Ev requested a Black Forest Cake for his Birthday this year. I made for past Birthdays and he loved it so much he wanted another one. So now I have decided to document the preparation of this utterly delicious, decadent cake. If you can, make it when fresh Cherries are available but if not, then frozen or canned Cherries will work. This year I used dried Cherries which I reconstituted in Cherry Liqueur along with frozen Cherries. There was an excess of frozen Cherries, so I put the leftovers on top of the cake as decoration.
The ingredients you will need for a Black Forest Cake are:
1 dozen large Eggs
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Black Cocoa Powder or a total of 1 cup regular Cocoa Powder
Vanilla & Almond Extracts
1 Qt. Whipped Cream
Note: For exact measurements and complete directions please go to Black Forest Cherry Cake
First of all, gather and measure all of your ingredients. Separate the Whites from the Yolks and allow them to come to room temperature.
Prepare three 9″layer pans by spraying with a Vegetable Spray and then fitting with Parchment or Waxed Paper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together the Flour, Cocoa Powders and 1/4 cup of the Sugar.
Beat the Egg Yolks and 1/4 cup of Water with an Electric Mixer until they are thick and light colored. Gradually add the Sugar while still beating; once all the Sugar has been beaten in add the Flavorings.
Exchange the Wire Beater for the Paddle Beater. Sift the Flour Mixture over the Beaten Egg Yolks and slowly beat it in with the Paddle Beater.
Flour Mixture Blended in
Next using a clean bowl and beater use the Wire Whisk to beat the Egg Whites to a soft Peak. (Over-beating them will make the cake dry and underbeating them will cause the cake not to rise fully)
Once all the Egg Whites have been well-blended into the Chocolate Batter, pour into the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each layer comes out clean.
Set the pans to cool on a wire rack; once the layers are cool to the touch (about 15-20 minutes) invert onto the rack by placing the rack over the pan and turning over. Cool the layers completely before assembling.
While the layers are cooling, prepare the syrup, the filling and the Chantilly Creme. (This may also be done while the cakes are baking) See the link above for the recipes and directions.
Brush the cake layers with the Syrup.
Place the first layer, top side up on a serving plate and spread with the Chantilly Creme. Add half the Cherry Filling and the second layer of cake.
Repeat the process with the second layer and then add the third layer.
Use a pastry bag filled with the Chantilly Creme and drop Rosettes on the top of the Cake. If there is Creme left over, spread it on the sides of the cake.
Top each Rosette with a Cherry (if any leftover or use Maraschino Cherries or none at all, if preferred.
Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. When serving cut with a serrated knife and cut small to moderate pieces as this is a rich cake. Delicious, but rich!
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the weather is wintry – rainy, snowy or windy! What better way to spend an indoor afternoon or morning making Valentine Lollipops with your Children. Children very often make paper Valentine’s to give to their friends, but Chocolate ones are even better. They taste good and Chocolate is good for you!
What you will need to make these treats is:
Candy (Heart-shaped Lollipop Molds) – available at your local Cake Decorating Store or Craft Shop such as Michael’s or JoAnn’s.
Pre-tempered Chocolates (Wilton’s)
A sheet of waxed paper or a flat pan to put the molds on.
A melting pot or double boiler If you don’t have either you can make a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
To make the Pops first set up your molds. Make sure they are clean and dry. Water and chocolate do not mix and your pops will not set up properly. The best thing to do is to wash and dry them 24 hours before you are going to use them. When you are finished with them, wash (DO NOT USE SOAP) just hot tap water and dry and then after 24 hours place them in a sealed plastic bag so that the next you need them they will be ready to go.
Place the molds on the waxed paper or sheet pan. Place the sticks in the molds (make sure that at least one inch of the stick is in the candy portion ) If you are using a Melting Pot place the Candy (the melting pots will hold a 12 oz. bag of candy) in the Melting Pot and set it to MELT. Once the Candy has thoroughly melted turn the setting down to WARM.
Once the Candy has melted you can then spoon it into the molds. Be sure and completely cover the Lollipop Sticks. DO NOT fill the mold to the top. Once they are about 3/4 full, stop and tap the molds to get rid of the Air Bubbles. If there is still space left in the mold slowly add additional candy until the mold is full.
Allow at least an hour for the candy to set at room temperature or about 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator or 15-20 in the freezer.
Once the Candy has set up turn the molds over onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper and gently press on the backs to un-mold. If they are not going to be eaten right away place into bags (lollipop bags can be purchased at Cake Decorating Stores, Party Stores or Craft Stores). Tie with red curling ribbon. These lollipops are a great replacement for Valentines.
For heat loving Valentine recipients you can add a little bit of Chili Flakes (Old Boney Mountain Grotto Dust) available at http://www.oldboneymountainhotsaucecorp.com/
Today is ‘National Candy Day’. Howa about trying this tasty treat called ‘Buckeye Candy’. This recipe was developed to resemble the fruit of the Buckeye tree which is indigenous to the State of Ohio. I was just there recently but forgot to look for the Buckeye tree. The recipe below is a tasty treat and is related to ‘Rice Krispy Squares’ – there are just more tasty ingredients in them.
Buckeye Balls are great to eat and make nice gifts too. Try them for an extra treat for Thanksgiving!
1/4 cup unsalted Butter Large Saucepan
5 cups Marshmallows Wooden Spoon
1cup Peanut Butter Chips Waxed Paper
1 cup Mini-Chocolate Chips Candy Bags or Plate
4 cups Rice Krispies®
Liquid Margarine or Soft Butter
- Melt the Butter in the Saucepan over low heat.
- Add the Marshmallows and stir constantly with the wooden spoon until the Marshmallows are completely melted; stir in the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips.
- Remove from the heat and add the Rice Krispies®; mix until the Krispies are completely coated with the melted Marshmallow mixture.
- Spread the Liquid Margarine or Soft Butter on your hands and then shape the Candy into Balls about the size of Ping Pong Balls.
- Place the shaped Candy onto a sheet of waxed paper or a glass plate. When cooled, place in a plastic bag or covered plate for storage or just serve and eat right away!!
Yield: About 20 Pieces
Tapioca is the starch of the Cassava Plant or Manioc as it is called in certain parts of the world. Portuguese Explorers became familiar with it through contact with the natives of Brazil. The most familiar of Tapioca is the pearl. Other forms are sticks and powder. For those of you who like the Bobba drinks which are popular in many Asian Countries and more recently in the US, the pearls used in Bobba are just large Tapioca Pearls which do need to be cooked before using.
I recently found powdered Tapioca which can be used in place of Cornstarch as a thickener. If you like the texture of Tapioca Pudding but don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking it, this is the way to go. April 28th is ‘National Tapioca Day’ and therefore is a great time to try out this amazing starch. I love the texture that it imparts to pudding. Almost reminds of ‘Gummy Bears’. It is chewy, yet it is not. Try my recipe and see for yourself. /deserts/chocolate-tapioca-pudding/
NATIONAL FOOD DAYS
May 2nd – ‘National Truffle Day’
Since Wednesday, May 2nd is ‘National Truffle Day’ I decided to make the centers for some Truffles which I will serve to my Mah Jong Group on Wednesday. For the Truffles, I had a small piece of Milk Chocolate and a pound piece of White Chocolate. For the Centers of the truffles, I used a couple of Ganache Recipes that I had that were intended for cakes.
White Chocolate Ganache – this recipe was originally intended for a cake, so the resulting mixture was just a little too soft in that it was supposed to be spread on the cake. I used half the original recipe as follows:
150 grams White Chocolate, chopped – (I actually shredded it with my shredding blade; chopping would have been simpler)
90 grams of Heavy Cream
2 tsps. Vanilla Extract
45 grams unsalted Butter, softened
The above ingredients were combined in my food processor and run until everything was well-combined. The mixture was then chilled. Of course, it became too cold and I had to microwave it for about 30 seconds and then whipped it up with a hand whisk.
The ideal way would have been to:
1. Heat the Cream with the chopped Chocolate and Butter.
2. Pour into a shallow dish and chill thoroughly and then whip it up in the food processor along with the Vanilla Extract.
Because the resulting mixture was too soft to scoop and roll into balls I ended up adding about 3/8 cup of unsweetened Cocoa and mixing it in. The result was a mixture that I could scoop, roll and dip into melted chocolate.
I placed the scooped portions of the Ganache onto a baking sheet that was covered in powdered sugar. When I finished scooping, I placed the balls of chocolate Ganache in the freezer until the next day when I dipped them in melted chocolate. The lighter colored truffles are the Milk Chocolate ones while the darker ones are the White Chocolate fortified with Cocoa.
I melted Wilton Melt ‘n Molds to coat the Truffles with. Using this kind of chocolate saves a lot of time and trouble, because if you use the same chocolate that was used for the centers, you have to take the time to temper it. Unless you are experienced with tempering, it can be a bit of a problem. While I was dipping the Truffles, the melting chocolate seemed to be getting a little too thick so I added just a bit of heavy cream to the melted chocolate. I figured there was enough butterfat in the cream to keep the chocolate from siezing up. Wrong! Don’t do it! If you want to thin out your chocolate use a little bit of vegetable or shortening chips designed especially for this purpose. (These can be purchased at a cake decorating store)
There is actually plastic wrap in the bowl so that I would be able to get the chocolate out. I had to remove the siezed up chocolate from my warmer. Once it completely solidified, I just put the whole thing in a plastic bag and put it aside for a later use.
For variety and also for those people who want a little less candy or chocolate, I dipped some into shredded unsweetened Coconut that was finely cut. I also rolled some of the chocolate dipped truffles in the Coconut as well.
The first batch that I dipped I placed on a rack; they were difficult to get off once the chocolate hardnened, so I switched to waxed paper. The coated truffles released easily from the waxed paper.
Since I wasn’t going to use the Truffles for a couple of days, I placed them in a plastic box with a doily on the bottom and refrigerated them. To serve I will place on a pretty plate with gold doilies.
Having sampled a couple of these Truffles, I know that they are truly delicioius and if you are a chocolate lover, they are a dream.
Of course you can get your truffles without nearly as much fuss by going down to your local Godiva or Sees Candy Store and purchasing some. But think of the fun you are missing!