Black Forest Cake

image(7)This weekend I craved some good chocolate. And not Easter bunny chocolate, but a rich chocolate cake.  My craving, paired with my daughter reading a book about some kids who make a huge mess while trying to bake a chocolate cake, created the perfect condition for baking on Easter Monday.

Of course, involving a preschooler in making a cake makes a crazy mess.  I can only do it when I’m relaxed and in a great mood and when I haven’t cleaned the kitchen for a while and don’t care how messy it gets.  There was definitely cocoa powder all over the counter, step stool, me, the blender and probably that watermelon in the back.image(8)

However, this is a show-stopping cake, and it’s not even that difficult.  You will definitely be flooded with compliments when you make it and everyone will think you slaved in the kitchen for hours and not realize that a three-year-old mixed the batter.  It’s just that fantastic!  If you are wary of trying the whole Black Forest thing, this cake is also REALLY delicious just as a chocolate cake.  Make it in a Bundt cake pan and eat it warm from the oven.  You just might not be able to stop.

image(6)Black Forest Cake (from Starting Out)

Ingredients: for cake
 1 3/4 cups flour
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    3/4 cup cocoa
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup canola oil
    2 large eggs
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup hot coffee or boiling water

for Black Forest-ing it
 1 can cherry pie filling
    2 cups whipping cream
    1/4 cup icing sugar
    chocolate bar

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 2 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans or one Bundt cake pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, until smooth.  Stir in the coffee (the batter will be very thin).  Pour the batter into the cake pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes for cake layers or 50-55 minutes for the Bundt cake.  Let it cool for about 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges and inverting it onto a wire rack.  Cool completely before frosting.image(5)

To make a Black Forest cake, split the cake layers in half horizontally (so that you now have 4 layers).  Put one layer on a cake plate and spread with 1/3 of the pie filling.  Put on the next two layers and pie filling in the same way (as the picture shows).  Top it with the last cake layer (this is not shown in the picture).  Do not worry if it’s not quite straight or looks funny – the whipped cream will solve that problem.

Whip the cream with the icing sugar until stiff peaks form.  Spread the whipped cream on the cake.  Again, you may think it looks strange, but perfection is NOT the key here.  Make it look intentionally “lumpy” and people will love it.  Shave a chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler over the cake to make it look even more spectacular.  Enjoy the compliments and deliciousness!

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