black forest cake

My first attempt at black forest cake, using the cocoa sponge cake from taiwan cooking school foodhouse8.

The cake is real spongy and has great texture. My only problem is 35 minutes was a bit too long to bake for my oven. The base was a bit stuck and burnt and thus the cake was slightly dry.

Overall the taste is still good and it would have been better if the cake was not overdone.

I made a frozen chocolate mousse, following the recipe from The Hungry Mouse. I halved the recipe and froze it in a spring form pan. Bad idea. Hard to remove it since I was duh enough to use the entire spring form pan. I should have just used the ring and not the base. After much sweating and silent swearing and the careful usage of room temperature water to gently wipe the bottom of the base, it was removed, albeit not entirely whole. At least it came out.

I promptly used aluminum foil as the base and smoothened the broken bits out, covered the top with cling wrap and stuck it back in the freezer to reform. This mousse melts quite fast in our humid weather since no gelatine was used. So I had to work fast when assembling. The mousse was very well received by my colleagues. They liked the creamy taste. In fact I think the mousse became the highlight of the whole cake-eating experience for them.

As I was assembling the cake, I was quite worried as to if the whole thing would work. I was praying hard as I started the assembly. A cherry paste was made using 1 can of dark sweet cherries in syrup. I drained the cherries, used about 1/4 cup of the syrup, added 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of Bol’s cherry liquer and 1 tbsp of corn starch. When the whole thing had thickened to what I felt was good, I let it cool before using.

A crumb coating of italian meringue buttercream was used. Next time I shall just use the topping cream as crumb coating. Since this cake was served chilled the buttercream was slightly harder. I didn’t think of that when I used it for the crumb coating. Another duh.

This is the first time I’m using non-dairy topping cream and I must say I’m impressed. I kind of prefer this for topping a cake than using dairy whipped cream. Dairy whipped cream is not as white in color and melts far more easily.

It was real fun decorating the cake and for the chocolate shavings, I used a melon baller on a block of Valrhona Equatoriale. It was not easy getting nice curly shavings. I ended up with short flakes instead. Using an offset spatula, I carefully stuck the chocolate shavings around the base of the cake.

The final stressful moment was after decorating, I realised it didn’t fit into the 9 inch cake box! I flustered about, dug out the 10 inch cake box and it just barely fit in. The top was a bit squashed by the time I lugged this to the office. Man, it was real heavy and I was trying hard not to jostle it when I was taking the bus. I am guessing this cake weighed at least 2 kg. 😛

slightly squashed top

I think the whole experience is great though…especially when you hear the compliments after all that work. 🙂

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