Aaron is predictable when it comes to birthday cakes. Black Forest Cake. Same cake, every year. For the longest time I refused to make them because I thought the ingredients would cost more than just buying the cake at the shops. Until I found Luisa Weiss’s recipe in Classic German Baking when Food52 Baking Club was going through it back in June 2017 and saw just how easy it was. So now, when his birthday rolls around, I know exactly what I’m making.
The recipe is actually quite straight forward. It’s a chocolate sponge cake, reminiscent of a proper English sponge, with lots of eggs in the batter. You start off by whisking egg whites with salt and sugar and then when it becomes nice and frothy you beat in the egg yolks and then fold in the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa and cornflour. You put this into a 9 inch cake pan and bake it for 25 minutes.
And now for the razzle dazzle – the cherries are a jar of pitted sour cherries that you heat in saucepan with some cornflour to thicken the juice into more of a cherry pie filling. You need to whip some cream with a bit of sugar to ice the cake, and I bought a lot of chocolate flakes that I crumbled apart to cover the cake.
To assemble you cut the cake into thirds horizontally and brush eat layer with some kirsch. Then you begin the layering process with cake layer, whipped cream, cherries, cake layer, whipped cream, cherries, cake layer and whipped cream over the entire outside of the cake. Then you simply cover it in the chocolate flake crumbs and add a few reserved cherries to decorate the top.
Don’t tell Aaron but this is one of the easiest cakes I make! And the results are always spectacular. Happy birthday, Ay-ay-ron!