Here’s a little something I baked right before I went into labor this past Thursday:
Black forest cake has always been one of my husband’s favorites and a perennial staple at his birthday parties. This here is a new one though, and it’s based on my modification of Ree Drummond’s Best-Ever Chocolate Sheet Cake (which is primarily what is responsible for its outrageous deliciousness), and a chocolate frosting recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Although this cake can traditionally include some cherry liqueur or other alcohol, I didn’t add any to mine.
Moist Black Forest Sheet Cake with Chocolate Mocha Frosting
Makes one 18 x 13 jelly roll pan.
For the cake:
- 2 C flour
- 1 1/2 C sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- 4-5 heaping T cocoa powder
- 2 sticks of butter
- 1 C boiling water
- 1/2 C milk mixed 1/2 T lemon juice or white vinegar (I use this in lieu of buttermilk so I don’t have to buy a whole quart while only needing 1/2 C)
- 2 eggs
- 1 t baking soda
- a good shot of vanilla extract
- 1 16-oz can cherry pie filling (I prefer your regular supermarket “Wilderness” brand)
For the frosting:
- 8 to 9 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet baking bar chocolate or chips, your choice (I like Ghirardelli brand)
- 2 and 3/4 sticks of butter (damn right), at room temperature
- 1/2 C strong coffee (alternatively, try some creme de cocoa liqueur)
- a dash of vanilla
For the topping:
- 3 16-oz cans of Wilderness cherry pie filling
- whipped cream, and lots of it (I whip mine with a bit of sugar and vanilla – just add everything to the heavy whipping cream before whipping)
Black Forest Sheet Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Separately, beat the eggs and add milk & lemon juice mixture, vanilla, and baking soda. Melt butter in a sauce pan and stir in the cocoa. Add boiling water and allow the mixture to come back to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over the dry ingredients in the bowl. Stir gently until fully incorporated and add the eggs-milk mixture. Stir until everything is smooth. Stir in one can of cherry pie filling and pour the batter into an ungreased jelly roll pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake looks set in the center and the toothpick comes out moist and with crumbs attached. Cool on a rack in the pan.
Chocolate Mocha Frosting
Pour chocolate over the coffee and microwave at 1-min intervals until the coffee is steaming and the chocolate is soft. Stir until smooth. Stir in the butter until fully melted. Place the bowl with the chocolate into an ice-bath (be sure not to get any water into the chocolate mixture itself) and whisk until the icing has cooled enough to be spreadable but not stiff. Spread on top of the cooled cake in a pan.
Top with the three remaining cans of cherry filling (there will be a lot of cherries over everything now – if this seems like too much, use one and a half can instead).
Serve individual portions topped with lotsa whipped cream (I use enough over each serving to not be able to see the cake underneath).