Have I mentioned you already that baking is not my biggest strenght in the kitchen? Exactly. I can afford smaller or bigger mistakes as far as everyday little treats are concerned. But here a true cracker was badly needed. It was a cake for my second birthday party of my son Aleksander. Can you feel the pressure already? 🙂 Luckily there is Bea Lubas and her amazing and reliable recipes. When I saw her Black Forest Gateau (http://beascookbook.com/black-forest-gateau/) it was a love at the first sight. I new that it was IT!!!!
Making this cake was not as difficult as the final result looks. And all my guests love it. You can bake it with no hesitation. No special occasion needed- just to spoil yourself a little bit with some fancy dessert. Thanks to Bea I can share her recipe on my blog. Originally it was with cherries but since there is no cherry season right now I used frozen strawberries and some fresh berries. But surely I will repeat it in the summertime with fresh and ripe cherries. I can only imagine how delicious it must be. Since then- lets bake my version 🙂
Makes 20 cm tin
- 300 grams plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 300 grams unsalted butter
- 4 eggs
- 60 grams cacao powder
- 400 ml whipping cream
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- 300 grams frozen strawberries
- 50 grams caster sugar
- fresh strawberries for topping (berries, blueberries, strawberries)
- powdered sugar for dusting the cake
- 100 ml whipped double cream
- 100 grams dark chocolate
To make the cake
Heat the oven to 190 C (no fan). Butter a 20cm cake tin.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until you get light and fluffy mixture. Beat well to get lots of air into the mixture. Add the cacao powder and mix until combined then add the flour and mix it in with a spoon until combine but don’t over-mix it.
Place the mixture in a tin and bake for around 50 minutes, even to one hour. Check it with a wooden skewer. If it comes out clean,it’s ready!
Leave it to cool completely and cut the cake into two layers. Draw the line around the cake with a smaller knife and then use a bigger one to slice it. Hold the top of the cake with your one hand and slice with the other.
For the strawberries
Place the frozen strawberries in a saucepan with 50 grams of sugar. Bring to a light boil and then reduce temperature and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring carefully often, until strawberries have softened but are not mushy.
Strain the mixture, placing the strawberries in one bowl and reserved syrup in another.
To make ganache:
Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.
Bring the cream to a light simmer in a saucepan. Once at a simmer, pour the mixture over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, and then stir until smooth and thick. Leave to cool completely at room temperature.
To make the cream filling (make just before assembling) beat the cream with sugar until smooth and creamy.
Assembing a cake:
Prick the cakes with a wooden skewers and brush with the liquid reserved from the strawberries.
Place the first layer of the cake on a plate or a cake stand, spread half of the strawberries conserve, top it with fresh cream (leaving around 1 cm around the edges, so it doesn’t ooze out when you place the second layer), add strawberries and gently press.
Place the second layer of the cake on top, spread a layer of ganache and top it up with lots of fresh fruit. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
The cake is the best to be enjoyed the same day, however I baked mine the day before party and finished it just a a few hours before the guests came.
If you need to make it in advance, keep it in a fridge but take it out 30min before the serving to allow to stand in a room temperature.