Life Altering "Black Forest" Chocolate Cake
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo
In the story Lomin-life for Chocolate Cake, Wes Janson is ready to throw in his libidinous high-swingin' life for the woman who served him this cake. Horrors!
Having discovered that the cream-topped, cherry-stuffed, moist, dense, iced, sweet, sticky chocolate cake -- dubbed "The Black Forest" for it's sinful connotations -- could be bought, Wes wanted it often, but he recognized that not only was it expensive, but he realized that he didn't want to be jaded by its ready availability. So he'd try to tame himself by taking dates to the exclusive restaurant when he craved a slice; he reasoned that in front of a desirable lady he was trying to impress, he'd less likely make a pig of himself.
But as usual, he was completely wrong. He would try to SAVOR his piece of cake, then discover it was gone ... then he'd grab his partner's piece ("What?!? You were picking at it! YOU obviously didn't WANT it!"). He'd shudder in delight as he ate the cake, licking his fork, the plate, and the table to pick up the crumbs. Not surprisingly, this behavior normally freaked out his dates. Fortunately, he would be in such euphoria that he usually didn't notice that they'd left him in a huff, never to be heard from again. Well, he MIGHT notice, but he'd respond by ordering two more slices and eating them both ...
Eventually, his roommate Hobbie got tired of Wes's whining about how no one understood his desire for this cake, and he pointed out two things to Wes: 1) He should only eat this cake in public if Wes actually WANTED to break up with the girl; and 2) The magical cake was actually not difficult to make, if one used a prepared mix for the cake and canned pie filling for the fruit. Sure, it was a lot of steps, and it took planning and timing for things to cool, etc. But it wasn't hard. Wes thus learned to make the cake by himself, for himself. Initially, he'd say that he was baking for a friend's birthday or somesuch ... but he'd end up eating it all by himself!
Grease and flour two 8-inch cakepans. Place the batter evenly into the two pans. Tap them on the counter to level them -- try to avoid lopsided cakes, as much as possible. They are done when a toothpick or wooden skewer poked in the center comes out clean, not covered with liquidy chocolate gunk. A few crumbs clinging on to the toothpick is fine.
Place the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto the rack to cool completely, at least an hour.
Pour into a cold heatproof bowl and set aside to cool down to room temperature.
With a spoon or a pastry brush, sprinkle or brush the syrup completely over the cut surface of the cake. Don't soak, but make sure you get some syrup over the whole surface. Leave the cakes to dry for at least half an hour.
After the syrup has dried a bit onto the cut cake, select one of the slices for the base and one for the top. Put the base onto a cake plate -- syrup side up -- and cover the surface with pie cherries. You won't be using all the sticky, thick sauce. Be sure the cherries are arranged evenly toward the edge of the layer as well as evenly over the surface -- this layer will be supporting three other layers of cake and cherries. Place the next slice of cake -- syrup side up -- over the cherries, then cover with cherries again. Repeat with the next slice. Finally, top with the last piece of cake, syrup side down.
Spread the icing over the prepared cake by first dolloping icing over the top, and work the flat side of a knife or solid spatula back and forth to flatten and smooth out the icing over the top of the cake, pushing excess icing to the edges. Then smooth the icing down the sides of the cake till completely covered. This will seal your cake and protect it from oozing apart, so try to not have holes or breaks in the icing.
Dollop or pipe the cream over the top of the cake. Garnishing with leftover cherries is a nice touch, or sprinkle over with chocolate shavings (take a vegetable peeler to a bar of chocolate at room temperature) or sifted cocoa powder.
Serves 8 to 12, depending on the size of your slices.
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