This has been my signature dessert for many years. I’ve revamped the original recipe to make it low-carb and Atkins friendly. It is not suitable until the OWL legumes rung because the cake I use it a slightly modified version of the Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake over on Lauren’s Healthy Indulgences wonderful blog (made with beans). I’d be lying if I said this version is as good as the original sugar-flour version. But this is now a close facsimile of the original in my opinion. This dessert is surprisingly light, so don’t be fooled by it’s rich appearance. It always gets a thumbs up when I serve this to guests. This is not a terribly sweet dessert even in its original sugar incarnation; nor is this low-carb version. There are four layers of cake and three different filling layers so it really takes a bit of effort to put together from start to finish. But none of the steps are particularly difficult nor do they require unusual ingredients. It just takes some time for the flavors to mellow. As you blow your daily sweetener limit on this, and it’s a bit carb pricey, I usually only do this on very special occasions, like Valentine’s Day of our Wedding Anniversary. :) If you’re wanting to enjoy this wonderful cake but there are only two of you, you might want to try my miniature version, that only makes 4-5 servings here: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/miniature-black-forest-cake/
STEP I – Cherry Filling: The day before needed, mix the following cherry filling ingredients in small saucepan except for the xanthan gum. Cook over medium heat stirring, adding xanthan gum in several light dustings, stirring well after each addition of xanthan gum. This is to avoid lumps in the thickener. I go for medium thick on this filling. Refrigerate overnight. If you got it too thick, not to worry. That’ll never be noticed in this cake. Stir it up to loosen the sauce before applying to cake.
CHERRY FILLING INGREDIENTS:
1 can red sour cherries in natural juice, drained, saving liquid
1/2 c. of the reserved cherry liquid
1 T. Fiberfit liquid sweetener or you favorite sweetener to equal 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 T. Kirschwasser liqueur (cherry brandy)
few drops red food coloring
1/2 tsp. almond extract
STEP II – Chocolate Mousse: The day before cake is being served, prepare the chocolate mousse.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE INGREDIENTS:
1½ T. cocoa
½ pkg. (1 tsp.) unflavored gelatin
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ c. total heavy cream
2 T. + 1 tsp. total granular Splenda
½ tsp. vanilla
1 T. Kirschwasser
Combine cocoa with gelatin and ½ c. of the heavy cream and beaten egg in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat and then remove from heat. Add 1T.+ 1 tsp. of the granular Splenda, the Kirschwasser and stir well. In a separate bowl, whip the remaining 1 c. heavy cream until very thick and add the remaining 1 T. Splenda and the vanilla, stirring well to blend. Spoon a little of the whipped cream into the cooling chocolate mixture and stir to temper the chocolate a bit. Now pour the chocolate mixture into the rest of the whipped cream and fold the two mixtures into each other until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add liquid Splenda to your taste. Chill the mousse overnight or for a couple hours for flavors to mellow and to let it thicken even more.
STEP III – The Cakes: The day you plan to serve, early in day, bake your cakes. I say early, because this cake needs to be assembled for at least 2-4 hours for the kirsch to soak into the bottom layer of cake. Preheat oven to 325º. Cut two wax-paper circles the size of bottom of two 9″ round cake pans. Grease bottoms and sides of pans, place wax paper in bottom and grease those.
20 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1¼ 15 oz. cans)
7 large eggs
2 T. water
1½ T. vanilla (yes, that much!)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 stick + 1 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. + 2 T. erythritol, powdered
2 pkts. stevia
½ c. + 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
Process the erythritol to a powder if you buy granular like me. Add the drained, rinsed beans, soft butter, vanilla, eggs and water and process until smooth. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and add to the mixture in the processor. Pulse a few times to blend batter well. Of course, this can be done with an electric mixer. Spoon batter equally (This is really important) into the two prepared pans, spreading evenly out to the edges of the pan. Be sure your oven shelf is level and level pans with a skewer if need be, as cake batter needs to be level in the pans. Bake at 325º for about 40 minutes. Ovens vary so check at 30 and 35 minutes to be safe. The cakes are done when dry to the touch and set in the center. Toothpick will test dry in the center as well. Remove from oven and completely cool before attempting to remove from the pans.
STEP IV – FINAL ASSEMBLY:
Whip 2¼ c. heavy cream. I usually add 1 T. sugar-free vanilla pudding powder to the whipped cream to stabilize it and make it a bit stiffer but this is not necessary. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and a few drops of liquid Splenda to taste. Set aside while you cut the cakes. Carefully run a knife around edges of cake to loosen from sides of pan. Gently tip first cake out onto serving plate and remove waxed paper from the bottom. With a long-bladed serrated knife, with a gentle sawing motion, carefully cut laterally each cake into two thin layers as even as you can get them. When slicing cake layers, it’s easiest if you slice about halfway through and rotate cake as you move knife through and slice. Gently lift top layer off this first cake with BOTH hands slipping fingers toward center of cake to support it and prevent it breaking in half. (I have a 12″ rigid square of sheet metal I slide under the cake to support it while moving to prevent breakage). Gently set this layer on the counter until needed.
On bottom layer of cake, spread the cherry filling. Carefully lift and place next thin layer of cake on top. Now spread the chocolate mousse on top evenly. Slice second cake in similar manner as you did the first. Gently lift and add the third layer of cake on top of the stack. Spread with 1 c. of your sweetened whipped cream. Place the final layer of cake on top and now ice the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream, spreading evenly on sides and top so no chocolate cake or fillings are visible. Dust top of cake with shaved chocolate and sling a little also on the sides. If it falls all over the serving platter, that just makes it prettier in my opinion. If you have one, place a whole maraschino cherry with stem and a sprig of mint in the center of the cake for visual impact.
Chill well (2-4 hrs) before attempting to slice or the layers may slide apart on you. To cover this cake if you don’t have a tall enough cake dome is put 4-5 toothpicks in the top and put two sheets of plastic wrap over the cake. This keeps the plastic wrap from spoiling the whipped cream on top. :) I recommend not trying try to cut servings smaller than 2″ wide or the layers may fall apart. It absolutely WILL hold together if you cut decent-sized slices. When done serving guests, you need to get the leftover cake back into the fridge promptly. Enjoy!
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Entire cake has 3476 calories, 249 g fat, 170.7 g carbs, 40.6 g fiber, 119 g protein and 130.1 net carbs. I usually cut mine into 10 slices that are approximately 2 1/2″ to 2 3/4″ wide at the outer edge. So I’m showing each serving below for 1/10th of the cake. It is difficult to cut this cake into smaller slices, although when you taste it, you won’t be heartbroken about that fact. LOL
Makes 10 servings, each contains:
25 g fat
17.24 g carbs, 4.06 g fiber, 13.18 NET CARBS
13 g protein
376 mg sodium