One of the best things to come of Germany (beside pretzels and bratwurst, of course) is the sinful Black Forest Cake. The ultimate dessert for die- hard chocoholics, this delicious cake consists of multiple layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream
and maraschino cherries and topped with even more whipped cream, chocolate and cherries! How can you go wrong with something like this?
In traditional Bavarian cuisine, they include kirchwasser as a component in the recipe. This is a liqueur made from tart cherries. You can also use rum or prepare it without alcohol. Your cake will taste just as good. There’s no denying that this is not an easy dessert to make but don’t get turned off by the lengthy recipe. Believe me, the effort is worth it! Happy baking!
Recipe: (for 12 servings)
- ½ cup (110 g) butter, softened
- 1+¼ cup (275 g) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1+¼ cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (50 g) unsweetened cocoa powder, natural
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk
For the filling:
- ¼ cup Kirschwasser (Kirsch/cherry brandy), optional
- 2 cans (14 oz or 400 g) cherry pie filling or pitted cherries
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Milk chocolate curls or shavings, for garnish
- Maraschino cherries or sweet cherries, for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F (Gas mark 4 or 180 deg C).
- Line a 9 inch (23 cm) cake pan with greaseproof or other non-stick paper.
- With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with sugar until white and fluffy.
- Add one egg at a time, mix well between each egg.
- Add sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and buttermilk, and mix until the batter is smooth.
- Transfer to a cake pan and bake at 350 degrees just until set in the middle, approximately 45-60 minutes. A wooden pick inserted in center should come out with just a few moist crumbs on it. Do not over-bake!
- When cake is cool, use a long serrated knife to cut the cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. It is easier to cut if kept in a refrigerator for a few hours before cutting.
- Drain cherry pie filling in a colander to remove most of the thickened juices.
- Beat the whipping cream with confectioners’ sugar until it thickens.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate; refrigerate until the cake is assembled.
- Sprinkle each layer of the cake with Kirschwasser.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate.
- Spread about one fifth of the whipped cream on the layer, and strew half of the cherries on top of the whipped cream.
- Add the second cake layer.
- Spread one fifth of the whipped cream on the second layer and the remaining cherries on top.
- Add the third cake layer.
- Spread one fifth of the whipped cream on top and one fifth on the sides. Gently press chocolate curls on the sides and/or on top of the cake.
Black Forest Cake is traditionally enjoyed as a tea- time cake but it’s so good that you can eat this sumptuous dessert at any hour!