Chocolate Lace Black Forest Cake

Ingredients :
For the cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pans and parchment
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature, plus more for coating the pans and parchment
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the cherries and syrup:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the whipping cream

  • 1 package of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 473ml of whipping cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 & ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp  rum (optional)
  • chocolate sprinkles or curls (optional)

Directions :
For the Cake 

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut out 2 (8-inch) rounds of parchment paper. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with butter, place the parchment rounds in the pans, and coat the parchment with more butter. Coat the pans and parchment with flour and tap out any excess; set aside.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and cocoa, and whisk until smooth; set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the measured flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until combined; set aside.
  4. Place the measured butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until fluffy and light in color, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.
  5. Return the mixer to medium speed. Add the eggs 1 at a time, letting each incorporate fully before adding the next. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until just combined (the mixture will look slightly curdled). Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  6. Add a third of the reserved flour mixture and turn the mixer to low speed, mixing until the flour is just incorporated. Add half of the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until just incorporated. Continue with the remaining flour mixture and chocolate mixture, alternating between each and ending with the flour, until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl, and stir in any remaining flour streaks by hand, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and spread it into even layers. Bake side by side on the rack for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans from left to right and continue baking until the cake edges slightly pull away from the pans and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry with just a few crumbs, about 14 to 15 minutes more.
  8. Remove the pans from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each cake, turn them out onto the rack, and slowly peel off and discard the parchment rounds. Flip the cakes over and let them cool completely. Meanwhile, make the syrup.

For the cherries and syrup:

  1. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a small saucepan and pour the cherries and their syrup through the strainer. Cut the cherries in half and place them in a medium bowl.
  2. Bring the syrup to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the kirsch and lemon juice.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the syrup to the reserved cherries and stir to combine; set aside. Set aside the remaining syrup until ready to assemble the cake, letting it cool completely, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream.

For the whipping cream

  1. Using an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add half the whipping cream and whip for a minute or so until it just starts to thicken. Add the rest of the whipping cream and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Assembly the Cake :

  1. When the cakes are cool, use a serrated knife to trim a thin layer from the top of each to expose the interior; discard the scraps and set the cakes aside. Using a skewer, poke holes all over the tops of the cakes, going about halfway through the layers.
  2. Place 1 cake cut-side up on a cake stand or serving plate. Use a pastry brush to brush half of the reserved cherry syrup (about 1/4 cup) over the cake. Spread the whipped cream evenly over top of that, leaving a 3/4-inch border.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, evenly scatter all of the reserved cherries over the whipped cream, leaving any syrup in the bowl.
  4. Place the second cake cut-side up on top of the whipped cream and press down gently.
  5. Brush the top cake with the remaining half of the syrup.
  6. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining whipped cream