Monday, July 25, 2011

forêt noire. schwarzwälder kirsch. my france inspired black forest torte.

i'm a german,  i come from the land of the black forest, origin of the black forest cake! so i guess i'm entitled to give this classic a tiny twist.

in france i was introduced to a dessert called "forêt noire". it was a longish open box out of thin dark chocolate, probably about 9 cm long and 2,5 cm wide, filled with a rich chocolate pudding, amarena cherries and creme chantilly. it was topped with chopped almonds that were colored gold. the dessert box was sprinkled with ground pistachios and garnished with additional cherries.
très chic.
(check out more french pastry in may of my blog - my internship in paris!)

well, here's my version.

forêt noire

pâte brisée
40g butter
40g sugar
15ml water
5g unsweetened cocoa powder
80g flour
1/8 tsp fleur du sel

gâteau au chocolat
25g bittersweet chocolate (50% cocoa)
25g unsweetened chocolate (70-80% cocoa)
3 Tbsp coffee
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened yogurt
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

crémeux chocolat
100ml milk 
100ml cream
40g egg yolks
10g cornstarch
20g sugar
88g chocolat (at least 60% cocoa)

crème chantilly
200ml cream
20g sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
(1/4 vanilla bean)

ganache chocolat
70g chocolate (70% cocoa)
70g cream
20g glucose syrup

a 18 cm metal torte ring to assemble 
blackberry or sour cherry jam
amarena cherries
white chocolate
fresh cherries
chopped almonds (plus powdered gold)

prepare pâte brisée. cream butter, sugar cocoa and water. add flour and salt, mix until dough sticks and is firm. chill shortly and roll out 18 cm in diameter. bake at 180 degrees celcius for around 8-10 minutes.
meanwhile, prepare gâteau au chocolat. melt chocolates in microwave at low setting or over a water bath. set aside. cream butter with sugar, then add eggs one at a time. add the cooled chocolate, then the coffee and the yogurt. at last, add dry ingredients. mix well. pour into 20 cm pan and bake at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes. 
in the meantime, cook crémeux chocolat. set your oven top to highest setting. chop chocolate. mix milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. place on hot stove top and stir constantly until mixture boils. remove from stove and add chopped chocolate. mix until fully dissolved. pour into a different container to cool.
also, measure out the crème chantilly. weigh ingredients into a bowl, to allow the vanilla to soak. 
then prepare the ganache chocolat. chop the chocolate. bring the cream and glucose to boil. remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. set aside.
now drain your amarena cherries if they are in a container with syrup.
by this time, your chocolate cake should be out of the oven and cooling off.
to assemble the cake, smear a generous layer of jam onto the baked pâte brisée. 
since your gâteau is 20 cm in diameter, cut out your cake with your 18 cm ring. place bottom up onto the pâte brisée. keep the ring around the cake now.
soak the cake with kirsch. go by what you like. if you like the fruity, yet bitter taste of kirsch, sprinkle on more. if you do not enjoy the taste so much, leave it out or just use little. but a real black forest cake has lots of kirsch!
now, distribute the amarena cherries evenly on the soaked cake.
spread the crémeux chocolat on the cherries and cake. freeze for a few minutes until you have prepared the crème chantilly. all you have to do is whip up the cream until it's nice and stiff. 
spread onto chocolate layer.
refreeze and reheat the ganache. be careful not to make it too hot!
pour over cake and distribute by tipping the cake ring back and forth.
refrigerate and meanwhile, melt white chocolate. bring it down in temperature by stirring it. fill into mini pastry bag and after taking out the cake again, make lines back and forth. in any pattern you wish!
decorate with fresh cherries and chopped almonds. 
to make my almonds a tad golden, i dissolved powdered gold in alcohol (kirsch) and mixed it with the nuts. the alcohol evaporated fairly quickly and you are left with glittering nuts.
let the cake set for at least half an hour. remove ring. refrigerate until serving.
bon appétit!