Black Forest cake is one of those desserts that you always ate as a child but don’t develop a taste for it or an appreciation for it until you’re older….well, that’s how I feel about Black Forest cake anyway! I remember my mother used to make it all the time, and I liked it, but I was always hoping for something different.
My Father’s birthday was this past weekend and I always make his birthday cake. For some reason this year I was craving a cherry and chocolate combination. I decided to make a Black Forest Ice cream cake! I always like to find a way to incorporate traditional cakes into an ice cream form so I decided to make an unconventional spin on a traditional recipe. Also, I didn’t know much about kirsch which is the fruit brandy that goes into the traditional filling of a black forest cake. Kirsch is something I always thought would be sweet like cherries—boy, was I wrong! It’s like the cherry equivalent of Italian home made Grappa! Mamma Mia its strong! I used the kirsch to soak the cherries and I added the soaked cherries to a simple vanilla bean ice cream. The ice cream was layered between classic chocolate cake and the cake was topped with fresh whipped cream.
I hope you enjoy my very simple take on a black forest ice cream cake! Please add shaved chocolate to the top of your cake and into your ice cream to bring it even closer to the traditional recipe as I completely forgot!
(Please excuse my horrible pictures. I literally threw together this cake 15 minutes before leaving for my Dad’s birthday dinner so I just snapped a few photos with my iPhone!)
2 cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Cherry Ice Cream
Yields: 2 quarts
4 cups heavy cream, divided
3 cups whole milk
1.5 cups granulated sugar
pinch of salt
10 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups Amarena cherries, pitted
1 cup kitsch
Bittersweet chocolate, shaved, for decoration and/or to add chopped into your ice cream
4 cups 35% whipping cream
Put your cherries into a container and cover with the kirsch brandy. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Make the cake: Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Divide batter between the two prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until thin knife inserted into centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Make the ice cream: Warm the heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla extract, granulated sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the milk is very hot but not boiling.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (preferably overnight). Churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Once the ice cream is frozen, drain the cherries, reserving about 10 to use as decoration for the top, and fold the rest into the ice cream. You can also add chopped bittersweet ice cream into your ice cream.
Line two 9 inch round cake pans with Saran Wrap (this will help the ice cream cakes come out with ease). Separate the ice cream between the two Saran Wrap-lined pans. Put into the freezer (make sure they are level) for about 5 hours or overnight.
Make the whipped cream: put your cream into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes.
Assemble your cake: level off your chocolate cakes with a serrated knife. Put one layer of cake on your cake plate and top with whip cream. Remove your first layer of ice cream from the cake pan and remove the Saran Wrap. Add it on top of the chocolate cake. Cover the ice cream layer with whip cream. Repeat with remaining layers of cake then ice cream. Top the cake with a smooth layer of whip cream and grated chocolate. Use a piping bag to make rosettes around the cake and add some reserved cherries on top of each rosette. Use your piping bag to pipe a strip around each layer of the cake.
Keep frozen until ready to serve!