Pastry shops were uncommon for us as kids. I can remember this shop by name, Monginis, in Mulund-Bombay, which was our hot favorites then - our only source for some real good cakes and pastries. And we would often hang out there with mom and dad for some good cakes which mom loved and for savories like samosas which were dad's favorite. Though butter cream cakes were easily available even then, fresh cream pastries have become very popular only from past few years, with cake shops and coffee houses springing up every where and with most people, especially youngsters and college-goers hanging out there often.
As we grew up to be teenagers, pastries became popular and more commonly available in cake shops and bakeries. One of the most popular cakes was undoubtedly the Black Forest cake, which I guess, there's hardly anyone who's not eaten or heard of. I am no better and must have eaten hundreds of these as a teenager and continue even today! Black Forest cake consists of layers of chocolate cake, drizzled with rum syrup, sandwiched with whipped cream and torn cherries, topped with a good dose of whipped cream, maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings. Pure decadence. Period!
The below recipe is the most common recipe for eggless sponge cake and the same recipe can be got from many websites. I reduced the butter to half instead of 120 gm which I thought was a little too much and since I had no cola at hand, I used milk instead. It does make a difference. Cola adds fizz and air to the cake while milk made it denser than it should have been. The cake turned a little dry too, but that didn't matter much as the soaking moistened it well. Never the less,the cake was still spongy and good. Here's what we need.
Eggless Black Forest Cake
For the chocolate cake:
2 1/4 cups plain flour (240 gm)
1 can condensed milk (400 gm)
1/4 cup melted butter (60 gm)
2 cups aerated cola (200 ml)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (40 gm)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
For the frosting:
2 cups dark chocolate, grated (200 gm)
1 cup fresh cream powder (100 gm)
1 cup cold water (100 ml)
For the filling:
1 cup maraschino cherries, pitted and chopped
To be mixed into a soaking syrup:
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rum (optional)
1/2 cup water
Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda. In another bowl, mix condensed milk, cola and melted butter and whisk well.
Add the wet ingredients in to the dry ones, whisk well till combined. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes at 180 deg C. Once done, remove aside to cool.
In a bowl, mix the rum and sugar with water. Whip the cream powder with ice cold water till soft peaks are formed. Allow the cake to cool, slice to halves horizontally. Drizzle the sugary rum syrup evenly all over the cake so that it absorbs well. Spread the whipped cream on one half, spread the chopped cherries and top it with the second slice. Frost the cake top and sides with whipped fresh cream. Decorate with whole cherries and grated chocolate shavings. Refrigerate at least for a few hours before serving.
My dad's a staunch vegetarian, which means no eggs included. I've made egg-less chocolate cakes earlier, so making another one wasn't any challenge. Suma was of great help for me to hunt maraschino cherries :) Thanks Suma. However, the biggest challenge for me was to frost the cake with fresh cream. I haven't had much success with whipping the 25% low fat cream available here. I was working with whipped cream powder as frosting for the first time and Divya's blog gave me the confidence that it wouldn't let me down, though I admit I was a little apprehensive how the final cake would turn up. However, I am glad it turned out good and there was hardly any difference noticed.
The cake turned out great. It worked beautiful as a birthday treat. We had a small celebration at home and it was enjoyed by all. The cake requires some maturation time as I assembled it on the d-day, but the syrup was yet to be absorbed well. The cake had absorbed the moist syrup, matured well and tasted much better the next day.
Happy Birthday to the man in my life who taught us to be independent, self motivated and living everyday to the fullest. To take life with a pinch of salt, a little spice, a little bitterness and loads of sweetness, the bitter-sweet way! He's a man who gives us strength, boosts our spirits and is always with us in highs and lows of life. Thanks dad for being there always. :)