December 14, 2016

The 13th of December is a very special day in the Sharkett household; our dads birthday & Taylor Swifts birthday!

Our dad loves everything and anything chocolate so that's what we make every year, but we wanted to make something a little bit different this year. We decided to go for this absolutely divine black forest gateau inspired cake. 3 layers of dark chocolate cake filled with a super chocolatey buttercream and a cherry filling, topped with cherries and chocolate trees! (Trees because it's black FOREST, get it? yes, good!)

We love how this cake turned out and it looks super pretty at this Christmassy time of year! It's perfect as a birthday cake but would also make an impressive centrepiece to any Christmas dinner party.

For the cake...
10oz butter
10oz caster sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
8oz self-raising flour 
2oz cocoa powder
4oz dark chocolate, melted

For the buttercream...
10oz butter
1lb 2oz icing sugar
2oz cocoa powder

For the cherry filling...
1 tin of black cherries
2/3 jar of cherry jam
1 tbsp Kirsh (optional)

For decoration...
approx. 150g dark chocolate
1 pack of cherries

Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6 and line three round cake tins with greaseproof paper.

First, beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, eggs and baking powder and combine. Then melt your dark chocolate and stir this in as well. Divide the cake mixture between the three cake tins, pop these into your pre-heated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Transfer the cakes to a wire cooling tray and leave to cool completely.


While the cakes are cooling, you can make your chocolate decorations. To do this you will need to temper the chocolate to make sure it will set and stay hard at room temperature.
Before tempering your chocolate, place a piece of greaseproof paper on a baking tray.
Start by chopping up the chocolate into very small pieces and place about 1/4 of this into the fridge. Melt the other 3/4 either in the microwave or over a pan of hot water and bring it up to 45°C. When it reaches this temperature, quickly take it off the heat, add your cold chocolate and stir to reduce the temperature down to 26°C as quickly and you can. When you have it down to 26°C, you want to bring it back up to 32°C but make sure not to heat it up any higher or you will have to start all over again.
Pour the chocolate into a piping bag and then you're ready to pipe your trees. Leave these to set for at least half an hour.

Now, put the tinned cherries (make sure they are de-stoned) into a bowl with the cherry jam and Kirsh (optional) and let them soak.

To make the buttercream, beat together the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder. We like to add the icing sugar a bit at a time because it seems to make it much smoother.

Place the first layer of cake onto your cake board and give it a generous layer of buttercream. Then top the buttercream with the cherries you soaked earlier. You won't want to put all of the cherry juice on there because it will most probably just run off and down the sides, but you still want a little bit!
Repeat this for the second layer of cake.
To decorate the cake, spread a thick layer of the remaining buttercream, and top with cherries and your chocolate decorations. We sprayed some of our chocolate with the Dr Oetker gold spray to give it a nice Christmas sparkle!

And that, is the finished cake! Isn't it beautiful?
We are in love with how it looks, and even more with how it tastes!
Like we said before, it doesn't need to be a birthday cake, or even any occasion cake, it's just a cake for you to enjoy however you would like. But if it is for a birthday, why not personalise it with chocolate lettering like we did, they will love it!

This cake is one of the most chocolatiest and spongiest sponges we have ever made, it must be the addition of dark chocolate that made it absolutely divine! 
It was extremely delicious and our family and most importantly Dad really loved it!
The cherry filling in between layers added a nice fruityness but wasn't overpowering if you don't like cherries. If we make this again we would probably put more jam and Kirsh in and give it a more intense cherry flavour. 

Thank you so much for reading this post!
We really hope you like it, and the cake!
Please leave a comment and let us know what you think, we absolutely love hearing from you, and hearing your ideas!
Tag us on any of our social media if you make any of our bakes.
Please follow us on Bloglovin', Instagram and like our Facebook page 'Sharkett Sisters', if you want to see more of us, and see what we are up to this Christmas! 
(All social media links are at the top of the page or in a box to the side!)
And please check out our updated Pinterest profile for lots of gorgeous ideas and maybe some sneak peeks of what we're planning!
See you soon,

Lots of love, Antonia and Imogen x

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