Mini Black Forest Cakes, an Anniversary, and a Giveaway!
Approx cost: €4.80 (~€1.20 per cake)
Approx calories (per cake): ~580
Approx preparation time: 50 mins
Birthday wishes are in order (of sorts), for today it’s my one year “Blogiversary”. Five Euro Food is a year old today and what better way to celebrate a year in the blogosphere than with cake… and chocolate (and cream!)? The recipe is towards the bottom of this post but first I’d like to talk about some of my experiences during the past year. I’ve learned a great deal, and met a great many wonderful people and feel that now is a perfect time to detail a few of the highlights of my time blogging so far. There is still so much I want to try – things I want to perfect, make again, or just make for the first time so here’s to many more years! Cheers everyone
Firstly, I’ve had fun – a whole ton of fun. I start a great many things in life, but it’s not often that I still have the same momentum and enthusiasm for these things after a few months have passed, let alone a year. Averaging one blog post every three days, I’m not as regular as some people are, but I’m certainly no less enthusiastic, and the wonderful thing is, I still have the desire to create. Every time I flick open a book or watch a cooking show, I realise that there are so many things still to try. Many spices and herbs I have yet to use, meats and fishes I’ve never prepared, world cuisines which have never touched my palate – I want to try them all!
Secondly, I enjoy the communal aspect of blogging so much. The feedback, the tips, learning new ingredients and cooking methods – none of which I would have had were it not for getting to know my readers here so for this, I thank each and every one of you who visits my site. I feel like I know so many of you, despite not even necessarily knowing what you sound or look like.
Thirdly, when I started, the photography aspect was really secondary to the main goal, which back then was “write a recipe, post it”. Over time I realised that the most enjoyable thing I can imagine is when people actually try my recipe (and hopefully like it). It’s a very humbling thing when you post a recipe and someone reads it, and out of all the other things they might have seen that week, they decide to try the food from your own post. I realised that posting something with a bad photo isn’t really going to make anyone want to try anything so some improvements were needed. Hopefully you’ll agree that my photos have come a long way since 2010!
Coming back to my site in general, I feel that it lacks direction a little. I started it with the aim of creating “food for five euros (or less)”. Almost each post I make is indeed five euros or less, but I feel that generally that’s not such a hard thing to do. I’m a strong believer in ethically produced food – I try to buy organic/fair-trade/free-range where possible so I won’t give up this belief, but going forward from now I’m going to really try harder to drill down on this concept:
- More recipes using ingredients which are in season, including preserving such ingredients for year-round use.
- More recipes which focus on creating cheap, home-made alternatives to things which people might otherwise buy.
- Revisiting, and improving upon, some of the recipes which I’ve made in the past.
Now, however, it’s time for a little giveaway -
I happened across an artist some years ago while browsing Etsy. Naoko’s Stoop based in New York creates truly charming, idyllic paintings which I find just delightful. I have bought a couple of her prints before and actually have them hanging above my computer. To spread the love, there will be three items available in this giveaway and winners will have the chance to choose a print of their choice from Naoko’s “Red Knit Cap Girl Collection”. You can see a few examples of her lovely work above, or visit her Etsy store directly.
To be in with a chance of winning please complete the small quiz I have set up by clicking below.
Some information about the quiz:
- There are 13 total questions with point values between 1 and 5.
- Almost all of the answers are easily findable on this website and require a maximum of 3 or 4 clicks to locate. Two of the answers are a little more difficult – although not much!
- The three people with the highest points scored will win, and in cases where multiple people place in winning positions a draw will be performed.
Good luck and thank you all!Click here to enter the giveaway
The Giveaway - Further Details
- Entrants will be required to provide a contact name and email. Your email address will be used only to contact you in the event of notifying you if you’ve won and for no other reason.
- In the event that there are more winning persons with the same score than there are prizes available, three winning persons names shall be drawn at random.
- There will be three prizes. Each of identical value. You can choose any print from the Little Red Cap Girl selection on Naoko Stoop’s Etsy Store. The total value of the selection must not exceed $25.00 (or your local regional equivalent price, NOT including shipping.
- Only one entry per person please!
- The giveaway will run until 2200 CEST, Sunday 13th of November, with the winners being announced in a post on Monday the 14th November.
- Entrants accept that their contact name will be published in a later post displaying the winners, if they are successful. If you prefer not to have your name published please provide an alias instead in the assigned text box when entering the quiz.
You can enter the giveaway up to and until 10pm CEST on Sunday 13th November and I’ll announce the winners on the 14th!
Now, however, as promised – today’s recipe! I decided to opt for a “celebratory cake” for the One Year post, and you don’t get more celebratory than a good Black Forest cake in my opinion. It’s got all the things I love – chocolate, cream, cherries – and these particular ones are a perfect size. I’m a big fan of individually made things. I think it can look a lot prettier than one big cake, for example, and you have the added benefits of automatic portion control. Make the mini cakes as big, high, round, flat as you like to ensure they fit perfectly within your dietary needs for the meal you’re serving them with. I hope you like them!
- 60g Butter + ~10g
- 60g Sugar
- 55g Plain Flour
- 2 tbsps Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Egg
- 120g Dark Chocolate
- 200ml Whipping Cream + ~4 tbsps
- 200g Pitted, canned Morello Cherries – or regular cherries
- 4 tbsps Kirsch or other cherry liqueur
- Preheat your oven to ~170 degrees Celsius. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. If you find the butter is very hard, a few seconds on high in a microwave will soften it right down for you. Crack in the egg and beat in. Sift in the plain flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and fold into the mixture until you have a smooth mixture.
- Arrange four paper muffin cases in a muffin tray and split the mixture between the paper cases. If you have two much mixture then by all means add an extra one or two paper cases. Place the tray into your preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes. After this time, test one by sticking a metal skewer or fork into the centre. If it comes out clean then they are done. When they are ready, remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.
- While the cakes are cooking, melt the chocolate in a bowl or jug set in a pan of water which is heating on the stove. Stir regularly, and when it’s completely melted pour out almost all of it (saving about 1-2 tbsps left in the bowl) onto a large sheet of parchment/baking paper laid on top of a hard surface, like a baking tray. Spread out the chocolate to form a large square, about 2mm thick and try and make the chocolate as smooth as possible. Place the chocolate sheet carefully into the refrigerator.
- Return the bowl to the hot water bath and add in the 4tbsps of cream and the 10g of Butter. Stir well until everything is melted together to form something like the picture below. If necessary, and if you have it, add in a little extra chocolate. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Meanwhile, whip the cream until quite stiff and place into the refrigerator to cool down after the whisking.
- When the cakes have cooled, remove them from their paper cases and cut off the edges to form a rough square. Split each cake in two through the middle with a knife. If you decided to use it, you can sprinkle half a tablespoon of kirsch or other cherry liqueur over each cake half (8 halves in total). Next, spread 4 halves with some of the cooled chocolate ganache. Drain the cherries from their syrup and cut them in halves. Place some whipped cream on top of the ganache and then arrange cherries. Place the other half of the cake on top, and add another layer of ganache on top of the cake.
- Remove the chocolate sheet from the refrigerator and trim the edges. Cut into strips which are slightly taller than the cake as it stands now, and about the same width as each edge. “Paint” the rough side of the chocolate strips with more ganache and stick to the edges of the cake. When all four strips are in place on each cake, add in more cream on the top and add more cherries. Enjoy!