Weekend… isn’t this is the only motivation for dragging ourselves through the daily monotonous chores of life – home-work-home and the same routine again.
Now, I personally don’t feel the same (well, there are some exceptions always) – but that’s the general consensus that I have gathered. When you wake up on a weekend, you have an entire 2 days of just chilling out planned out.
Today,when I woke up, I just knew that today is a day to be made special. And talking about special, the first thing that comes to my mind is go to my “second” home – the mall :) But , since the weather Gods weren’t so supportive of my shopping plans, I decided to do the next best thing that gives me immense satisfaction – cooking !!!
Now, if you are wondering what was the occasion for having a special day – I’d come up with a hundred lame ones but the most genuine one being – do we need occasions to celebrate ? :)
So I decided to bake a cake and have a lovely spread of dinner to go with it.
As much as I am intrigued and in love with the whole concept of baking, I am equally intimidated too. More often than not, my Betty Crocker( cake-mix) ones also don’t come out as well. But this time, I gathered the spunk to bake one - right from scratch. I scoured through all my recipe books and goggled furiously to get something meant for a novice like me.
Finally, I zeroed down on a recipe for …hold your breath… Black Forest Cake!!!
I was so apprehensive in making this one, that I literally said a prayer before starting my mission: cake-from-scratch. But somewhere deep down I knew that my intent to have a celebrated day will not let anything jinx my mission.
And so I just did it …
Black Forest Cake: (adapted from multiple recipes available at http://allrecipes.com )
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups whipped cream
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease with Pam on all sides.
2.In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.
3.Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.
4.Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool before using.
5.With a long knife, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Reserve 1 1/2 cups frosting for decorating cake; set aside. Gently brush loose crumbs off top and side of each cake layer with pasty brush or hands. To assemble, place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting; top with 3/4 cup cherry topping. Top with second cake layer; repeat layers of frosting and cherry topping. Top with third layer. Frost side of cake. Tear the fourth layer and pat on frosting on sides.
Set a few cherries and bananas on the top layer.
6.Use the whipped cream to give different strokes of frosting.
A few things I shall change the next time I make this cake –
I am definitely replacing canned cherries with fresh ones and completely skipping the cherry juice,
I might add a little bit more milk, because the cake wasn’t as gooey as I would have loved it, buts that’s totally personal choice.
The funniest part of baking this cake was the hypocritical me. I am a vegetarian on paper – and only eat eggs in forms where it cannot be seen (e.g.: pancakes, cakes, cookies …) But when you bake a cake from scratch and you really wanna use egg – what do you do? Simply be hypocritical ;)
I asked A to pour the eggs in my cake-mixture and asked him to blend it, and I re-entered the kitchen only till all signs of eggs being ever used were gone.
I loved the cake, loved that it wasn’t too liquid or burnt. Loved the fact that I did not cringe on adding those extra layers of frosting and loved the fact that devoured almost half of it without feeling guilty.
After all – I was in a mood for celebration. Celebrations go hand in hand with calories!!! dont they ;)
To stick to my celebratory mood – I also made Cheesy stuffed tomatoes and Tri-layered stuffed capsicum.
Tomorrow definitely calls for an additional 30 min of workout, but for now I am just chilling out, celebrating with another slice of the scrumptious cake in bed :)