Do you ever have one of those days when you just get a brainwave? A stroke of cake genius that you just can’t stop thinking about till you’ve baked it / tried it / tasted it? Well that’s what happened last month with the big birthdays in my family.
Tim was born on his mum’s birthday and this year it was a double whammy of BIG birthdays. Let’s just say that they are both staying 21 forever!
Tim’s mum invited us to go out for lunch to celebrate at The Bottlehouse which is an amazing pub with the most fantastic food. I made the cake – of course! Now I know I have mentioned that Tim’s favorite cake is black forrest gateau before but my dilemma was that Tim’s mum had requested a Whisky cake! I decided to kind of mix them both up and make a very boozy Black forrest gateau in the same kind of way that I made the Whisky cake. That basically meant adding a ton of alcohol. That was my brainwave.
I used the recipe from this post and added more kirsch and cherry brandy at every chance I could. I thought this would put my girls off. Nope! I do believe I am going to have problems with Darcey when she’s a teenager! She loves the alcoholic cakes and she’s only 7!
It was about this time that I decided to enter the Renshaw birthday cake challenge. Perfect timing you might say. I don’t enter into competitions or challenges very often but when the challenge is something you’ve planned to do anyway you just think “Let’s go for it!”. T that and “fingers crossed!”.
I selected my Renshaw colours. Have you seen their website? I hadn’t before the challenge. I just bought my sugarpastes from the local cake decorating shop, but they do tons more colours and products than I was aware of. Thirty six colour to be precise. Jade green or tropical coral anyone?
For this cake I used:
- Duck egg blue for the cake board. I wanted something that would look good for boys and girls and duck egg blue looks so good with brown.
- Chocolate brown This tastes really good. It’s probably the best tasting ready roll out there.
- White for the cream topping
- Poppy Red for the cherries, but I could have chosen Ruby red.
How to make the decorated Black Forrest Gateau cake
The cake recipe
- 225g butter, at room temperature
- 225g caster sugar
- 160g self-raising flour
- 65g cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 tbsp kirsch
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Grease 2 x 8 inch round tins and line the base with baking paper. You can use two tins and cut the cake in half through the middle, or if you have enough tins bake four separate ones.
- Blend the butter and sugar together.
- Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs and blend until smooth.
- Add the kirsch
- Divide the mix into the cake tins and smooth it flat.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes until the cakes start to come away from the sides.
- Leave them to cool for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Make sure you remove the baking paper so the cake doesn’t ‘sweat’.
The filling recipe
- 340g jar of morello cherry jam (any cherry jam will work)
- 3 tbsp kirsch
- Place the jam in a saucepan on a low heat with the Kirsch until it melts. Set aside to cool then place between each cake layer.
The chocolate cherry ganache recipe
- 50g butter
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp cherry brandy
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp milk to soften if neccesary
- Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over a low heat until they are completely melted. Stir continuously. Add the Cherry brandy then set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl then add the chocolate mix. Whisk until combined then add a little milk at a time. The ganache should look glossy.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes before covering your cake completely with a crumb coat and then a thicker coat. Chill the cake in the fridge in between each layer of buttercream.
Cover the cake in chocolate sugarpaste, smooth and remove the excess.
To make the cherries: roll out some red sugarpaste between two spacers. This will give an even thickness so when you cut out circles with a cutter and then roll them into balls each cherry will be exactly the same size.
I wanted the cherries to be a darker shade on one side making them look more realistic. So I got my air brush gun out. This was it’s first outing and I have to say it was really, really easy to use and I pretty much got the desired effect straight away. It was good fun too. I’d been avoiding using it for ages as I didn’t know how it worked. Now it’s all I want to do.
I sprayed the sides of each cherry with a mixture of red and a drop of black food dye until they looked darker and glossier. I then left them overnight to harden up and dry up.
A few days earlier I made the cherry stems and stuck them in the dips in the cherries before the cherries dried. Make the stems by rolling out some green and brown sugarpaste. Squidge them together and roll until the stem is the desired length. Add a tiny bit of brown at the tip and leave to dry.
Create swirls of cream with rolled out white sugarpaste. Don’t make the ‘cream’ too tall or it won’t look quite right. I used royal icing to ‘glue’ the cherries in place.
To make the cream topping I rolled out the white sugarpaste into a rough circle then used a circle cutter to create some dribbles. Smooth the edge of the cream with your fingers then place over the chocolate sugarpaste. If the cream needs securing brush the underside with a little water.
Add the cherries and swirls of cream and you’re done.
This cake turned out really well. It was really moist and rich – which Tim loved and I think his mum liked it too! Darcey definitely did!
Happy Birthday gorgeous bloke. x