Thursday, September 12, 2013

Black Forest Brownie Cake

by Darla

Black Forest Brownie Cake by BakingdomWanna hear a funny story?

Of course you do, don’t be silly.

Here goes: Once upon a time, I am not eight feet tall. The end.

Oh wait…not the end. Also, the guy who built my house is eight feet tall*. Now, the end.

I heard rumors, before we left Oregon, that Dutch people are tall. In general, I don’t know about all that. They all seem pretty much like everyone else. Most of the woman are around my height or slightly taller. I’m not tall…5′ 3 3/4″ (that 3/4″ counts. shut up). Most of the men are around the Hubster’s height. Granted, he is tall (6′ 2″). I haven’t noticed any great disparages in height, though. Until we met our landlord. Who is an architect (that’s important, just ask ANY DUTCH REALTOR EVER…they like architects), and made our house the prettiness that it is.

He is at least eight feet tall*. And he built this place for himself.

*By eight feet tall, I mean definitely at least seven feet tall. I’m serious this time. He’s almost a foot taller than hubs.

I feel like I wandered into one of those sitcoms where the adults all dream that they’re bitty babies or something, and everything around them is big and adult-sized.

Or maybe I had some of that ‘drink me’ stuff from Alice in Wonderland… Whatever. I’m bitty here.

The doorknobs are at boob level on me. Really. The kitchen counters hit me at the ribs. The shower turner on-er thingie is at face level. I’m not kidding. Face level. The front doorbell, the intercom system inside, and the heating/air control panel: all slightly higher than my face. Our doors are like 10 feet tall.

I can deal with all of that, though. At least I can reach everything. I mean, I can’t see the top shelf on my refrigerator door, so it’s a blind grab kind of situation, but I can still reach.

There’s one thing, though, that is less than ideal. The toilet.

The toilet is tall.

My toes barely brush the floor.

It’s just weird, OKAY?

And actually, let’s just be honest here, it’s really uncomfortable. And that’s all I have to say about that.

I decided that tall things should be the theme today and have made you a towering tall Black Forest brownie cake. Happy Tall Day. :)

Sweet Black Forest Cherries by BakingdomCherries: nature’s supermodels.

Black Forest Brownies FillingI really love the look of a smaller-around, but taller cake, so I made this with three 6-inch layers. You can, however, make this with two 8-inch round layers instead. It’s just as beautiful, slightly faster/easier, and actually a lot easier to serve.

To assemble the brownies, just place the first layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread on a little whipped cream, and add some kirsch-soaked cherries over the layer. Spread on some more whipped cream over the cherries, and center the second layer on top. Repeat, and center the last layer on top. Then just frost the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream. You can decorate or garnish the finished cake with more cherries and chocolate shavings, if you want to.

Black Forest Brownie Layer Cake by BakingdomSee how pretty all those layers are?? I’m head over heels for high stacked cakes. And those cherries. That fluffy whipped cream.

Those German cake makers are geniuses, I tell ya.

Black Forest Brownies Layer Cake by BakingdomTraditionally, a black forest cake is garnished with chocolate shavings all around the outside, and some cherries on top, but I loved the homespun, perfectly imperfect look of the billowy whipped cream, so I just piled a whole lot of beautiful, fresh, ripe cherries on top and called it a day.

Black Forest cake (or brownies) is one of the easiest desserts. You expect it to be kind of difficult, because, I mean, cherries, and frosting, and cakes, and lots of stuff. But really. Just bake the cakes, fill them with some whipped cream and boozy cherries, and cover the whole thing with more whipped cream. Can’t get much easier than that!

If you want to skip the alcohol, go for it. The kirsch isn’t a requirement for making this brownie cake delicious. Although, in Germany, kirsch actually is required, by law, for the cake to legally earn the name of Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte). Cool, huh?


Black Forest Brownies
Makes 2 8-inch rounds or 3 6-inch rounds, or 1 9×13-inch pan


8 to 12 ounces maraschino cherries, drained
1/4 kirsch, optional

1 cup (100 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (1 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 recipe Homemade Whipped Cream
More cherries, for garnish, optional
Chocolate shavings, sprinkles, or powder, for garnish, optional

Place the cherries and the kirsch in a medium bowl, and stir to combine. Cover and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8-inch, or 3 6-inch, round cake pans; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined and pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow brownies to cool completely before assembling.

Assemble: Remove the cherries from the kirsch.

For an 8-inch brownie cake, place the first layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread about 1/3 cup of whipped cream over the layer, and evenly distribute the soaked cherries over the layer. Spread another 1/3 cup or so of whipped cream over the cherries, and center the second layer on top. Frost the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream. Decorate or garnish with more cherries and chocolate shavings.

For a 6-inch cake, place the first layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread about 1/4 cup of whipped cream over the layer, and evenly distribute half of the soaked cherries over the layer. Spread another 1/4 cup or so of whipped cream over the cherries, and center the second layer on top. Spread about 1/4 cup of whipped cream over the second layer, and evenly distribute the remaining cherries over the layer. Spread another 1/4 cup of whipped cream over the cherries, and center the last layer on top. Frost the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream. Decorate or garnish with more cherries and chocolate shavings.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Recipe by Darla

Black Cherries Brownies by Bakingdom

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beth R September 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

About your comment about your toilet…. you should get one of those squatty potty toilet stools, you would be more comforrtable. I know what you mean about a high toilet, mines pretty old. My house was built in 1914


2 Erin Maree September 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

We have friends who are dutch and their kids are really tall as are them so when they were building their house they built it for their heights. One day the came over and one of the girls went to the bathroom the moment she came out she said that the sink/vanity was built for midgets! None of us are what you call short either so I know where you are coming from!


3 Krys September 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm

My inlaws just replaced my toilet yesterday with one that’s at least half a foot taller than the old one. Now my feet only touch the floor with my toes. I can’t put my feet flat, so I feel your pain!


4 Belinda @themoonblushbaker September 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm

This is so funny! my boyfriend at the time was a little over 6ft 12 and i am 5ft 1 (major shortie), so you can see the difference when we go to each other places. I though I was the only one with this problem, I almost fell into their toilet bowl!


5 Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet September 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Such a lovely brownie cake!!


6 Heather September 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm

This is a gorgeous brownie cake, girl!

I can’t imagine having to deal with those doorknobs and shower turner-on-ers (we are pretty much exactly the same height!). Maybe you can channel your inner Alice for a while? :)


7 Sarah September 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm

At 6’0″ with a husband who is 6’2″ that house sounds like a dream come true. I constantly have back trouble after a baking session in my kitchen because the counters are too low to be comfortable, and don’t get me started on trying to use the sink.


8 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar September 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Dang, this cake is stunning!! Love this.


9 Erica September 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Beautiful :) I attempted a black forest cake once and though it tasted wonderful, the whipped cream made the layers slide all over the place… how do you make your whipped cream more stable? Do you refrigerate it before frosting?


10 Bernadette September 13, 2013 at 2:30 am

This looks great Darla. I had been trying to think of what to make for my neighbor’s Oktoberfest party in two weeks and she loves brownies so this will fit the bill well. A tall order filled. ;)


11 Vicki September 13, 2013 at 2:49 am

Beautiful cake Darla! And I’m the same height as you so I can imagine that you feel like Alice, but that’s kind of fun except for the toilet issue, um…yeah


12 Darcus September 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

You should so do a home tour!


13 Renee @ Awesome on $20 September 14, 2013 at 7:22 am

This cake is beautiful. I would love to live in a tall person house. I’m slightly above average in height, but I’ve lived in a lot of places where I have to duck to wash my hair in the shower. The clothes pins on our line out back are always poking me in the eye. Maybe we should trade. ;)


14 Katie Cole September 16, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I’m 5′ 3 3/4″ tall, too! It soooo counts!


15 Kathia September 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm

You are so funny with the toilet story! I am short, so that totally would be me…and this cake is gorgeous!


16 Nicole October 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Beautiful. Looks too good to eat.


17 Patricia Janssen November 23, 2013 at 6:44 am

What a wonderfull cake I am going to make it today with lots of Kirsch hmmmmmmmm ;)
Where do you get your maraschino cherries in holland by the by?


18 Darla November 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Thank you!!

I actually made this cake before leaving the states, so I got the cherries there. If I come across any while I’m here, though, I’ll be sure to let you know! :)


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