So what do you do when you’ve promised someone a Black Forest cake but can’t seem to find sour cherries anywhere? I knew I would eventually encounter things which weren’t widely available up here in Sweden, though I didn’t think this would be it. I think we checked in two or three stores and there wasn’t a can, jar, or pack of cherries in sight. None frozen, none in syrup, definitely no fresh ones at this time of year… yikes. Well, there goes that idea for a cake. Time to get creative.
I could have taken the easy way out. It was my wife’s aunt’s birthday and the cake was destined for her. Being Swedish she seemed to have something else entirely in mind when I mentioned a Black Forest cake. Some funky mixture of meringue, cream, and chocolate. That is apparently a “Schwarzwaldtårta” in Sweden. Sorry Swedes, but no. You need the cherries, you need the chocolate cake. I’m sure your “thing” is perfectly nice but if someone told me they were giving me a Black Forest cake and I got a chunk of meringue and no cherries to be seen I’d be bitterly disappointed.
No, I wanted to use some fruit so opted for blueberries in the end. Not really seasonal but hey-ho, such is life. Since it’s not a “Black Forest” cake anymore I decided to name it after Muddus national park in Sweden, a bit further north from where I am. Apparently one of the things this park is famed for is its berries, so since this is a blueberry cake I thought my naming seemed apt.
I didn’t want to make it too complicated – a chocolate sponge cake, a bit of chocolate ganâche and blueberries in the middle, top the whole thing with whipped cream, a few more blueberries and some shaved chocolate and voilà, the whole thing should be finished in about an hour, give or take. It almost ended in disaster though, and who can I thank for that? Why, only my son of course!
I baked the cake, all was going swimmingly, and I took out the cake from the oven. After allowing it to cool for a few minutes I turned it out onto a rack to finish cooling before carving it up. I’d just removed all the baking paper from around the cake and I turned around for literally 10 seconds to put the paper in the trash. In that time my stealthy son managed to glide past me, head straight for the cake, break off the corner and stuff it into his mouth! I turned around to see him grinning at me, showering crumbs everywhere, his mouth crammed with stolen cake, and he was already reaching for more!
In the end, I trimmed off all the sides to lessen the impact of the missing corner and for the final cosmetic touches? Well, whipped cream to the rescue of course!
Lesson learned. Don’t leave tasty things within the reach of curious little toddlers and then turn around and expect them to “look but not touch”. Thankfully it turned out well in the end and was much appreciated by the whole family. Something to adapt a bit for a New Year’s dinner dessert perhaps?!
Have a great week everyone. I’ll be back soon with something new, but in the meantime enjoy the Muddus cake.
- 225g Butter, softened
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 185g Plain Flour
- 40g Cocoa Powder
- 3 tsps Baking Powder
- 4 Eggs
- 150g good Plain Chocolate
- 250ml Cream
- 500ml Whipping Cream
- 200g Blueberries
- 50g Plain Chocolate
- A little butter for greasing the tin
- Greaseproof paper for lining the tin
- A piping bag
- Start off by preheating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a rectangular tin with dimensions of roughly 35x24cm with a little melted butter and line the bottom and sides of the tin with greaseproof paper which has been cut to size to ensure a good fit. Smooth the paper down and brush over some more melted butter.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy before adding in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold in to create a smooth batter. Transfer to the baking tin and spread out to evenly cover the tin and reach the corners. Place into the preheated oven and bake for about 15-18 minutes, until a skewer stuck into the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely before applying the ganâche.
- While the cake is baking heat the cream for the ganâche in a pan until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and break the chocolate into small chunks and place into the hot cream. Stir constantly until the chocolate has completely melted and blended with the cream to form a smooth ganâche. Transfer to a bowl and store in a cool place until it has set a little and taken on a more spreadable consistency.
- Once the cake is cool, cut it down the middle to create two evenly sized rectangles. Spread ganâche onto one, going right up to the edges and then arrange about 80% of the blueberries on top of the ganâche.
- Place the other half of the cake on top to sandwich the blueberries and then whip the cream for the topping until stiff. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe whipped cream all over the top of the cake, as well as the gap where the two halves were sandwiched together.
- Arrange more blueberries on top and finally take the 50g of plain chocolate for the topping. Pull a sharp knife across the underside of the chocolate to create shavings and sprinkle on top. Serve and enjoy!