The Classic Christmas Cake
This, with no apologies, is a Christmas cake that has been in print since 1978, has been made and loved by thousands and is, along with the Traditional Christmas Pudding, one of the most popular recipes I’ve produced. It is rich, dark and quite moist, so will not suit those who like a crumblier texture. Recently we took some of these cakes along to book-signing sessions up and down the country and were quite amazed to see so many people take a mouthful and then buy a book!
|1 lb (450 g) currants|
|6 oz (175 g) sultanas|
|6 oz (175 g) raisins|
|2 oz (50 g) glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and finely chopped|
|2 oz (50 g) mixed candied peel, finely chopped|
|3 tablespoons brandy, plus extra for ‘feeding’|
|8 oz (225 g) plain flour|
|½ level teaspoon salt|
|¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg|
|½ level teaspoon ground mixed spice|
|8 oz (225 g) unsalted butter|
|8 oz (225 g) soft brown sugar|
|4 large eggs|
|2 oz (50 g) almonds, chopped (the skins can be left on)|
|1 level dessertspoon black treacle|
|grated zest 1 lemon|
|grated zest 1 orange|
|4 oz (110 g) whole blanched almonds (only if you don’t intend to ice the cake|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin or a 7 inch (18 cm) square tin, greased and lined with silicone paper (baking parchment). Tie a band of brown paper round the outside of the tin for extra protection.|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas
You need to begin this cake the night before you want to bake it. All you do is weigh out the dried fruit and mixed peel, place it in a mixing bowl and mix in the brandy as evenly and thoroughly as possible. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave the fruit aside to absorb the brandy for 12 hours.
Next day pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). Then measure out all the rest of the ingredients, ticking them off to make quite sure they’re all there. The treacle will be easier to measure if you remove the lid and place the tin in a small pan of barely simmering water. Now begin the cake by sifting the flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it’s light, pale and fluffy. Now beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the creamed mixture a tablespoonful at a time; keep the whisk running until all the egg is incorporated. If you add the eggs slowly by degrees like this the mixture won’t curdle. If it does, don’t worry, any cake full of such beautiful things can’t fail to taste good!
When all the egg has been added, fold in the flour and spices, using gentle, folding movements and not beating at all (this is to keep all that precious air in). Now fold in the fruit, peel, chopped nuts and treacle and finally the grated lemon and orange zests. Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon and, if you don’t intend to ice the cake, lightly drop the whole blanched almonds in circles or squares all over the surface. Finally cover the top of the cake with a double square of silicone paper with a 50p-size hole in the centre (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking).
Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4½-4¾ hours. Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, but in any case don’t look till at least 4 hours have passed. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it’s cold ‘feed’ it – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy, wrap it in double silicone paper secured with an elastic band and either wrap again in foil or store in an airtight container. You can now feed it at odd intervals until you need to ice or eat it.
Paul Clerehugh’s perfect Christmas cake
Paul Clerehugh’s perfect Christmas cake
By Paul Clerehugh
December 01, 2008
Making a Christmas cake can be a disaster but it doesn’t need to be that way.
If you want to make the perfect cake here’s the answer.
Owner of The Crooked Billet, Stoke Road, and London Street Brasserie, chef Paul Clerehugh reveals the secret of his rich moist fruitcake for food monthly
This is my favourite Christmas cake recipe – I’ve modified it over the years and consider it to be perfect, a rich moist fruitcake that improves with keeping.
Not everyone is confident about making a Christmas cake – probably because we only bake them once a year.
Often, recipes have a telephone directory’s worth of ingredients – along with the contents of half an off-licence.
The resulting cake is confused, tasting of everything, usually dry, having been baked for three or four hours, and is often far too sweet.
My recipe is sugar-free, as I prefer the deeper toffee flavour and sophistication of dark treacle with a honeyed oomph.
Personally, I can’t stand marzipan and Royal icing, although marzipan can disguise a multitude of sins, potholes and cracks.
My mum’s Christmas cake always sank in the middle. The embarrassing hollow had to be filled with marzipan, stuck to the cake with melted apricot jam.
Royal icing is like snowy peaks brought up with the flat of the knife resembling a badly artexed kitchen. Alternatively, with steady hand and smoothing palate knife, you can flat-ice a cake .
Personally, I prefer to brush with sieved apricot jam and decorate with glacé fruits.
Alternatively, I arrange split almonds and glace cherry halves in a pattern over the top of the cake – just before it goes in the oven.
Paul’s Christmas Cake
150g halved glacé cherries
100g cut mixed dried peel
500ml apple juice
175g self-raising wholemeal flour
175g self-raising white flour
2 tsp mixed spice
6 tbsp (90ml) sunflower oil
3 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp dark treacle
2 eggs beaten
50g toasted hazelnuts – smashed up a bit
Place the sultanas, raisins, currants, halved cherries and mixed peel in a bowl and stir in the apple juice. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
Grease and line a deep round 20cm cake tin. Secure with string and triple folded brown paper around the outside. Sift the flours into a mixing bowl together with the mixed spice and make a well in the centre.
Put the sunflower oil in a bowl, stir in the dark treacle, honey and Guinness. Now add to the sifted flours.
Drain the dried, mixed fruit from the apple juice. Discard the apple juice.
Add the mixed fruit to the cake mixture. Add the beaten eggs and toasted hazelnuts; thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.
Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
Bake for two hours or until a skewer comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack until cold, then lift out of the tin and remove the paper. fm
Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake
An easy-to-make alternative to traditional Christmas cakes which requires no beating
Recipe uploaded by
Recipe by Mary Cadogan
Difficulty and servings
Makes a 20cm round cake
Preparation and cooking times
Prep 1 hr – 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 1 hr – 2 hrs 30 mins
(Cooking time 2 hrs 30 if gas oven)
- Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice and 100ml/3½fl oz brandy in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2/ fan 130C and line the cake tin. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing them until evenly browned, or in the oven for 8-10 minutes – keep an eye on them as they burn easily. When they are cool, chop roughly. Stir the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stir in gently, until there are no traces of flour left.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it down evenly – you will find this is easiest with the back of a metal spoon which has been dipped into boiling water.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140C/gas 1/ fan120C and cook for a further 1-1¼ hours (about a further 1¾ hours if you have a gas oven) until the cake is dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it starts to darken too much. To check the cake is done, insert a fine skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
- Make holes all over the warm cake with a fine skewer and spoon the extra 4tbsp brandy over the holes until it has all soaked in. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. When it’s cold, remove it from the tin, peel off the lining paper, then wrap first in baking parchment and then in foil. The cake will keep in a cupboard for up to three months or you can freeze it for six months.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2002.
Step by Step Classic British Christmas Cake
By Elaine Lemm, About.com Guide
1 of 11
Ingredients of a Classic Christmas Cake
For 1 Cake you will need:
- 1lb 2oz/525g currants
- 8oz/ 225g golden raisins/sultanas*
- 8oz / 225g raisins
- 4oz / 110g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
- 6oz / 165 glace cherries, halved
- 3 tbsp brandy, plus extra for feeding
- 2 ½ sticks / 300g butter, slightly softened
- 10 oz / 300g soft brown sugar
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 10oz/ 300g all purpose or plain flour
- ½ level tsp mixed spice **
- ½ level tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ level tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- Pinch salt
Chilled Fruit Salad & Nut Christmas Cake
- 1 cup (160g) chopped Brazil nuts
- 1/2 cup (90g) chopped dried papaya
- 1 cup (150g) chopped dried pineapple
- 1/2 cup (75g) chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup (75g) chopped dried peaches
- 3/4 cup (150g) red glace cherries, cut in half
- 3/4 cup (150g) green glace cherries, cut in half
- 1 cup (190g) NESTLÉ Milk CHOC BITS
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) almond meal
- 395g can NESTLÉ Sweetened Condensed Milk
- extra red glace cherries, for decoration
How to make
1. Preheat oven to 150°C/130°C fan forced. Grease and base line a 20cm ring pan with baking paper.
2. Place Brazil nuts, papaya, pineapple, apricots, peaches, cherries, NESTLÉ Milk Choc Bits, flour, almond meal and NESTLÉ Sweetened Condensed Milk in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Press mixture into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 45 minutes or until firm to touch. Cover with foil for final 10 minutes to prevent browning if required.
4. Cool in pan; serve decorated with glace cherries.
For the perfect Christmas cake, chef Jeremy Lee advises swapping currants and raisins for other fruit – and buying whole nuts, rather than ready ground.
By Rose Prince Source: The Telegraph
Published: 12:00PM BST 22 Oct 2009
If I had been born in Dundee, I’d be feeling somewhat anti-Italian. It seems the bakers of Italy have stolen the limelight from the traditional fruit cake.
A panettone was a rare sight until 10 years ago. Now you can hardly open the door to a guest in the festive season without them thrusting one of those tackily gift-wrapped giant bath sponges studded with candied fruit towards you.
Whatever happened to the dear, leaden Dundee cake, that fruited, whisky-drenched curling stone? I have to admit that my last few tastes of British fruitcakes have found the old favourite wanting. Dry slices falling into drier crumbs, currants like shrivelled beetles, followed by a flavour void, left by the absence of butter when vegetable oil or margarine has been used instead. No wonder panettone, with its light, elastic yeasty dough and plump fruit suddenly seems so appetising.
The chef Jeremy Lee, of the Blueprint Café, who was born and raised in Dundee, has hinted that it would do no harm to dust off the old Scottish favourite and its English equivalents. “Cakes with great ingredients add up to great cakes,” he says. “They need to be made with butter and no other fat, but I sometimes worry we are turning our back on our traditions.”
He likes panettone and other Italian dolci, “but only in Italy”. Making a comparison between the invaders and the cakes of his childhood, he maintains we are overly impressed with novelty.
“It’s like drinking bottled water when tap is perfectly good,” he says. ”I grew up eating incredibly delicious rock cakes, lovely old-fashioned things everyone has forgotten. We need to get back to this type of thing.”
Last week I made Christmas pudding and it’s now maturing nicely in its bowl under a cloth. Using the remaining dried fruit store I decide to attempt a real old-fashioned fruit cake. Lee advises swapping some of the usual currants and raisins for other fruits: “It is worth spending the extra buck to get the good stuff.”
I already have prunes, apricots, figs, golden sultanas and dried blueberries and a pack of those small, honeyed, sun-dried mini bananas (absolutely delicious and not to be confused with banana chips). Lee suggests buying whole almonds or pistachios then grinding them. “Whole is best – if you buy ready ground almonds the cake will not be as moist.”
As with Christmas pudding, the cake will be better for being ”aged” in an airtight container. Lee remembers how his mother Eileen’s cakes, stored for weeks in a tin, improved all the time. “She would keep gingerbread for two to three weeks, but a cake for Christmas needs more,” he says. “A minimum
of three weeks, but a maximum of six.”
This vintage cake can be covered with marzipan and iced later on. Alternatively, brush with apricot glaze and decorate with candied fruit, for those that like it (although, as per the pudding last week, I promised the children not to put peel inside the cake, either).
One word of warning, issued simply because the high cost of the ingredients means failure is especially hard to take: this cake will take more than five hours to cook. Unless the tin is insulated from the temperature of the oven, the edges will be dry, or worse, burnt, even if they’re cooked at a low temperature.
Paying attention to lining the cake tin with plenty of baking paper is as important with this recipe as not curdling the mixture.
By doing this you can also overfill the tin and end up with a cake that is nearly as tall as a panettone – but twice as delicious.
Good ready-made cakes
- The Christmas Cake (07932 656 898; www.thechristmascake.com for mail order)
The next best cake to the one above, made with high quality fruit and nuts, to a secret family recipe. £55 for a 2kg cake that measures six inches square.
- Simply Delicious Fruit Cake Company from Forman & Field (020 8525 2352; www.formanandfield.com for mail order)
Three small fruitcakes, serving 3-6, made in small batches at a Shropshire bakery by Milly Hunter and her team. £12.95.
- Daylesford Organic (0800 083 1233; www.daylesfordorganic.com for mail order)
The Dundee cake in a tin is a good, soggy, traditional, home-made version of the classic, made in the Daylesford Bakery. £14.95 for an 800g cake.
- More on Christmas
Friday, December 3, 2010
The Lebanese Recipes Kitchen (The home of delicious Lebanese Recipes and Middle Eastern food recipes) invites you to try Christmas cake Recipe. Enjoy Christmas recipes collection and learn how to make Christmas cake.
If you’re after an old-fashioned Christmas cake, look no further. This fruity cake will be the star attraction at any festive feast!
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 180 minutes
Ingredients (serves 20)
510g (3 cups) sultanas
265g (1 1/2 cups) Sunbeam flame raisins
155g (1 cup) currants
150g (1 cup) pitted dates, finely chopped
1 x 100g pkt red glace cherries, quartered
75g (1/2 cup) Ocean Spray craisins
75g (1/2 cup) dried pineapple, finely chopped
50g (1/4 cup) mixed peel
185ml (3/4 cup) brandy
2 tsp finely grated orange rind
Melted butter, to grease
250g butter, at room temperature
200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
300g (2 cups) plain flour
2 tsp mixed spice
Blanched almonds, to decorate
Red glace cherries, extra, halved, to decorate
2 tbs brandy, extra
1. Combine sultanas, raisins, currants, dates, cherries, craisins, pineapple, mixed peel, brandy and orange rind in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, stirring occasionally, for 2 days to macerate.
2. Preheat oven to 150°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and side with 3 layers of non-stick baking paper.
3. Use an electric beater to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between each addition until just combined. Add butter mixture to fruit mixture and stir to combine. Add flour and mixed spice and stir until well combined. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Lightly tap pan on benchtop to release any air bubbles. Arrange almonds and cherries on top of the cake.
4. Bake in oven, covered with foil, for 2 hours 40 minutes to 3 hours or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Drizzle hot cake with extra brandy. Set aside to cool before turning out.
You can make this cake up to 3 months ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Good Taste – December 2005, Page 205
Recipe by Sarah Hobbs
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Try this Sweet Freedom Christmas Cake recipe (and win your own bottle…)
Sweet Freedom is a great way of reducing the amount of calories you consume, because it has 25% less calories than sugar and you only need to use half as much. As it also has a low GL (Glycemic Load) it’s a good choice for diabetics and the weight conscious. Plus with a following including the likes of Raymond Blanc you can rest assured that it tastes great!
Email me with your name and address if you’d like a chance to win 1 of 20 bottles of Sweet Freedom (UK only, offer closes Thursday 2nd December 2010)
Christmas Cake with Sweet Freedom
Makes a 18cm (7”) round cake
85ml Rich Cream Sherry
125g Butter, softened
125g Sweet Freedom Natural Syrup
125g Plain Flour (or 75g of rice flour and 50g of ground almonds for a Gluten Free version)
¼ Tsp Ground Mixed Spice
¼ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
3 Medium Eggs, beaten
You will need a deep round cake tin measuring 18cm (7”) in diameter.
1) Place the dried fruit in a bowl and pour over the sherry, stir to coat all of the fruit and then cover and leave overnight.
2) The following day, preheat the oven to 160C/Fan 140C and line the base and sides of the cake tin with non stick baking parchment. Also, make a collar out of several layers of brown paper and fasten around the outside of the tin with string or a paperclip.
3) Cream the butter and Sweet Freedom until pale and fluffy. Mix together the spices and flour and mix a spoonful into the mixture, followed by a little of the beaten egg. Continue adding flour and egg little by little until they have all been mixed in. Finally mix in the soaked fruit and then spoon into the prepared cake tin. Flatten the top with a knife or spoon and bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
4) Leave to cool in the tin for about an hour then transfer to a cooling rack. When the cake is cold wrap in baking parchment and tin foil and leave in a cool place.
5) The cake is best made several weeks in advance to allow it to mature.
1) Remove all the wrappings from the cake and brush the top with the brandy. Leave to soak in for a few minutes.
2) Mix together the ground almonds, Sweet Freedom, almond extract and lemon juice until it forms a soft dough. Knead into a ball. As you knead the almond paste the oil is released from the almonds which makes it easier to handle.
3) Take 225g of the almond paste, place it between two sheets of baking parchment and roll out into a circle the same size as the top of the cake. Remove the top layer of parchment, slide your hand underneath the bottom layer and flip the almond paste over onto the top of the cake. Gently press it onto the top and tidy up the edges.
4) Colour two thirds of the remaining almond paste with green colouring and the rest with red colouring. Roll the green in between two layers of baking parchment and cut out holly leaves. Roll small amounts of red almond paste into balls for the berries. Decorate the top of the cake with the holly leaves and berries. They should easy stick to the almond paste topping but if not, just lightly brush the top of the cake with a little water.
The Classic Nutty Christmas Cake
An elegant, glossily glazed nut-topped Christmas Cake. Based on our traditional Christmas Cake and the perfect alternative for those who prefer a cake covered in nuts: walnuts, pecans and brazils. This is a rich, dark, moist cake filled with the most beautiful fruits: candied orange and lemon peels, raisins, sultanas, currants, and cherries soaked in brandy combined with almonds, molasses sugar and west Indian spices. We take great care in the preparation of this cake to incorporate as much air into the mixture as possible to ensure a lightness which clearly distinguishes this Christmas Cake from others: it is not a heavy cake, but a lighter rich fruit cake. This cake is matured and fed cognac to create a delicately boozy cake which has a natural preservative and will keep the cake for up to a year……if, of course, you haven’t polished it off by the New Year by then! Delicious with a glass of port and a large slither of vintage Cheddar.
|Size:||7 inch square|
Today my co-worker brought us cakes for my boss’s birthday. She walked 15 minutes from our office to the Saint Germain on Kuhio Avenue and 15 minutes back during her lunch break! The cakes are $2.85 each.
Saint Germain – Mocha Cake
Saint Germain – Blueberry Cheesecake
If there’s anything worth temporarily lifting my ban on sugar for, it’s strawberry shortcake, I decided.
Saint Germain – Strawberry Shortcake
There’s nothing I love in this world more than cake, especially strawberry shortcake, wedding cake, and birthday cake. I’ve been known to buy birthday cakes at Safeway for myself (note: it was not my birthday).
Friday, November 5, 2010
CIC’s Baking and Pastry Co-Ordinator Chef Berndt Gronert’s Thursday afternoon Cake Decorating and Finishing Techniques had an afternoon of German chocolate cakes yesterday. Lucky Bake Sale attendees may be able to snag one of these towering marvels!
Black Forest Cherry Cake
Today in Canada we observe Remembrance Day. I’m wearing my Red Poppy which has become a symbol here for the fallen soldiers that have given their lives for freedom and peace. On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at eleven o’clock. . ..I’ll pause to remember.
Black Forest Cherry Cake
I almost didn’t post this recipe since it is so similar to Anneliese’s Black Forest Birthday Cake.
I did think though that some may not know how to make Cherry Pie Filling from scratch so I decided to post it. It is nearly like Anneliese’s . . .be sure to check her picture . . .it is just so picture perfect. This Cherry Pie Filling is less sweet and has many more cherries than canned. I always have a can of Cherry Pie Filling for days that I’m in a hurry but when time allows, this really tastes wonderful.
- 1 Duncan Hines Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix or . .make this homemade dark chocolate cake
- 1 package instant chocolate pudding (2 cups milk size)
- 1 pint whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 recipe cherry pie filling
- shaved chocolate for garnish
- Make the cake according to directions. . .bake in two 9 inch pans.
- Make the pudding according to directions and refrigerate until the cake layers have cooled.
- Make one recipe Cherry Pie Filling and allow to come to room temperature.
- Whip the cream and the vanilla pudding mix together and refrigerate until assembly.
Cherry Pie Filling
- 3 cups frozen or fresh pitted Montmorency Pie Cherries (now. . finding them may prove to be the biggest problem. I had a supplier and they stopped selling them and now I will be planting my own tree. These cherries have a beautiful color and flavour. I find the easiest way to pit cherries is with the tip of a potato peeler.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Put the frozen or fresh cherries in a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat on high for one minute. . stir and repeat until the cherries begin to release juice.
- Add the combined cornstarch and sugar.
- Stir well. Heat on high until it is thickend, the juices have cleared and it is bubbling.
- Stir well every few minutes.
Assembling the cake
- Cut both the cake layers in half. Put the first layer on a cake plate.
- Spread half the pudding on the first layer.
- Add the next layer of cake.
- Put half the Cherry Pie Filling on this layer.
- Add the third layer of cake. . and top with the second half of pudding.
- Add the last layer of cake.
- Spread the whipping cream all over the cake. . .reserving 1 cup or so to pipe around the edge.
- Put the Cherry Pie Filling in the center.
- Chill until ready to serve.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Black Forest Cake
2-20 oz. cans cherry pie filling
2-9 inch chocolate cake layers, baked and cooled
3 cups Cool Whip
1 can vanilla frosting
Split each cake layer in half, so you end up with four layers. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with 1 cup of the Cool Whip; top with ¾ cup of the cherry topping. Top with second cake layer, 1 cup Cool Whip and ¾ cup of cherry topping; top with third cake layer. Frost cake sides with the vanilla frosting; with the remaining frosting, place into a pastry bag fitted with a star pipe. Pipe around top and bottom edges of the cake. Spoon the remaining cherry topping over the top of the cake. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Posted by Southern Girl at 4:19 PM
Jun 24th, 2011 by minnah
I had first time in my life Black Forest Cake in Dubai couple of years ago when we moved here. I never knew about this cake before. Even in my family we like to make all kind of cakes, somehow I missed this German delicatessen. We hardly ever bought cakes from markets or bakery in Finland, because it was too expensive and not that delicious.
In Dubai you cannot bother yourself of baking, if you get fairly reasonable simple fruit or black forest cake from supermarket with 20 dirhams (4 €) only. I used to buy these cakes and garnish them with fresh fruits and berries. My husband loves Black Forest cake, but I was always thinking that cake is not really having cherries enough and not tasting chocolate enough for my liking. I promised to make one to die for, I needed to challenge myself.
Ever since I saw Australian Master Chef program episode in which they made Black Forest Cake, I have been waiting to get affordable cherries from Dubai’s supermarkets. It seems that somewhere in the world it’s cherry time right now. I found reasonable looking and priced cherries from Carrefour yesterday. Looking back at recipe from Master Chef Australia I decided to combine something from that and something from recipe by European Cuisines blog which claims that their recipe is more authentic.
The cake is named not directly after the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany but rather from the specialty liquor of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser) and distilled from tart cherries. I left alcoholic out from my recipe and cake ended up delicious like no other, njam.
At first it looked too much complicated to make, however I managed to simplify the making. I know if you take a look at the recipe I wrote, you will think no way, it’s too many things going on there. But it is easy and simple.
Simply you need chocolate cake, whipped cream, cherry compote and some fresh or candied cherries and shaved chocolate. That’s all. If you don’t want to follow the recipe, just whip the cream, cut readymade cake to layers and fill with cream and cherry compote and decorate with whipped cream, cherries and chocolate.
Black Forest Cherry Cake – Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
80 grams chocolate, melted
1 cup (self rising) flour, sifted
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until thick and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Alternately fold melted chocolate and flour with cream of tartar and cocoa powder into the egg mixture, ending with flour. Pour the batter into 24 cm cake pan that have been well greased and floured. Bake in a preheated 180-200 degree C oven for 30-45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking time depends on your oven; it might be less or more. Cool the cake completely and cut in 3 layers.
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar / icing sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
(2 tablespoons strong Cherry juice or ½ teaspoon of Cherry food flavor)
To make the butter-cream filling, beat together sugar and butter until well blended. Add egg yolk; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Fold in Cherry juice).
1/2 cup caster sugar
900 g pitted fresh cherries, halved
Add the sugar to a non-stick saucepan and place over medium heat. Once the sugar begins to dissolve add the cherries and cook until their juices is reduced
Or use 1 or 2 cans of cherry filling from supermarket
2 cups of whipping cream
2 heaped table spoon of icing sugar
1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
chocolate (semi bitter)
Fresh or candied cherries
Whip the cream until heaps starts forming add icing sugar and vanilla and whip until nice and smooth. To make chocolate curls from chocolate bar, shave (at room temperature) with a vegetable peeler.
CAKE ASSEMBLY: To assemble cake, cut in 3 layers, place 1 layer on a cake plate. Brush with cherry juice, spread with butter cream filling and lay ½ of the cherry compote evenly over the butter cream, spread some of the whipped cream. Place second layer on cake. Repeat. Place third layer on top. Brush with cherry juice. Cover the sides and top of the cake with whipped cream and decorate with candied or fresh cherries and shave over lots of chocolate.
Cherry cake ready for decor
|(6)||rate this recipe »|
|Hands-on time:||20 mins. to 30 mins.|
|Baking time:||40 mins. to 45 mins.|
|Total time:||1 hrs 20 mins. to 1 hrs 35 mins.|
|Yield:||8″ round, about 20 servings|
- 1 1/4 cups skinned hazelnuts
- 1 1/4 cups whole blanched almonds
- 3 cups candied mixed peel (or a mixture of candied orange peel and candied lemon peel)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons butter
- confectioners’ sugar, for topping
1) Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line an 8″ round cake pan with parchment (or foil), and grease the parchment.
2) Toast the hazelnuts and almonds for 20 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. It’s best to do this in separate pans, as they toast at slightly different rates, and you may want to take one pan out of the oven before the other. Remove the nuts from the oven, and set them aside to cool a bit. When you can handle them, chop them coarsely.
3) Put the nuts, candied peel, spices, salt, and flour in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
4) Combine the sugar, honey, and butter in a saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Using an instant-read or candy thermometer, boil the syrup, stirring frequently, till it reaches a temperature of about 245°F. This happens very quickly, so don’t walk away; it should take about 2 minutes (or less) from the time the syrup starts to boil.
5) Immediately pour the boiling syrup over the fruit and nuts in the bowl. Stir to combine, and pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula (or your wet fingers; it cools down quickly, and you shouldn’t find it overly hot). You need to work fast, as the mixture will start to stiffen up. Place the cake pan on a baking sheet, to catch any potential spills.
6) Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes; it won’t seem firm, but will set as it cools. Remove it from the oven, and after 45 minutes, loosen the edges with a table knife or heat-proof spatula. Turn the warm panforte out of the pan onto a piece of parchment or foil. The bottom is now the top.
7) Sprinkle the top of the panforte heavily with confectioners’ sugar, gently rubbing it in, if desired. Let it cool completely before wrapping airtight.
8) Store the panforte, at room temperature, for up to 2 months. To serve this rich cake, cut it in thin wedges.
Yield: about 20 servings.
To make chocolate panforte: Add 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa to the nuts/peel/flour mixture. Melt 1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips; stir them into the nuts/peel/flour along with the honey syrup. Bake as directed in the original recipe.
A vegan Christmas feast!
As a bit of a diversion, I have a cookery post for you today! Apologies in advance for the frankly ropey photography – I hastily took photographs with my iPhone before everything was devoured!
We were supposed to go down to Cornwall at the weekend for a pre-Christmas meet up with my husband, Dave’s family but due to various stuff it didn’t happen, alas. I was a bit upset actually as I was really looking forward to visiting the Eden Project Christmas thing again as it involves a walk around the rainforest biome in the dark! We went to the Enchanted Christmas walk at Westonbirt Arboretum instead, but it wasn’t really the same! It was infinitely muddier for a start…
Anyway, thwarted of Cornwall, the plan instead became to have a Christmas lunch somewhere in Bristol which should have been straightforward except that we are vegan and Other People are a bit fussy and there was a lot of fuss about parking and stuff. In the end, I got so fed up with Dave getting upset and the suggestions that we just go to Harvester (I can only assume that anyone who suggests Harvester for a meal has never actually attempted to eat there) that I offered to host the bloody thing myself at our house.
Now, this was a bit brave as I don’t actually rate my culinary skills all that highly despite evidence to the contrary. However, I was emboldened by the fact that I spent my formative years helping my grand mother, a former army wife, cater for huge formal dinner parties, shooting lunches and so on so cooking for large numbers isn’t actually all that terrifying to me. Or at least, it shouldn’t be. Yes, that’s right, I was raised to be at least VAGUELY ladylike. It’s much more fun to forget about all of that though.
After much lugging around of cookery books, Dave and I decided on a menu and off we went to Sainsbury’s to buy STUFF and also many MANY bottles of J20 Glitter Berry drink (it’s a spiced cherry drink with gold shimmery glitter inside!) and Schloer. Dave’s father was paying and no one other than Dave and I seems to drink so I manfully resisted the urge to add a bottle of Hendricks gin and a bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced rum to the trolley. I am very good.
Yesterday passed in a blur of cooking as, like an idiot, I had failed to prep a single thing. Other than cupcakes. Anyway, this is what we had:
Spiced pumpkin and chocolate chip cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. These are SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS. Not being American, I have always been vaguely wary of the whole sweet pumpkin thing but it’s amazing how a bit of sugar and spice transforms a tin of squished pumpkin. Miraculous even.
Chocolate and peppermint cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, surely the greatest cupcake recipe book ever. These were gorgeous as well, although the icing was way too runny, which is why there is no photographic evidence! It still tasted better than good though!
For the main course, we had:
A courgette and chickpea filo pie from the Pieminister cookbook. This turned out to be a lot spicier than expected but was still very nice! I love cooking with filo as it makes me feel like I am really creative and competent but is actually a doddle to work with.
A pistachio and cranberry roast from the 2011 Jamie Oliver Christmas magazine. This was the hit of the day, I think! It was pretty simple to make – you caramelise some fresh cranberries and put them at the bottom of a loaf tin and then put the rest of the mixture on top. The actual recipe called for a mushroom risotto base to the nut roast, but as Dave loathes mushrooms, I made a sweet potato risotto instead, which worked very well. You can see the recipe online here and I wholeheartedly recommend it if you are catering for vegans and/or vegetarians over Christmas or, indeed, EVER.
All of this was served with new potatoes roasted with olive oil, sprigs of rosemary and slices of lemon (Dave was dubious about adding the lemon but was glad that he trusted my judgement in the end); stuffing, gravy, carrots and home made vegan bread sauce from another Jamie Oliver recipe (torn up bread, soya milk, cloves and some bay leaves) which turned out brilliantly and was seriously delicious.
We bought one of those Christmas puddings with cherries inside from Sainsbury’s (not vegan, alas) and I made a gingerbread and caramelised clementine pudding from the 2011 Jamie Oliver Christmas magazine, which we were all too full to eat but made our kitchen smell like Tudor Christmas while it was baking. I’ll be having that later on with some custard, I think!
And that concludes our vegan Christmas feast! The Jamie Oliver magazine is still in shops here in the UK and is brilliant if you are vegan/vegetarian and like me, enjoy his sort of rustic rough around the edges culinary style. I’d also recommend the vegan cupcake book of JOY – I thought they’d be really difficult to make but actually it’s SO simple and, BONUS, you can eat ALL THE BATTER without being scared of catching weird egg diseases (is that just me?).
(In my next post, just wait and see what my father in law gave me for Christmas! It’s brilliant.)
Wanted to share some Christmas drink ideas.
These are super creative and you are sure to impress your guests by serving these delicious drinks.
Fruit Pops Recipe @taste.com.au
Berry Christmas Punch @taste.com.au
Pimms Cocktail @taste.com.au
Summer Iced Tea @taste.com.au
Cranberry and Lime Sparkler @taste.com.au
Alegria @taste.com.au (My Personal Favorite)
Let us know if you use any of these and we would love to see photos of the finished product!