Eggless Black Forest Cake with Chocolate Ganache & Cherry Pie Filling – Happy Birthday Dear Hubby

Let me tell you at the onset that this is a loooonngggg post. I’ve tried to keep it as short as possible.

More than festivals, I enjoy planning & creating our family days – birthdays, anniversary etc. Every year for last 5 yrs, I’ve been celebrating V’s b’day and plan a surprise (little or big) for him. Every year he complains about those surprises as he is not very pro to the idea of surprise – he likes them but would want to be forewarned than surprised. So this year I promised him I won’t give a surprise. He tells me that is a surprise in itself! MEN!!! This year V chose Black Forest Cake for his b’day treat. :)

I cajoled V into gifting me many b’day gifts this year – mind you all scattered through the last few months so that he wouldn’t realize how clever I had been ;) One such gift was a book from my wishlist, Bakin’ Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro. I had read great reviews about this book & wanted to try my hand at the recipes from it. What I also liked about this book was that it wasn’t just catering to Vegan. Most of the books & blogs on egg-free recipes are Vegan oriented & I have harped many a times earlier that I cannot eat Tofu, soy milk etc. :( So this book came as a pleasant surprise – Rosemarie has used mostly White Vinegar as substitute for egg. From whatever recipes I’ve gone through I can assure you that they are good & just waiting to be made. Also the ingredients used are very basic & most baked recipes come with topping recipes as well. I chose Heavenly Chocolate Cake from Bakin’ Without Eggs. I’ve kept the recipe same except substituting buttermilk with curd.

I decided to assemble Black Forest Cake in a non-traditional version, adapting from a video on ehow – simple & beautiful BFC using Ganache, Cherry Pie Filling & Whipped Cream. Last time I tried frosting with Rainbow Cake I was supervised by my sister, this time I was going solo. I’ve been practicing frosting patterns using a mehndi cone for last 20 days on the back of the cake pan, to give me confidence of moving the cone with a flow which is most of the battle won, I guess! I have omitted liqueur from both ganache & soaking syrup as there was a slight chance that out little devil might eat a bite. :)

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

I will go into detail & recipe for all steps, except the cake as it is from a book & V was very particular that I should have permission for it before posting it. I see many bloggers posting recipes from book, so I wasn’t sure but he is RIGHT. So I unwillingly agreed to not post recipe for the cake. I’ve sent a mail seeking permission to the publisher of this book but they haven’t reverted to me yet, so till then I am not posting the cake recipe. Even when I started the blog, I took permission for my first few posts.

I prepared everything in advance & just assembled the cake on the day. Our Little Devil, designed the banner for his Dad! I just helped him a bit where he couldn’t manage – like cutting flags & writing. Enough of jibber-jabber & over to the recipe.

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Chocolate Ganache, Cherry Pie Filling & Low Fat Whipped Cream –

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

Eggless Heavenly Chocolate Cake – minimally adapted from Bakin’ Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro. I made it 2 days in advance and refrigerated it. I brought it out of refrigerator night before the assembly. {For Recipe refer book}

Cherry Pie Filling – I made it 1 day in advance & stored it in refrigerator in air-tight container & minimum 4 hours prior to assembly I allowed it to come to room temp. {Recipe below}

Cherry Syrup – I used drained cherry syrup from cans & stored it in refrigerator in air-tight container & minimum 4 hours prior to assembly I allowed it to come to room temp.

Chocolate Ganache – I made it the night before the assembly. Kept at room temp overnight to allow it set properly. {Recipe below}

Low Fat Whipped Cream – I made on the morning of assembling, thought kept the beater & bowl in freezer at night only :) {Recipe below}

Cherry Pie Filling – I used cherry liquid (drained) instead of water. I reduced the sugar by half as I was already using sugar filled cherry liquid.

Recipe Source – loosely adapted from Tammy of Tammy’s Recipes

Ingredients –

  • 5 Cups – Pitted Cherries {830 gms (wet weight) can yield 3 cups & 450 gms yield 2 cups pitted cherries, drained. Store cherry juice}
  • 1 1/2 Cups – Sugar (adjust as per the tartness or sweetness of cherries)
  • 1/4 Cup *+ 3 Tbsp – Drained Cherry Juice (adjust as per thickness required)
  • 3 Tbsp – Cornstarch

Method –

  1. Combine sugar & cherries in a thick bottom pan & stir. If cherries are soft & mushy, you won’t need more additional water but if they are firm, add 1/2-3/4 cup water.
  2. Mix cornstarch in 3 Tbsp drained cherry juice separately. Make sure no lumps are formed.
  3. When the cherries are boiling, slowly add cornstarch, stirring all the while. Allow the mixture to become clear & starch to dissolve completely. Do not overcook as the filling will start breaking down.
  4. Remove from flame & allow to cool. When cool, store in an air-tight container in refrigerator.

Notes I made a mistake & started with 1 cup water, the filling became very watery as sugar also releases water upon being subjected to heat. It took me a lot of time to reach desired consistency & I was scared all the while of over doing the filling.

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Ganache –

Recipe Source – minimally adapted from Joy of Baking

Ingredients –

  • 227 gms – Semi-sweet/ Bittersweet Chocolate, cut into small pieces (I used Hershey’s)
  • 180 ml – Heavy Whipping Cream (I used Amul)
  • 1 Tbsp – Unsalted Butter

Method –

  1. Put chopped chocolate in a large bowl & keep aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat cream & butter on medium heat. As soon as it boils, remove from flame & pour over chopped chocolate.
  3. Allow it to stand without mixing for few mins (about 3-4 mins). Do not stir as we do not want to incorporate air in Ganache.
  4. Using a wooden spoon/ rubber spatula or whisk, gently stir by beginning in the center & gently moving out to the edge of the bowl.
  5. When the chocolate is fully melted & mixture is smooth, add any liqueur or liquid flavorings (all should be at room temp.)
  6. Allow it to cool down completely & set properly. Before storing, cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed on the top of the ganache so a film doesn’t form.It can be stored at room temp in a cool corner for 2 days & freeze upto 3 months.

Whipped Cream from Low Fat Cream – I halved the recipe, reduced the amount of cream & increased butter little so as to achieve higher fat content & get stiffer peaks.

Recipe Source – loosely adapted from Deeba of Passionate About Baking

Ingredients –

  • 300 gms – Low Fat Cream, Chilled (I used Amul -25% Fat)
  • 90 gms – Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Tbsp – Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp – Vanilla Extract

Method –

  1. Refrigerate bowl & beater for 1/2 hour. I kept them overnight. :)
  2. In a small pan, melt the butter & 1/2 cup cream, stirring constantly till the butter melts. Add vanilla extract.
  3. Transfer to heat proof measuring cup & allow to cool to room temp.
  4. In a large bottom vessel (I used a wok), place ice cubes & prepare an ice bath.
  5. Place the chilled bowl over ice bath & beat the remaining cream & sugar on low speed till soft peaks are reached.
  6. Now begin adding the butter-cream mixture in a gradual stream, beating all the while on low speed until stiff peaks are formed.
  1. Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

    Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

Assembling the Cake – technique adapted from ehow

  1. Take a cardboard pieces & cut it out 1 inch bigger than the cake pan. Cover it with the golden paper. Cake base is ready.
  2. Allow your cake assembling ingredients to come to room temperature – cake, cherry pie filling & syrup. In the meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream.
  3. Place the prepared cake base on a flat base or cake table.
  4. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the cake horizontally into 2 halves. Liberally sprinkle both sides of halves with sugar syrup. Place the top half on the base upside down.
  5. Fill the ganache in a frosting bag & using small star tip, make 2-3 circles of ganache on the base cake to create a sort of dam as we do not want the cream to spill out when we fill it in.
  6. Then using a rubber spatula, fill the dam with whipped cream, spreading till the edge of the dam.
  7. Now place some dollops of cherry pie-filling on the cream. This is just to give that extra flavor of cherry when we bite in. No need to spread a big layer, just some dollops would do.
  8. Place the second layer of cake with bottom up (as this has a smooth & flat top) on top of of first layer. Allow this to set in fridge for few minutes so that ganache is set & doesn’t get disturbed when we start decorating.
  9. Remove from fridge. With the help of frosting spatula, spread ganache on the sides of the cake completely. Smooth the ends & spread any extra ganache towards the top centre. Since we are going to fill the top with cherry pie filling, the top can be little untidy, it won’t show. :)
  10. Take the ganache filled frosting bag & make small scallop design, press & then pull forward, again press & pull forward the tip, at the base of the cake. This gives a clean edge to the cake.
  11. Now fill the remaining whipped cream in a frosting bag & using a bigger star-tip make alternate shells or any other design you want on the edge.
  12. Now fill the centre with the remaining cherry-pie filling & spread towards the edges without spoiling the cream.
  13. Chill the cake covered for atleast 4 hours for best taste. Slice & serve.
  1. Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

    Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

You can’t imagine the amount of butterflies I had in my stomach for last 1 week leading upto the day. I was hoping for atleast the photos to come out great & not let me down. The cake was very tasty, chocolatey, crumbly & soft. I guess use of Chocolate Pudding Filling in the batter gave it the extra chocolatey taste. Every bite was real heaven.

I turned out to be a bit messy looking cake as – I’m a clueless decorator, the cake broke into 2 while slicing into layers, I forgot to soak each layer & just did the top one. The ganache on the sides didn’t spread as neat as I had hoped & the whipped cream despite all my calculation for stiff peak, didn’t hold for even a minute. :( :( :( Nevertheless, the cake was very rich & heavenly!!!

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache

Eggless Black Forest Cake with Cherry Pie Filling & Chocolate Ganache