Black Forest Cake

Ingredients for the cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions to make the cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined. Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until soft and creamy. Add eggs, one at the time. Add flour mixture and milk into the cream, a little at the time. Continue mixing until the batter is well mixed. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, transfer to the wire rack to cool slightly. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
Ingredients for the meringue buttercream icing:
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
Directions to make meringue buttercream icing:
  • First, make sure that your saucepan, bowl(s) and utensils you'll use to make this icing is clean and grease free. Wash them thoroughly, dry them, wet a paper towel with some lemon juice and wipe  each one of them with it to remove any excess of grease.
  • Place egg whites, sugar and salt in a heated double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water), whisk gently until the egg whites are hot and the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until the icing is thick and creamy. Add butter pieces into the batter, continue beating until the icing is smooth and silky. Lastly, add rum into the icing and mix well. 
Other ingredients:
  • 1 can pitted cherries (drain, rinse and each cut in half), divide into 3 portions
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (optional)
  • Chocolate morsels (optional)
To assemble the cake:
  • Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the top of each take horizontally so that they're level. Cut each cake again horizontally, half way from the bottom, into two layers. Brush all 4 layers of cake with dark rum.
  • Take 1/2 cup of icing and spread it on a layer of cake. Place 1 portion of pitted cherries evenly over the icing. Cover with another layer of cake. Repeat the process with the remaining cake, leaving the top layer without the cream and cherries. 
  • Cover the top and sides of the cake with the icing, spread the icing and smooth it using decorating spatula. Transfer the remaining icing into a piping bag with big star tip attached. Pipe the rosettes on the bottom and top parts of the cake. Add raspberries on top and chocolate morsels on each rosette, if desired. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours before serving.