In my family, there was always a homemade birthday cake waiting for you on your birthday. It’s one of my favorite memories. Of course, another of my favorite memories is having cake for breakfast, but that’s a different story (though it’s a memory I plan to relive tomorrow morning over a piece of cake and a cup of coffee!).
Today marks the beginning of my husband’s 34th year. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday this year, his immediate answer was “black forest.” Brilliant. I love this man for many reasons, but moments like that just make me love him even more. We went to the liquor store and bought kirsch that very day!
What a wonderful cake for a special occasion. Festive and beautiful, it was really dressed to impress… and impress it did. The cake was moist – even more so after being brushed with the kirsch – and the whipped cream added the perfect touch of sweetness without being too heavy. Just lovely.
Rather than go to four layers (though I was tempted), I decorated the fourth layer with the extra cherries and whipped cream and sent it home with my parents. Better to get the temptation out of the house… we’ll do plenty of damage to our waistlines with the pieces that are left in the fridge!
Happy birthday, love of my life. May this be a wonderful year for you. I love you… all ways and always.
Black Forest Torte
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tablespoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 20 ounce cans cherry pie filling
1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup kirsch, divided
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, shaved or very finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans and cover bottoms with waxed paper (I use Bakers Joy spray without waxed paper with great results).
In a large bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat until well blended and pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely.
While cake cools, place pie filling in a sieve and allow “sauce” to drain into a bowl. Set aside until cake has cooled completely.
When ready to assemble, pour heavy cream into a large chilled bowl and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon of kirsch and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Split each cake layer into two with a serrated knife. Pour remaining 1/3 cup kirsch into a small bowl and brush each layer with liquor to moisten.
Place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup whipped cream and top with 1/2-3/4 cup of the drained cherries as well as a drizzle of the sauce that was drained off. Top with a second layer of cake and repeat layers of whipped cream and cherries. Repeat with a third layer if desired. Place top layer on cake and frost the sides and top of the cake with additional whipped cream.
To decorate, press the chocolate shavings onto sides of the cake. Using a pastry bag and a large star tip, pipe whipped cream stars onto the top of cake, leaving an open area in the center. Spoon remaining cherries onto top of cake. Garnish with additional chocolate and/or cherries as desired.
Refrigerate cake until ready to serve and keep any leftovers covered and refrigerated.