Happy birthday to me!

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake.

It’s my birthday this week, and although I’ve been strictly forbidden to make my own cake for our family celebrations this weekend, I’ve managed to sneak this one in to share with friends tomorrow… there may not be any left by Sunday and boy, will Dad be sorry!

Flourless Chocolate Cake.

The idea for this was taken from one of the many cute little dessert bars that have opened up around town. Devour Dessert Bar is a very chic little shop on Prospect Road, which serves up a rotating menu of sweet treats, many of them with a ‘de-constructed’ theme. Deconstructing desserts has become somewhat of a trend, with the essential components separated out on the plate. For example, Lemon Meringue Pie might come plated up as meringue, lemon curd and biscuit crumbs.

Cut some cake!

Black Forest Cake is one of those classic treats best left to the experts, though I have made some pretty good attempts in the past. This year I wanted to keep it gluten-free and simple; and this cake really is an uncomplicated, no-fail version of a flourless chocolate cake. Served with Chantilly cream and a cherry liqueur sauce, it’s like Black forest cake, but much faster, much easier, and with very little chance of everything sliding off and ending up in your lap!

Add cherries and liquer…

Black Forest Cake, deconstructed

For the cake:
200g Dark Chocolate, chopped
125g Unsalted Butter, chopped
225g Brown Sugar
100g Almond meal (can use hazelnut meal if you prefer)
100g Almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)
5 large Eggs, separated
1 pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

For the sauce:
1 x 670g jar Morello cherries
2 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs cornflour (White Wings brand is gluten-free)
60ml (1/4 cup) kirsch (I used cherry brandy)
2 tbs boiling water

For the cream:
300ml thickened cream
1 tbs caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

To garnish:
100g dark chocolate, coarsely grated

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
Make a “double-boiler” to melt the chocolate and butter: Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Place the chopped chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over the hot saucepan to allow the ingredients to melt. Stir occasionally.
Once all is melted, stir in the brown sugar, almond meal {and almonds} until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly, then add the egg yolks gradually, stirring each time.

Meanwhile, place the five egg whites into a clean dry bowl with a pinch of cream of tartar. The egg whites will form the structure of the cake, so it’s important they’re well beaten. Using a hand whisk, electric beater or stand mixer, beat the eggs slowly at first until they are foamy and then gradually increase the speed every few minutes. (If you go straight to high speed, you increase the chance of your cake collapsing). Continue beating until firm peaks form. Don’t worry if you overbeat the eggs because you’ll beat some of the air out next.

Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. The chocolate mix is quite heavy, so don’t worry if you need to stir quite a bit at this stage. Stop when the eggs are just incorporated with the chocolate.

Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until a firm crust forms on the top. A skewer test is not necessary. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin before attempting to remove. Once cool, sift cocoa powder over the top.

Make the sauce:
Drain the cherries, reserving juice. Reserve 10 cherries to decorate. Place the remaining cherries and reserved juice in a saucepan with the sugar and cornflour, kirsch and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Set aside to cool.

Using an electric beater, whip the cream with sugar and vanilla essence until firm peaks form.

Plate up each component separately onto a large plate and decorate with chocolate shavings. Eat slowly, savouring each mouthful.

Eat up!

5 thoughts on “Black Forest Cake, deconstructed”

  1. I like this. Keeping everything separate stops the cake getting soggy. Going to make it today for desert for tea tonight. The kids are coming over to see mum.

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