Blackest Forest Gateau

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 2-layer 9″ cake. For suggestions on other sizes, see the tips below the recipes.for black chocolate cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup black cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup boiling water

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease, flour, and line the bottoms of two 9″ round cake pans.  If desired, line the cake pans with bake-even strips.
  2. In a mixer bowl, combine sugar, flour, black and Dutch-processed cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Mix to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, vegetable oil, and milk.  Stir to mix.  Then, with the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Mix on low until evenly distributed.
  4. Pour the boiling water into the batter and mix on medium low until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly, the cakes are done.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

for dark chocolate ganache:

  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2.5 oz. manufacturing or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbspn butter
  • 1 Tbpsn Godiva chocolate liquor, optional

METHOD:

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the cream and butter just until simmering.
  3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate.  Let sit for a minute or so.
  4. Whisk the cream into the chocolate until smooth.  Add the liquor, if using, and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Spread a thin layer of ganache on top of both of the cooled chocolate cakes.  Let set for at least two hours, or an hour in the refrigerator.

for dark cherry filling:

  • 10 oz. frozen dark cherries
  • 3 Tbspn sugar
  • 1 Tbspn cornstarch
  • 1 Tbspn kirsch or brandy

METHOD:

  1. Place the cherries in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cherries begin to release their juices.
  2. Add the sugar into the cherries, stirring until dissolved.
  3. Pour some of the cherry juice into a small bowl.  Add the cornstarch to the juice and whisk until the corn starch is completely dissolved.  Add the cornstarch and juice back into the saucepan.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for one minute.  Remove from heat and stir in the kirsch or brandy.  Let cool before using.

for mascarpone whipped cream:

  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 4 cups manufacturing cream, or heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

METHOD:

  1. Combine the mascarpone cheese and cream in a bowl.  Whip until soft peaks.
  2. Add the powdered sugar to the cream, continue whipping just until you reach stiff peaks.  Be careful not to overwhip!  Use immediately.

assembly:

  1. Spread a layer of mascarpone whipped cream on the prepared ganache-chocolate cake.
  2. Top the whipped cream with the cherries.
  3. Place the next layer of cake on top of the cherries and whipped cream.
  4. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining cream.  Decorate with chocolate shavings, chocolate trees, fresh cherries, or a dusting of powdered sugar/cocoa powder, if desired.
  5. Store in the refrigerator.

Tip:  If you don’t have access to black cocoa powder, regular Dutch-processed cocoa will work.
Tip:  For two four-layer 4.5″ cakes like the ones in this post, use 1/2 of the black chocolate cake recipe and about half of the whipped cream.  For a four-layer 9″ cake, split the cake layers from this recipe, double the cherry filling and chocolate ganache recipes, and you may need to make 1.5 times the amount of whipped cream prescribed here.