Remember the time… a flashback to the 80’s with black forest cake

Every so often I receive an email titled something like: “you know you grew up in the 80’s if…” and inevitably it results in a little chuckle as I reminisce over the:

  • Fashion: scrunchies, jelly sandals, balloon skirts, hypercolour t-shirt, side ponytails, slap bracelets, friendship bracelets… (all of which apparently have become fashion faux pas)
  • Toys: Strawberry Shortcake, Barbie (and the Rockers), Cabbage Patch Kids, JEM…
  • TV: Fraggle Rock, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, “wax on, wax off”, He-Man and She-Ra, Doogie Howser, Alf, The Mysterious Cities of Gold (boy did that have a great theme song)…
  • Music: Kylie, Madonna, The Bangles, Paula Abdul, The Eurythmics…

Did I miss anything?

A recent trip to Melbourne to visit the Egyptian Queen (EQ) and the Style Goddess (SG) – both of whom are fellow children of the 80’s – resulted in an eighties themed dinner party – after a quick Google search it became quite apparent that the dessert of choice in the 80’s was Black Forest… To be honest, I have never been a massive fan of Black Forest Cake, but even I have to admit to throughly enjoying this one.

I started with the Masterchef recipe and tweaked it a fair bit to make it easier and to serve four (we really didn’t need a whole cake, really). Though there are a few elements to prepare it really isn’t too much effort and it is fun to put together.

The end product did not look much like the traditional black forest cake – which then prompted some discussion around what is it that we call our current decade: we had the 80’s, 90’s and naughties… what comes next?

Blackforest

Black forest for the… whatever decade we are now…

For the chocolate sponge
2 eggs
4 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the cherry compote/ syrup
2 tbsp caster sugar
400g pitted fresh cherries (it was too much work to keep them whole so I halved them to remove the seed)
2 tbsp brandy

For the mascarpone cream
125g mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs icing sugar

For the chocolate macadamia mousse
1/4 cup macadamia (or other nut), crushed with a back of a knife
100g chopped dark chocolate
200 ml thickened cream
dash of olive oil

For the dark chocolate ganache
60ml cream
50g chopped dark chocolate

Shaved chocolate to garnish

For the chocolate sponge
1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan forced, in a cupcake tin prepare (line) 4 cupcake ‘holes’.
2. Add eggs and sugar to a heatproof bowl, and set over a saucepan of simmering water over very low heat. Whisk the mixture until 37°C. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat with an electric mixer on a medium-low speed for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture has cooled and thickened to a mousse-like consistency. Mix flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together. Using a large metal spoon, fold the dry mixture into the egg mixture until combined, adding the vanilla extract with the first dry batch.
3. Split the mixture into the 4 lined patty cases and smooth surface. Bake until sponge springs back when lightly touched (sorry I have no idea how long this took). Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks. Allow to cool completely

For the cherry compote
Add the sugar, cherries and brandy to a saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar begins to dissolve add the cherries and cook until they start to release their juices. Cook until the liquid has reduced and thickened. Put aside.

For the mascarpone cream
Beat the mascarpone, vanilla and sugar in a bowl until smooth and slightly thicker in volume. Store in the fridge until use.

For the chocolate macadamia mousse (this is to be made just prior to assembling and serving)
Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over simmering water, remove from heat. While waiting for the chocolate to cool, beat the cream in a separate bowl until thickened (can hold it’s shape). Whisk in a dash of olive oil into the chocolate – keep whisking to cool the mixture – you want to be sure that the chocolate cools to a point where it won’t melt the cream. Fold chocolate into the whipped cream (to be honest I whisked it in…). Fold in the macadamias.

For the chocolate ganache
Bring the cream to just below boiling point in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate and stir to mix completely.

To assemble
Cut each cupcake into thirds. Place the base on a serving plate, brush with the cherry syrup (from the compote), spread with a layer of mascarpone cream, layer with some cherries, add a layer of mousse, top with the next cake layer and repeat. On the top layer of cake, pour on the ganache, sprinkle with shaved chocolate and top with a cherry (either fresh or from the compote). I also poured the remaining syrup and cherries into the bowl to eat with the cake because they tasted so good!

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4 Responses to Remember the time… a flashback to the 80’s with black forest cake

  1. So going to try this recipe this weekend….nice one :) forest cake was once one of my favorite deserts

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