Cake is always the de facto birthday dessert. And Black Forest Cake takes the cake!

Ingredients

Cake:
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Syrup:
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water

Frosting:
4 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Additional:
½ cup M n M’s (preferably mini-size)
½ cup slivered almonds (roasted)
Semisweet (dark) chocolate shavings
Semisweet (dark) chocolate chips

Directions

Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. Beat eggs (one at a time), sugar and vanilla extract until a thick whip (approximately 8 minutes)
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt; add in batches and fold thoroughly making sure not to deflate the mixture
  4. Add the butter and mix gently
  5. Grease a 9″ springform mold and refrigerate for the butter to harden and stick
  6. Pour the cake batter into the pan, spreading evenly
  7. Bake until done (an inserted toothpick should come out clean), about 15-20 minutes depending on oven
  8. Let it cool to room temperature

Syrup:

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally (to dissolve sugar)
  3. Cook for 2 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature

Frosting:

  1. In a large stainless steel bowl, slightly mix cream, sugar and vanilla
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours
  3. Also refrigerate the whisk attachment
  4. Whip the mixture medium-high speed until it holds firm peaks

Assembly:

  1. Using a long serrated knife, carefully cut cake horizontally into equally sized layers
  2. Place the bottom layer on a cake stand
  3. Brush liberally with syrup, let it soak
  4. Spread frosting using a spatula evenly covering the surface
  5. Nestle the M-n-M’s evenly over the top
  6. Place the next layer of cake on top
  7. Repeat the above steps until all cake layers are incorporated
  8. Cover the final assembly with frosting to cover all sides
  9. Decorate as per wish with cream flower, chocolate chips, almonds
  10. Sprinkle the cake sides with chocolate shavings