Wednesday, 19 August 2015


After the Black Forrest Gateaux was featured on cake week of the Great British Bake Off 2015 my social media feeds exploded with people having a go at making their own version and posting their efforts online. Well, I wanted a piece of the action but wanted to come up with something slightly different and so my boozy black forest brownie cake was born. Essentially it's a brownie but dotted throughout are some gorgeous Kirsch soaked cherries that give this cake a very adult edge. It's gooey, rich and chocolaty. Whats not to love!

Most avid bakers have made brownies at one time or another and eventually they hit upon the holy grail of the perfect recipe for that soft and gooey brownie texture that we all know and love. This recipe is mine! In my eyes it's the best brownie I've ever made and it's also a nice simple recipe too. If you have your own perfect brownie recipe then you can use that instead and simply add in the Kirsch soaked cherries at the end as you fold through the flour.

Ah yes! Those naughty little cherries. Of course if you are going to being serving this up to kids or do not drink alcohol you can simple chop up and pop in your cherries naked. If like me you are a raging booze hound then chop up your cherries and soak them in the Kirsch for a least an hour but ideally overnight for maximum effect. Doesn't have to be Kirsch either. I know sometimes it can be expensive and hard to find so I imagine another liquor could work as well, a dark rum comes to mind instantly. Have a little look whats in your drinks cabinet and see what you can find!

I've gone for the easy option for the chocolate frosting on top and simply mixed up some ready made  chocolate Philadelphia cream cheese with a bit of icing sugar to sweeten it up a bit. Cheating? Possibly. Tasty? It sure is! If you want to go the whole hog and whip up you own cream cheese or butter cream frosting to spread on top or you can't find ready made chocolate cream cheese in your local store there are tonnes of recipes online for you to find and follow to make it from scratch.

I feel like cake always needs topping and this time I've gone with an old favorite of sprinkling some crushed pecans over the top. The crunch that they bring to the party is a great contrast to the soft brownie. They are optional so you can leave them off if you don't like them, have them or are allergic and just leave the brownie with a naked chocolate frosting topping or you can decorate the top with something else, maybe with some chocolate chips or pop some whole cherries around the perimeter if you have any leftover.

Time to get baking. You will need a round tin around 20cm in diameter or something of a similar size and ideally a spring-form tin. The brownie is very delicate once it's baked and can get damaged quite easily in transit so a spring-form tin is ideal for removing the brownie without any catastrophes!

Black Forest Brownie Cake

200g Chopped Cherries
5 Tbsp Kirsch
4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
200g Dark Chocolate Pieces
125g Butter
3 Whole Eggs
110g Golden Caster Sugar
110g + 2 Tbsp Icing Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
 150g Plain Flour
320g Chocolate Philadelphia Cream Cheese
 100g Chopped Pecans
  1. Begin by soaking your cherries in the Kirsch for at least one hour but the longer the better, ideally overnight. Once they have soaked, line your baking tin with grease-proof paper and turn your oven on to 180 degree (160 fan).
  2. Place the cocoa powder, chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water ensuring the water doesn't touch the base of the bowl. Allow the contents of the bowl to melt, stirring occasionally to combine the ingredients into a smooth runny mixture. Remove from the pan once ready and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Beat together the eggs, caster sugar, 110g of icing sugar and vanilla extract until well combined and slightly frothy. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and keep beating until well combined. 
  4. Drain any excess liquid from the cherries and add them and the flour to the chocolate mixture and fold everything together until you see no streaks of flour in the mixture and the cherries are evenly distributed.
  5. Transfer the brownie batter to your prepared tin and place inthe oven for 25-30 minutes. The brownie is done when the top feels firm and dry all over and an inserted skewer will come out slightly wet still. Remove from the oven and leave the brownies to cool completely and firm up before removing from the tin.
  6. Whilst the brownies cool, mix together the chocolate cream cheese and 2 tbsp of icing sugar and pop in the fridge until needed. Once the brownies are cool, spread the sweetened cream cheese over the top of the brownie cake and then sprinkle over the chopped pecans to finish.
  Divide your cake into slices to dish out to people or just stick your face straight into it and devour it all by yourself. The brownie cake is delicious served cold or you can pop slices back in the oven for a few minutes to warm up and then dollop a big scoop of ice cream over the top and watch it just melt all over the chocolaty goodness. Is there any better sight than that? I don't think so. Biting through those crunchy pecans into the smooth frosting and then the gooey cake is like dying and going to brownie heaven and what's more every now and then you'll get a little burst of boozy cherry popping in your mouth. Perfection!

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