October 27, 2015

Chocolate and Berries Cake

chocolate berries

It has almost been a month since I started the blog; however, it’s been almost three years since I discovered my passion for baking and of course, cakes. It has been a difficult road with a lot of fails; honestly, I am not a good baker and I have always believed that I don’t have the “thing”, but I try, believe me, I’ve got a lot of disasters but I keep trying.

I think that one of the most exotic and beautiful cakes is the traditional Black Forest, but it is quite difficult to make. It is a combination of Genoise chocolate cake, which is airy and very soft batter; plus whipped cream, impossible for me. I tried to make whipped cream dozens of times and I have never been able to achieve it; if I over mix the cream it gets curdled, and if I think I’ve mixed enough, it lasts only a few minutes at room temperature and when I try to assembly the cake, chaos; so, whipped cream and I are not good friends. Kirsch, a liquor made from distilled juice of wild cherries and fresh cherries are also needed to get the original Black Forest. Both ingredients almost impossible to obtain where I live; and the last ingredient is bittersweet chocolate for garnish.

As you see my love for Black Forest is crashed due to the impossible task to get the ingredients and make preparations; therefore, I made this recipe, it has a deep chocolate flavor, mixed with the smooth swiss meringue buttercream and the natural feeling of fresh berries (No whipped cream :)). It’s not as light and balanced as the authentic Black Forest should be, but this is a delicious cake. I used my classic recipe of chocolate cake, moist and spongy; plus Swiss Meringue Buttercream and also a homemade jam using fresh strawberries, raspberries and little grapes. At the beginning, I was afraid to get a heavy and extra sweet dessert; but I was wrong, I loved the taste and texture between the moist and sticky chocolate cake and fresh raspberries.

Finally, I must say this is a recipe just for a tiny cake, just 12 centimeters or 5 inches diameter, but it is enough for a small dinner at home or just to share with your closest friends, as I did.

Enjoy this recipe and write me if you try it!

chocolate and berries cakechocolate and berries cakechocolate and berries cake chocolate and berries cake chocolate and berries cake chocolate and berries cake

Recipes
{Some of these recipes are based on Linda Lomelino’s blog www.callmecupcake.se}

Chocolate cake

75 g salted butter
130 g all-purpose flour
35 g Unsweetened Cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
190 g sugar (I used 100g and 90g refined white sugar and brown sugar)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
110 g Buttermilk  (I used the juice of half a lemon plus whole milk, mixed and relaxed for 10 minutes)
75 g Boiling water
50 g bittersweet chocolate
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease and flour 3 small cake pans of 12 cm or 5 inches diameter. You can also use one cake pan of 15 centimeters or 6 inches.
3. Heat gently on low heat butter and semisweet chocolate until both are melted, turn off heat, add vanilla, mix and let rest at room temperature about 15 minutes or until cool.
4. Sift dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda).
5. Mix all ingredients using a hand mixer or blender, starting from low speed and increasing slowly. Mix 2 or 3 minutes maximum or until you see no lumps.
6. Pour mix evenly among three cake pans and take them to the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you used only one cake pan, you should bake for 60 minutes.
7.  Let them rest in the cake pans for 15 minutes, take them out and let them cool to room temperature.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
70 g Egg whites (2 egg whites)
125 g Butter, softened
100 g White sugar
1 tsp Vanilla (optional)

1. Mix egg whites with sugar in a small saucepan and put it over a saucepan with simmering water a few minutes until sugar dissolves or using a thermometer until it gets 65°C exactly. Whisk constantly. Sift the mix through a small sieve if you get any lumps.
2. Using a stand mixer, whisk for about 10 minutes or until Swiss meringue is firm and bowl feels cool. Meanwhile use a hand-mixer to soften butter, whisk hard until pale and creamy.
3. Once meringue is ready replace whisk for flat beater in your stand mixer. Start adding butter slowly while beating until it is fully incorporated. Add vanilla and beat 10 minutes at medium- hight speed.

Berries jam
150 g Berries of your choice (I used strawberries, raspberries and small grapes)
50 g White sugar (Depends on how sweet you want it, I just used 30g)
Juice of half a lemon

1. Use a food processor or blender to completely crush berries, squeeze all the juice you can get using a fine mesh sieve. Discard seeds.
2. In a small saucepan mix berries juice, lemon juice and sugar. Cook over medium about 10 minutes or until it turns thick and shiny.

Simple Syrup
50g White sugar
50g Cold water

1. In a small saucepan mix both ingredients. Bring pan over medium heat until sugar dissolves completely. This may take up to 2 or 3 minutes.

Assemble and finish cake
1. If you used a single cake pan of 15 cm, divide cake into 3 equal parts. Use hot syrup to cover the surface of every layer.
2. Put the first layer of cake, plus a thin layer of buttercream and spread a few teaspoons of jam. Repeat this process twice.
3. Decorate on top with more berries and a little bit of icing sugar.

Enjoy!

chocolate and berries cake

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