This past week, my husband and I took a wonderful trip down to San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary. We had a huge list of places we wanted to go and things we wanted to see in our whirlwind, 2 and a 1/2 day trip! Although the obvious choices like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge ranked high on both of our lists, the top of my list definitely had some foodie destinations, not least of which was Miette. For those of you not familiar with Miette, it’s a fantastic pastry shop with hints of vintage France. I found myself drooling over the minimalist yet decidedly elegant style of the desserts, and realizing just how true the old adage “less is more” can be. I absolutely fell in love with the “Tom Boy” cakes, which they describe as an “unfinished, yet decidedly feminine” kind of cake, a style I couldn’t help but recreate in this Black Forest Cake.
Black Forest Cake
Makes one 3-layer cake (6″ in diameter)
What you’ll need:
For the cake:
1 stick (113 grams) butter
1/2 cup milk (whole if you have it)
1 bar (100 grams) dark chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
For the cherry compote:
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped into quarters
3/4 cup light corn syrup
For the swiss meringue buttercream frosting:
3 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 sticks (226 grams) butter, cold
This cake recipe is essentially the same as my super duper secret chocolate cake recipe, just half the batch size. So for instructions on how to make it, I’ll refer you to that post, rather than repeating it all here and making this post ridiculously long. This recipe makes about 3 cups of batter, so when you’re ready to bake, you’ll want about 1 cup of batter per cake. Line the bottom of your 6″ cake pans with parchment paper, and bake at 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let your cakes cool for about 10 minutes before turning them out, wrapping them in plastic wrap, and setting them in the refrigerator to chill. Chilled cakes are much easier to work with and to move.
To make your cherry compote, combine your fresh cherries and corn syrup in a pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil until the majority of the liquid has boiled off (you want about a 1/2 cup of liquid remaining). Set the compote aside to cool down and set up. If the compote doesn’t have enough liquid in it and gets too set, just add a little liquid to soften it up.
For the last piece of the actual cake making process you’ll want to make the frosting. Both the cakes and compote need some time to cool, whereas the frosting is best when used immediately. Although I could go through all the steps here to make the frosting (of which there would be not so many, but nonetheless a lot of things to say about them), I instead recommend watching this video tutorial by Dyann Bakes. She has so many good tips and advice in that video that would take up a lot of space if I tried to type them all out here.
At this point you should have 3 layers of chilled cake, a bowl of fresh cherry compote, and a bowl of frosting, so on to assembly! Lucky us, this cake is super easy to put together! Start by trimming the edges of your cake with a serrated knife if they’re uneven. We want nice, even, round cakes for this! Fill a piping bag with your frosting and affix a large, star tip (like the Wilton 1M) to the end. Pipe right around the edge of your bottom layer of cake, getting as close to the edge as possible (we want that frosting to show through between the layers). Spread half of your cherry compote inside that ring of frosting, and fill over the top of it with more frosting. You can use a cake spatula to smooth out the inside so there are no gaps in the frosting for the compote to squeeze through (but don’t smooth out the outer ring of frosting!). Place your second layer of cake on top of the first and press lightly so that it sticks to the first. Repeat the same process with the frosting and compote for the second layer. Once you’ve gotten your top layer in place, pipe the top with lots of frosting (no cherry compote for this layer). Using a cake spatula, smooth out the center leaving just the outer edge with the tip pattern. Add a fresh cherry (or two or three…) for a garnish.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for fantastic bakeries and fantastic baked goodies. Do you have a favorite? Please share it with us in the comments below!