(originally published October 2015)
I just love a cozy hot beverage this time of year, there’s nothing I love to better than snuggle down with a mug of something hot, a bite of something sweet and either read a book or watch a movie with my love.
I don’t really have a favourite drink but at the moment I can’t get enough of hot chocolate. I’ve started making them at home as I don’t want to shell out on paying for them when I can make them in the comfort of my very own warm cottage for a fraction of the price and for the fraction of the calories.
I work for a popular coffee chain and one of our most popular drinks in the colder month’s is a Black Forest Hot Chocolate. I’ve never seen what all the fuss is about until I decided to make myself one and now I can see why they are so popular. Sweet, berry infused hot chocolate with a soft pile of billowing cream on top. To make one of these we use a blackberry syrup, our hot chocolate blend which then get’s topped with whipped cream and a cherry sauce drizzle. My aim was to put this into cake form.
I started off by making a blackberry syrup which you can use for everything, you can use it in a hot chocolate, flavour your coffee, drizzle it over pancakes or drizzle over ice cream, the possibilities are endless. I used a stash of wild blackberries that I picked during the summer and the flavour is so intense. It’s bursting with blackberry flavour, it’ll pucker your lips and make your mouth water.
For the cake I used a cocoa based chocolate cake recipe and used crème fraiche to give it extra richness. The cake has a lovely chocolate flavour, not too sweet nor too bitter and is a breeze to make. Despite the cake only containing cocoa powder, the cake had a lovely chocolaty-ness to it.
For an extra oomph, I decided to soak it in a simple syrup make up of equal parts water and sugar then I added some of the homemade blackberry syrup and glug of Crème De Cassis. This gives the cake an underlying berry flavour and prevents it getting to dry.
For the topping I didn’t go with whipped cream, instead I made a light and airy Crème De Cassis flavoured swiss meringue buttercream. This frosting has the texture and cloud like qualities that whipped cream does but this is more stable and it’s easy to flavour and colour. To achieve the drizzle look of the hot chocolate without pouring syrup over the whole cake I lined the piping bag with lines of Electric Purple Americolour and as I piped out the frosting into little roses all over the bundt, whips of purple blanket pale and dreamy buttercream.
Grate some dark chocolate on top, think here chocolate sprinkles dusting and then if you want to turn this into a dessert drizzle over some of the vividly coloured blackberry sauce.
This isn’t technically a black forest cake as I doesn’t contain cherries or kirsch but I think this a great fall back. If you or somebody else doesn’t like cherries but still like the idea of a deep, dark berry cake topped with cloud like cream then this I believe it a delicious alternative.
Black Forest Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake
Black Forest Hot Chocolate turned into a bundt cake.
- 300 grams Fresh blackberries
- 80 ml Water
- 75 grams Caster sugar
- 225 grams Unsalted butter room temperature
- 270 grams Plain flour
- 85 grams Cocoa powder
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate soda
- 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
- 250 ml Creme Fraiche
- 300 grams Caster sugar
- 4 large Eggs
- 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Pure chocolate extract
Blackberry sugar syrup
- 100 grams Caster sugar
- 100 ml Water
- 2 tbsp Blackberry sauce
- 2 tbsp Creme de Cassis
Creme de Cassis Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 150 grams Caster sugar
- 3 large Egg whites
- 1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
- 1/4 tsp Cream of tartar
- 225 grams Unsalted butter room temperature, cubed
- 1 tbsp Creme de Cassis
- dash Purple food dye optional
1. Place the blackberries and water in a blender and blend until smooth and lump free. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve straight into a small saucepan collecting the juice only.
2. Add the sugar and while whisking to dissolve the sugar bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer
1. Pre-heat the oven 170C and line a large bundt tin with cake release spray. In a large bowl which together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda and salt, set aside.
2. In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, fluffy and creamy. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and chocolate extract. Again, scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4. Add half the flour mixture mixing until just incorporated, add the crème fraiche mixing until just incorporate and then add the rest of the flour mixture and when everything has been incorporated give a final stir with your spatula.
5. Spoon into the bundt tin and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Whilst the cake is baking you can make the blackberry sugar syrup.
6. Leave on the wire rack for 15 minutes before inverting onto the wire rack to cool. Once on the wire rack, poke holes all over the cake and brush over the sugar syrup and leave the cake to cool completely.
Blackberry sugar syrup
1. Add the sugar, water, blackberry syrup to a small saucepan bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until reduced and thickened.
2. Stir through the Crème de Cassis and brush all over the bundt cake.
Creme de Cassis swiss meringue buttercream
1. Bring a small saucepan with 2 inches of water in to a simmer and place a bowl of an electric mixer over the top. Place the sugar and egg whites in and using an electric whisk beat until the mixture reaches 140F on a candy thermometer. Remove the from the heat and place back on the electric mixer stand and using the whisk attachment whisk until foamy.
2. Add the cream of tartar whisk until stiff, glossy and peaks have formed.
3. Add the butter a cube at time mixing well before adding the next and once all the butter have been added, add the crème de cassis. Keep in whisking until the buttercream comes together.
4. If you want to add the colour, turn your piping bag inside out and pain lines of purple food dye along the bag. Turn the right way and insert a 1M piping tip. Spoon in the buttercream and pipe onto the bundt cake.
- Serve with or without sauce.
- Recipes for the bundt cake and buttercream adapted from Martha Stewart.
- Recipe from Blackberry Sauce adapted from How Sweet Eats.
- Best eaten on the day made due the nature of swiss meringue buttercream but can be eaten within 2 days.
- Store in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid, storing in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.