Sunday, January 23, 2011

Black Forest Cake

... but, this we all know.  Chocolate...and more chocolate... oh, and cherries.  A take on Black Forest cake.

This one is from my Company's Coming Chocolate Everything book.   Oh, and...I want a lovely glass cake plate.  A pedestal plate ... preferably with a dome.

It's simple enough ... even calls for a cake mix if you want to go that way ...which I thought about for only a nano second.  I'm sure they are much better now than they used to be...but, I still like to bake my own... plus it was for my sweetie...and he deserves my best effort.   Always.

I wish I could get smaller tins.  My oven is European size and the 9 inch tins are too large to put two on the same shelf... luckily if I diagonally place them on different shelves... they almost bake the you see the size of this four layer cake!!  Aacckk!  We had to call in neighbours to help us get through it.

Forget super-sizing everything.. give me some cute little tins so that I can bake a treat for two ... like they do on the cooking channel... well, the European gals do anyway... not Paula or Ina or the others.  No wonder we all have to do more jumping jacks... unlike the French or the Italians... who are lovely and slim and eat so daintily... and look like models... oh,...and ... look at the small portions and lovely cute little cakes they make!  It's a no brainer why they look so good... lovely food ... dainty portions.

okay... 'nuff complaining... onward with the recipe.  I'm giving it exactly as it is in the book... but, make any cake you like instead of the mix.

Black Forest Decadence

1   Dark chocolate cake mix ( 2 layer size)
2  cups whipping cream ( or 4 cups/  1 Litre, whipped topping)
1 TBSP  icing sugar
19 oz ( 40 ml )  cherry pie filling

6  semisweet chocolate baking squares (1 oz or 28 grams, each) cut up
1/2  cup light cream (half and half)  I used a bit of left over whipping cream and some milk)

Prepare cake according to package directions.  Bake in 2 greased 9 inch (22cm) round layer pans.  Cool. Turn out onto rack.  Split each to make 4 layers.

Beat whipping cream and icing sugar in large bowl until stiff.  Reserve 1 cup (250 ml) for garnish.

Fold pie filling into remaining whipped cream.  Spread 1/3 cherry-cream mixture over 3 layers, stack as each is spread.  Add fourth layer to top.

Glaze:  Melt chocolate with light cream in medium saucepan on low, stirring constantly, until smooth.  Set pan in cold water.  Whisk until cooled enough to be slightly pourable.  Drizzle over top of cake. allowing some to run down sides  Chill.  Garnish with reserved whipped cream.  Cuts into 16 wedges.

Their photo looks like they managed to get a tidier slicing method than we did.  Or.. perhaps it was frozen...or...okay... I'm sure I don't know... all I know is... ours was not quite this tidy.

However, I do have a great tip for slicing the not too thick layers neatly in half.  My bread knife is not long enough to be seen on the opposite side of the was doing a hack job getting through the first cake I tried.  However, on the second cake...

Begin the slice with your bread knife... but... then..... get a long piece of unflavoured, unwaxed dental floss.  Hold each end and place the middle inside the cut.... pull the ends towards each other...overlap them...and voila!... sliced cleanly straight through the center!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Aperitif Cake??

I've never heard of an Aperitif Cake, have you?  I half expected it to be alcoholic.  But...there it was at the end of the recipe..."slice and serve with drinks" ... with the aperitifs then....  alright.  Got it.  And... it isn't really a's actually a loaf.

When I was watching Laura Calder make it (on the food channel) ..I thought it might taste like bacon and cheese scones...and it does..sort of... but, not just any old scones.  More like the ones you make home.... with a lot of thought.. and extra ingredients.  Yummy.
Next time... this same recipe will be scones.  Well, maybe not exact, because it seems I never have all the same ingredients on hand and I don't run out to buy things if I have something that can be substituted.... besides...  those of you who know me.. know how I do love to experiment with my food.

Bacon and Olive Aperitif Cake

1 1/2  cups flour
1 1/2  tsps baking powder
1/2  tsp ground pepper
3  eggs, lightly beaten
1/2  cup plus 1 TBSP butter, melted
2/3  cup olives, pitted and sliced
4 ounces bacon, about 4 slices into small chunks and fried
1  cup grated Gruyere cheese or grated Parmesan
pinch of salt, or to taste
1  TBSP chopped fresh rosemary (optional)

Heat oven to 350F/180C.
Butter and flour a loaf pan.  Sift flour and baking powder into mixing bowl, and stir the pepper through.
Beat eggs into the flour.
Beat in the melted butter.
Stir through the remaining ingredients to distribute evenly.
Spoon batter into the pan and bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool slightly.  Slice, and serve with drinks.

I tweaked things a bit::::

I had no bacon so used a couple slices of ham diced and cooked.  Added half an onion diced and sauteed.
Only used 2 eggs and a few tablespoons of egg white.  I used less than 1/2 cup of butter and added a few dollops of plain yogourt to keep the moisture ratio to flour about the same.
We had no Gruyere..and I always try to use less cheese.. so used up a bit of Parmesan and tiny chunk of Gouda still in the fridge from Christmas.  Also a bit of grated cheddar.
I used a bit of chili powder as well as the pepper,...  and some Italian Seasoning... and some sweet basil careful if you do use is a very strong herb and too much will overpower any dish.  A tiny bit goes a long, long way.

We had ours for supper because it came out of the oven at 6:00 .... with a lovely mixed green salad and Orange Vinaigrette...

Wonder what it would taste like toasted lightly ... with a mug of steaming coffee... for breakfast?