This has been my signature dessert for many years but of course, in it’s larger incarnation, so it would serve a crowd for dinner. My original recipe uses real flour and real sugar. I’ve revamped the recipe to make it Atkins friendly now, which was quite an undertaking. First trial wasn’t so good actually. I’d be lying if I said this final version is as good as the original sugar-flour version. But this is a close facsimile in appearance and flavor in my and my husband’s opinion. It may yet undergo further “fine-tuning”.
This dessert is surprisingly light, so don’t be fooled by it’s rich appearance. It is always well-received when I serve this to guests. This is not a terribly sweet dessert, neither the original cake nor my low-carb version. So you may want to do some tasting for sweetness along the way in case this isn’t sweet enough for you.
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 and time for the flavors and Kirsch to mellow. As you blow your daily sweetener limit on this, and it’s a bit carb pricey, I usually only do this dessert for VERY special occasions. :) This dessert is not suitable until you reach Maintenance/Goal weight due to the higher carbs.
We don’t entertain as much as we used to and just for the two of us, I don’t like to make my full-size Black Forest Cake . But on Valentine’s Day and my husband’s birthday, and sometimes for our Wedding Anniversary, I will do this very special somewhat carb-pricey cake as it is his very favorite dessert. This recipe is not suitable until the legumes rung of OWL as I use my favorite black bean chocolate cake recipe by Lauren over at the Healthy Indulgences blog . Lauren’s cake is actually better than the original cake modified :) One of the best low-carb chocolate cakes I’ve come across to date.
For this mini Black Forest cake, I make up one whole recipe of the cake, which makes 3 small round 5″ cakes. I use two for this recipe and reserving the third cake for some other dessert use (or freeze it).
I have carefully calculated only 2/3 of the nutritional values on cake for the serving nutritional information below. Of course, you can attempt to cut this into 5 or 6 servings and lower the carb count, but I forewarn you cutting this cake into smaller pieces is extremely difficult given its height. You could also substitute Eden Black Soy Beans pureed and lower the carb count considerably, but the flavor and texture of the cake will change a bit.
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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:
1/2 can red sour cherries in natural juice, drained, saving liquid
1/4 c. of the reserved cherry liquid
liquid sweetener to = 1/4 c. sugar (I used 1½ tsp. Fiberfit)
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 T. Kirschwasser liqueur (cherry brandy)
few drops red food coloring
1/4 tsp. almond extract
STEP II – Chocolate Mousse: The day before cake is being served, prepare the chocolate mousse.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE INGREDIENTS:
1 T. cocoa
½ pkg. (1 tsp.) unflavored gelatin
1 egg, beaten
1 c. total heavy cream
4 tsp. total granular Splenda (or 4 tsp. sugar equivalent of other sweetener)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 T. Kirschwasser
Combine the cocoa with gelatin, the beaten egg and ½ c. of the heavy cream in a saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat and then remove from heat. Add 2 tsp. granular Splenda and Kirschwasser and stir well. In a separate bowl, whip the other ½ c. heavy cream until very thick and add remaining 2 tsp. of Splenda and the vanilla. 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. Remove from fridge a bit ahead of applying to cake in case it is too stiff.
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. I use this small silicone pan to bake my cakes which requires no greasing (pictured below). But 5″ quiche pans would work for this. Be sure to grease your pans well, and wax-paper the bottoms, too if not using silicone pans. This batter recipe will make 3 cakes this size, however only two of the cakes are needed to make this dessert. Save the third cake to frost for snacks or for some other use.
20 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed (I just use one 15 oz. can)
5 large eggs
1 T. water
1 T. vanilla (yes, that much!)
¼ tsp. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. erythritol, powdered
2 pkts. stevia
6 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 325º. 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 all is 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 three pans. They will be approximately 3/4 full, but don’t worry, mine did not overflow. Place pans on a cookie sheet if using silicone pans. If using metal pans, be sure your oven shelf is level and level pans with a skewer or metal coat hangar if need be, as cake batter needs to be level in the pans. Bake at 325º for about 30 minutes. Ovens vary so check and if still soft in the center, bake another 10 minutes or so. 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 AND FROSTING:
Whip 1 c. heavy cream and add ½ tsp. vanilla and a few drops of liquid Splenda, or to taste. Set aside while you cut the cakes.
Gently tip cakes out of pans. Set one cake onto serving plate. With a long-bladed serrated knife, with a gentle motion, carefully cut laterally each cake into two thin layers as even as you can get them. 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 piece of 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 of that layer 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 a ½ ” of 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 the presentation 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 (at least 2 hours) covered with a dome or inverted soup pot. Cut cake into four quadrants/servings. Enjoy!
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 adult servings, each contains:
28.95 g fat
24.32 g carbs, 5.85 g fiber, 18.47 NET CARBS (You can maybe cut into 5-6 servings for a lower carb count)
17.0 g protein
549 mg sodium
If interested in cutting into smaller servings to pull down the numbers, the entire cake has 1764 calories, 115.4g fat, 97.2g carbs, 23.4g fiber, 73.8g net carbs, 66.92 g protein and 2196 mg sodium. So cutting into 5 pieces lowers each serving to 14.76g net carbs; cutting it into 6 pieces lowers each serving to 12.3g net carbs. I repeat, however, it will be difficult to cut the slices this small without them falling apart on you. That’s one reason I always do the bigger cake version for company. :)