No matter what the occasion, I always enjoy baking a dessert to share with family and friends. It is now an expected treat. So if I perhaps miss baking something from scratch, you can be sure that everyone will notice and comment!
During the holidays I like to step up my game and really wow my guests with a very impressive dessert. There is something relaxing about baking a sweet dessert for a little much needed indulgence. Although it may be pie season, I certainly don’t think anyone will turn down a slice of this decadent Raisin Black Forest Cake.
Traditionally, a German Black Forest Cake consists of layers of chocolate cake covered with whipped cream and cherries soaked in kirsch, a cherry liqueur syrup. The kirsch gives the cake its distinct flavor. I swapped out the cherries and used raisins instead, still soaking them in the liqueur syrup before layering them into the cake. So delicious! If you must have cherries, mix in 1/2-pound pitted chopped cherries with the syrup mixture and cook until fruit softens, then stir in the raisins.
Who wants pie if this Raisin Black Forest Cake is on the table?
Raisin Black Forest Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
3 cups raisins
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cherry liqueur or brandy
4 oz dark chocolate chips
3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp powdered sugar (optional)
tsp cocoa powder (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF/177ºC. Coat 2 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottom of both pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and eggs until fluffy and combined. Whisk in vanilla extract and yogurt. Mix in eggs and whisk until just combined.
- Add dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until combine. Use a rubber spatula and mix in the chocolate chips. Divide batter into the two cake pans then tap pans to remove air bubbles.
- Bake until cakes are done, when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let cakes cool to room temperature.
- To make the chocolate shards, melt 4 oz chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small spatula, spread melted chocolate evenly onto the parchment paper. You want a smooth and thin layer of melted chocolate.
- Started at one end of the baking sheet and roll up the parchment paper. Place the roll in the freezer until chocolate is hard, about 1 hour.
- For the filling, bring water to a boil in a small pot and whisk in sugar until dissolved. Remove pot from heat and stir in liqueur. Stir in raisins and reserve.
- For the whipped cream frosting, add heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Whisk until whipped cream forms hard peaks. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to use.
- Cut cooled cakes in half lengthwise to form 4 cake layers. Starting with one layer, place on a cake pedestal or serving dish. Spread a quarter of the liqueur soaked raisins evenly onto the top of the cake. Spread whipped cream evenly over the raisins.
- Add the next layer of cake and repeat adding the raisins and whipped topping until all four layers are assembled. Frost the sides and top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
- For the chocolate shards, remove roll from freezer and slowly unroll parchment paper over a plate or baking sheet. The chocolate will break as you unroll the paper.
- Press chocolate shards on the top of the cake and sprinkle with remaining raisins.Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and cocoa powder, as desired.
- Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.
Laura Bashar blogs at Family Spice, and is the photographer and co-author of the cookbook: Cooking Techniques and Recipes with Olive Oil. She’s also chaos manager of a family of five while soaking up the sun in San Diego, California.