“One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Black Forest CakeIt’s been ages since I made a Black Forest Cake. Cherries have flooded the market of late and this quintessential cherry dessert cake called my name! I made this before flying down to Goa. Typically, the day I decided to bake the cake everything had to go wrong, leaving me in a race against time, and I had to turn to my jar of canned cherries! The Black Forest Cake is a cake lovers delight, one that I shall hopefully make again this summer with balsamic cherries!Black Forest Cake The ‘not quite so terrible anymore‘ teen did well in her exams and is on a chocolate high. She wants chocolate ALL THE TIME. The BFC seemed a good choice. It reminds me of the LBD, a wardrobe essential one that one must have. The BFC is somewhat similar in culinary context. IMHO, A BFC recipe is one every baker worth their crumb must be able to turn out fuss free! Black Forest Cake Black Forest Cake Harini aka The Sunshine Mom was here a while ago. I dashed into town to meet her on her way back from a trek in the Himalayas, and  took her a box of cherries. She got back the next day and made a Gluten free BFC! It was soon my turn to have a go too! Black Forest Cake I’ve been through a few BFCs in my baking life. Even before it came to blogging, I used to happily whip out Black Forest Cakes, a cake popular in India in many local avatars, often far away from the German version. It’s still one of the most popular birthday cakes here, and one of the most searched things on PAB!Black Forest CakeMy last one was a BFC from The Cake Bible that I posted here. It used far more chocolate than I could afford at the time. This version is simpler, much simpler and gets made faster. To get a nice mature flavour, it’s worth making this a day in advance. I used a cocoa version on my to-go-sponge recipe for the base. ’twas a cake in a hurry!!chiliesIt’s the peak of summer here 45C, HOT enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk, hot enough to lend colours to chilies. The Indian summer is sizzling at it’s bbq best so I was worried about the cream not whipping up. Something strange happened! My 18% fat cream began whipping up to hold medium soft peaks as you can see! It’s the second time this happened.Quark Cheesecake Cherry PieIt worked the first time on this experimental Quark Cherry Cheesecake Pie. I intended to retry the recipe but the terrible teen pleaded chocolate. I chilled the low fat cream overnight and whipped it non stop at high speed, and whipped it some more, and some more. Soon, strangely enough it began to thicken … Yippee! For all you fellow bakers in India, do let me know if this works for you too?Black Forest Cake


Recipe: Black Forest Cake
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Summary: A quintessential party cake. Chocolate, cherries and cream come together to make this version of the traditional German favourite.

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes {plus cooling/chilling time}

  • Chocolate Sponge
  • {recipe based on the weight of eggs. Can be doubled}
  • 3 eggs {approx 150g}, separated
  • 50g plain flour {the weight of flour + cocoa + cornflour+1/2 the weight of eggs}
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 5g cornflour
  • 75g vanilla sugar {the sugar is half the weight of the eggs}
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • Filling & Topping
  • 250g canned cherries, pitted {reserve some for topping}
  • 5g {1tsp} cornflour
  • 15ml {1tbsp} Kirsch
  • 400g low fat cream, chilled
  • 45g powdered sugar
  • Fresh cherries and chocolate for garnishing 


  1. Chocolate Sponge
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Line the bottom and sides of a 6″ round tin with parchment paper.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  5. Beat the egg yolks with 25g sugar over a bowl of simmering water till thick and mousse like. remove from water and continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Wash and dry the beaters, and with clean beaters whip the egg whites with the remaining sugar to stiff peaks. Fold into the yolk mixture.
  7. Fold in the sifted flour mix gently, then fold in the oil.
  8. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes / until the cake springs back when touched lightly or the tester comes out clean.{Don’t overbake it or the sponge will be dry}
  9. Cool in tin on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out gently and completely cool before cutting into 3 even layers.
  10. Filling:
  11. Mix 1 tsp of cornflour in a little cherry juice. Reserve.
  12. Bring 200ml of the cherry juice to a simmering boil.  Reduce until thick and syrupy, stirring constantly. {Syrup should be quite thick and not runny; will thicken more as it cools}. Take off heat. Stir in juice of 1/2 lime. Cool completely, add pitted cherries and Kirsch. Chill until required.
  13. Beat the cream with sugar until medium stiff peaks.
  14. Assemble:
  15. Place a layer of cake on serving platter and brush with some of the liquid from the reduced cherry filling mixture. Top with 1/3 whipped cream and half cherry mixture {reserve 1-2tbsp for top}. Repeat with next 2 layers. Top with fresh cherries, reserved cherry mixture and chocolate gratings.
  16. Chill for 3-4 hours {better overnight} for the flavours to mature.


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“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October”
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Plum Frozen YogurtHAPPY OCTOBER! Seems meaningless to even ask how we got to October so quick. Bat an eyelid and the month is gone. I associate October with Pinktober, a month laced in PINK to signify ‘Breast Cancer Awareness‘. I’ve tried to post pink in October year after year, at least a couple of posts, so am excited to begin October 2011 in a rather PINK way with this delicious low fat Plum Frozen Yogurt.Plum Frozen YogurtIt’s a result of the dieting diva suddenly kicking straight back into dieting mode after lying low for a month! That gave me reason enough to reach out for the last of the late summer stone fruit I had frozen in the beginning of September. The colour that the fruit offer when combined with dairy makes my heart sing PINK!!Plum Frozen Yogurt

Plum Frozen Yogurt A fitting way to begin October, and a rather refreshing delicious one too. If you still have late summer fruit hanging around, grab them, stone them, slice the fruit and freeze them. This is where the thermomix kicks in. It loves making ice creams and frozen yogurt out of frozen fruit. Just a matter of minutes and this addictive pink treat was done.Plum Frozen YogurtThe addition of vanilla sugar and kirsch give it that special flavour. It’s a  refreshing and beautifully coloured low fat frozen treat; a nice end to preserved excess fruit of summer. I added kirsch in there thanks to a tip from Monsieur Lebovitzs kirsch post to use it to enhance flavours when using stone fruit. Just a tbsp is enough to lend this fro yo a special flavour, and keep it from freezing rock hard.Plum Frozen YogurtYou can see that summer is leaving us as the frozen yogurt didn’t immediately disappear into puddles this time. We are experiencing cool and pleasant mornings and evenings; the days aren’t too bad either. I love this time of the year. Its comfortable and enjoyable. OctoberThe garden is buzzing with butterflies, bees, dragonflies and the flower beds look happy. I just got the gardener to sow herb  seeds and had him pot chrysanthemum cuttings. Yes, the weather is great, and the pooch is happy. Coco spends her days chasing butterflies in the garden all day long. She even got stung by a bee, the poor thing!


Plum Frozen Yogurt

Prep Time: 15 hours

Total Time: 15 hours

Yield: 1 litre

Plum Frozen Yogurt

A refreshing and beautifully coloured low fat frozen treat. The addition of vanilla sugar and kirsch give it that special flavour. This is a nice way to preserve excess fruit of summer for later use.


650gms frozen plum wedges {stoned/with skin}

200gm hung yogurt {drained well overnight}, chilled in freezer for 2-3 hours

200gm vanilla sugar {reduce if plums are sweet}

1 tbsp kirsch


  1. This is a Thermomix recipe. You can make it with the same proportions if you have an ice cream maker or by hand too.
  2. Place chilled hung yogurt, frozen plum wedges, kirsch and almost all vanilla sugar in bowl of TM. Process for 1 minute at Speed 10 till thick and smooth. Taste and add remaining sugar if required.Process further, scraping sides with TM spatula until well blended.
  3. Serve immediately or place in freezer safe bowl in freezer.

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Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling I’ve been itching to have a go at macarons again, our monthly ‘ritual‘ at MacTweets! I’ve had my failures often in the past few months thanks to the humidity, but the charm of these delightful feet spur me on. Met with some success yesterday – Vanilla Macarons with Quark, Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling = BIG YUM!! Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry FillingThe monthly Mactweets challenge that I co-host with the very talented MacQueen Jamie @ Lifes A Feast is inspiration enough. Despite all odds, I found success in these vanilla macarons. Warm and humid weather often plays spoilsport, though I manage to make these delightful Black Sesame Macarons with Cherry Chocolate Ganache in July for Shulie @ Food Wanderings for her tree nut free macaron series.Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry FillingI sat there looking at my aging egg whites on the counter, now into day 2, as my world whizzed by. Mr PAB was dashing to catch a flight, the terrible teen dashing to catch the elusive school bus for her exam {the preteen is thankfully in the car 5 minutes before departure}, the pooch having discovered a new vocation … becoming a missile! Coco the cocker spanielShe climbs onto anything within reach and launches herself fearlessly across the room in the most alarming manner, hoping to scale the bed, the dining table … anything! Quite the entertainer, and ever charming, NAUGHTY is her middle name!Coco the cocker spanielIn the midst of this madness, I sat there thinking the month had flown and I hadn’t got to feet yet. It was going to be now or never! The minute Mr PAB put a foot out of the door, I slammed it shut and raced to whip the whites! Happiness is … seeing feet appear. Not poochy feet, not kidlet feet, not Mr PABs feet – but macaron feet of course!Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling

Flowers from my gardenPairing is always fun though my filling is always done on fast track as I’m never sure I’ll find the characteristic macaron frills. I wanted something light and white. Thought I’d do a white chocolate ganache this time around, but … sigh! Looked into the larder; poor stock keeping meant no white chocolate. Hmmm…Toulouse France Mr PAB was in France last month and I asked him to get me some kirsch, frangelico, kahlua etc. Lost in a HUGE French store, all he could locate in his 10 minute stopover was Kirsch as the cherries‘ caught his eye! Good enough as I had the occasional black forest cake in mind.Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling He got me a big bottle and a check on Monsieur Lebovitzs kirsch post tells me it’ll keep me happy for a decade! Quick brain storming and I zeroed in on kirsch to flavour some homemade quark cheese I had made day before. Quark is slightly tangy {since it is a curd cheese} so I thought dried tart cherries, chopped really fine, would compliment the sweetness of the shells!Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling My love for stone fruit makes kirsch one of my favourite liqueurs. I found nirvana in these beauties … taste, flavour, fruit {cherries=stone fruit}, colour and FEET of course! BINGO! Great great pairing for pretty little feet!Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling This August, for MacTweets, Jamie and I sent the call out for MAC ATTACK #22 – KICK IT UP!  We indulge in a little grown-up gratification, a dash of luxury, a hint of mischief. Candy is dandy, macarons are marvelous, but liqueur is the Mac Attack theme!Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling Whatever your tipple, create something intoxicating, heady with flavor … a macaron kissed by your favorite liqueur. If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, go ahead and replace the liqueur with an extract of your choice.

Do you want to join us making MACARONS?

If you do, you are most welcome to join us  for this challenge, or the next. You can find all the information at our dedicated macaron blog MacTweets. We generally post the round-up by the end of every month, following which a new challenge is posted!

Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling [print_this]

Recipe: Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling
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Summary: Vanilla Macarons sandwiched with a heady low fat quark kirsch and tart cherry filling. Nirvana in every dainty bite!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Vanilla Macarons
  • 1 egg white, aged 2 days
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup powdered vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 tsp egg white powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • Quark Kirsch Tart Cherry Filling
  • 1/2 cup quark, well drained {home made recipe here}
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar
  • Handful dried tart cherries, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp kirsch


  1. Vanilla Macarons
  2. Preheat oven to 140C.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Blend the powdered sugar, almond meal and egg white powder briefly in the bowl of your food processor to mix. {you can sift it too}
  5. In a large clean bowl, beat the egg white for about 20 seconds till it appears foamy. Gradually add the granulated vanilla sugar and continue to beat till it becomes firm and holds peaks, about 2 minutes.
  6. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg white with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and falls in ribbons like molten lave, stop folding. {Do not overmix}
  7. Using a teaspoon, or piping bag, drop / pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1″ circles evenly spaced one-inch apart.
  8. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then rest for about an hour.
  9. Bake them for about 15 minutes until the shells feel firm to touch.
  10. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
  11. Filling:
  12. In a bowl whisk the quark with powdered sugar until smooth, and add the kirsch and chopped tart dried cherries. Adjust sweetness if desired.
  13. To assemble:
  14. Match equal halves of macarons, and keep together.
  15. Use a small spoon and deposit a tiny amount of quark filling on the flat side of the macaron and sandwich with another half of the same size, squeezing gently. Leave to set in fridge.{These are best eaten the same day.}
  16. Notes: I bake my macarons on the upper shelf in my oven, using just the lower element for heat. I also use double baking trays.


I would like to thank the very sweet Alli at Pease Pudding for nominating me for this wonderful best blog award. I met Alli, who blogs from New Zealand, a while ago over this awesome ‘same day focaccia‘. I made a ‘Roasted Garlic Focaccia‘ that day, and was hooked to Alli’s beautiful blog.
The award invites you to answer a few questions about yourself, and then pass it on to 5 other bloggers. Here we go … first the Q & A session, and then the nominees!

Whats your favourite colour?
Black … I’ve tried to change it, but it’s so part of me!
Whats your favourite song?
I Feel Good {James Last} & Ain’t No Sunshine {Bob Marley’s version} … and so many more…
What is your favourite dessert?
Anything with coffee …
Whats pissing you off?
A cluttered kitchen
When you’re upset you…
Chop in a frenzy!
Black OR white?
Biggest fear?
Feetless macarons!
Your best feature?
A good memory {don’t know how long it’ll last though …} and the will to share whatever little I know
Everyday attitude….
Hit the ground running … and try make the most of everyday!
What is perfection?
Fruit bake in the oven {… I contemplated clean kids rooms? Nah, that’s perfection not possible}
Guilty pleasure…
Bitter chocolate

My nominated bloggers off the top of my head, all fun, talented food bloggers who share a similar passion … I ♥ their blogs!
Shulie @ Food Wanderings
Hana @ Heavenly Housewife
Ken @ Hungry Rabbit
Barbara @ Creative Culinary
Shaz @ Test With A Skewer

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The

Times of India

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