Friday, February 18, 2011

Black Forest Cake

So, here it is. I have found it. A dessert that I do not like!!! The truth is that I don't really like cherries, except for fresh sweet cherries. And I don't really care for fruit with chocolate, except for bananas. I had an order for Black Forest Cake, and it threw me a little. But, I made it, and I think that it turned out really well.

I had never made Black Forest cake before in my life. I have a great recipe for chocolate cake, but is it appropriate for Black Forest Cake? I didn't know. Since I don't eat it, I wasn't really sure what the cake is like. Same goes for the other components as well. What kind of icing is it? I had no idea. So, I had to do a little bit of research and put together what seemed to be a delicious, traditional American version of Black Forest Cake. The chocolate cake that I decided to use was a pretty generic chocolate cake. Moist and yummy, but nothing that made it different. Of course I did not want to just buy the canned cherry pie filling. But it's not cherry season either, so I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do about the cherries. I found out that you can buy canned sour cherries packed in water. I had no idea that this product existed. Perfect for this time of year when you cannot really buy fresh cherries at the market. I cooked them with a bit of the juice, some sugar and corn starch, and got a better version of the pre-made canned pie filling which doesn't actually have many cherries in it. The icing I chose to use was just a homemade whipped cream. Delicious! I would take the chocolate cake with home made whipped cream any day of the week :) Layer all these together, and you have a Black Forest Cake.

Black Forest Cake is the English name for the German dessert Schwartzwälder Kirschtorte which literally means "black forest cherry cake". In the US, this cake is most often made without the use of alcohol. Interestingly, however, in order to be true "Black Forest Cake" in Germany, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor made from distilled sour cherries) is a mandatory ingredient. If it does not include Kirschwasser, it legally cannot be marketed as Schwartzwälder Kirschtorte. The cake was not named for the Black Forest (Schwartzwald) mountain region of Germany, but rather the specialty liquor (Schwärtzwald Kirschwasser) of that region.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oreo Truffles (Recipe Included)

These are one of my hubby's favorite cookies. I usually don't give too many of these away because he loves them so much. They are so very simple, but pretty tasty :)

I don't love making Christmas cookies that must be refrigerated. I feel like it complicates everything. You have all these cookies on a tray that do not need to be refrigerated plus a little pile of one kind that should be kept cold. It seems like everyone just lets them sit out, and then they go bad. As I mentioned earlier, I usually don't put too many Oreo truffles on each tray because Mike likes them so much. But the fact that they need to be refrigerated plays a large factor in why I tend to not put too many on each tray. I like to try to guarantee that they will be eaten quickly. These cookies are pretty rich, so I like to make them small. I use a very small cookie scoop, but you could even use a melon baller. These are so easy, you should definitely try them next holiday season :)

Oreo cookies were first developed in 1912 by Nabisco. They were developed to target the British market whose biscuits were viewed as too "ordinary" by Nabisco. Originally, they were rounded cookies that came in two flavors, lemon meringue and cream. The lemon meringue flavor was discontinued in the 1920s due to the popularity of the cream filling. The modern day Oreo was developed in 1952 by William A Turnier to include the Nabisco logo.

Oreo Truffles
1 box Oreos
1- 8oz block cream cheese
chocolate for dipping

Finely grind entire box of Oreos. Mix together with softened cream cheese. Form into balls. Dip each ball into melted chocolate of your choice. If they are too soft, you can chill before dipping them. I usually do some milk chocolate and some bittersweet.