush a little of the kirsch over the top of the cake(s). If you are making one cake then you will need to cut the cake into layers.
To make the filling: Whip up the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla until it forms pretty stiff peaks which will hold whilst piping. Do not overbeat.
Put the jam into a bowl and loosen with the kirsch. Grate the chocolate.
To assemble. Once cool, spread jam over the layer and then pipe some cream on. Place the next layer onto the cake and then repeat the process.
On the top layer, brush the jam over the top and then cover the jam with grated chocolate. Once the top is completely covered in chocolate, pipe the top decoratively. Adorn the cake with pitted cherries.
Don your bell bottoms and Cuban heels and then serve to all and sundry.