Black Forest Cake

Black forest cake, or schwarzwälder kirschtorte, is a typical German dessert that consists of several layers of chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and cherry filling. The cake is typically decorated with whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate shavings.

In German tradition, sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top. Traditionally, the cake is made with kirschwasser (cherry water), a clear spirit that is made from sour cherries. German law mandates that any dessert labeled as “schwarzwälder kirschtorte” must include kirschwasser.

DSC_0772

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

FILLING

  • 1-1/2 cups cherry juice, divided
  • 2 cups jarred sour cherries, pitted
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup kirschwasser (optional)

TOPPING

  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 fresh cherries
  • 4 ounces good-quality chocolate, grated

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on high speed, beat egg whites with 1/2 cup granulated sugar until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine egg yolks with remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until thick and creamy. The mixture will change color from yellow to a paler color. Add the egg yolk mixture to the egg whites and carefully fold them in. DO NOT STIR!
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and cocoa powder. Sift the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and fold in carefully until combined.
  5. Transfer to the springform pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer entered in the center comes out clean, with only a few crumbs attached.
  6. Remove the ring from the pan and carefully turn cake onto a parchment-lined wire rack. Peel off parchment paper from the bottom and let cool completely. When cake is completely cool, use a serrated bread knife to cut the cake into three even layers.
  7. To make the filling, remove 1/4 cup of the cherry juice and combine in a small bowl with the cornstarch and sugar. Place the remaining 1-1/4 cups cherry juice in a small saucepan. Bring the juice to a simmer, remove from the heat, and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Bring the mixture back to a simmer, whisking constantly, until it starts to thicken. Whisk in the cherries and remove from the heat. Add in about half of the kirsch, if using, to the cherry mixture. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  8. To make the topping, beat the whipped cream in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, on high speed, until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes longer. (You may have to do this in two batches.) The whipped cream should be very stiff and spreadable, but be careful to not overwhip it. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. To assemble the cake, put a cake layer on the platter. You may use the springform ring to make it easier to assemble the cake. Drizzle some kirsch over the layer, then evenly spread half of the cherry mixture over the cake, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with some of the whipped cream, smoothing it out with a spatula. Repeat with another layer: cake, kirsch, other half of the cherries, cream, and another cake layer.
  10. Spread some of the whipped cream on top, then remove springform ring, then continue to spread whipped cream around the sides of the cake until it is completely covered. Leave about 3/4 cup cream for decoration.
  11. Decorate the sides and top of the cake with the grated chocolate. Pipe 16 swirls of whipped cream on top and then place a cheery on each cream swirl. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

black forest cake

Preheat oven to 350º F and line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on high speed, beat egg whites with 1/2 cup granulated sugar until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

In the same mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine egg yolks with remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until thick and creamy. The mixture will change color from yellow to a paler color.

Add the egg yolk mixture to the egg whites and carefully fold them in. DO NOT STIR!

DSC_0754

Sift the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and fold in carefully until combined.

DSC_0755

Transfer to the springform pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer entered in the center comes out clean, with only a few crumbs attached.

DSC_0756

Remove the ring from the pan and carefully turn cake onto a parchment-lined wire rack. Peel off parchment paper from the bottom and let cool completely. When cake is completely cool, use a serrated bread knife to cut the cake into three even layers.

DSC_0763

To make the filling, remove 1/4 cup of the cherry juice and combine in a small bowl with the cornstarch and sugar. Place the remaining 1-1/4 cups cherry juice in a small saucepan. Bring the juice to a simmer, remove from the heat, and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Bring the mixture back to a simmer, whisking constantly, until it starts to thicken. Whisk in the cherries and remove from the heat. Add in about half of the kirsch, if using, to the cherry mixture. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

DSC_0753

To make the topping, beat the whipped cream in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, on high speed, until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes longer. (You may have to do this in two batches.) The whipped cream should be very stiff and spreadable, but be careful to not overwhip it. Refrigerate until ready to use. m

To assemble the cake, put a cake layer on the platter. You may use the springform ring to make it easier to assemble the cake. Drizzle some kirsch over the layer,

DSC_0764

Then evenly spread half of the cherry mixture over the cake, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with some of the whipped cream, smoothing it out with a spatula.

DSC_0765

Repeat with another layer: cake, kirsch, other half of the cherries, cream, and another cake layer.

DSC_0766

Spread some of the whipped cream on top, then remove springform ring, then continue to spread whipped cream around the sides of the cake until it is completely covered. Leave about 3/4 cup cream for decoration.

DSC_0768

Decorate the sides and top of the cake with the grated chocolate.

DSC_0769

Pipe 16 swirls of whipped cream on top…

DSC_0771

and then place a cheery on each cream swirl.

DSC_0773

Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

DSC_0779

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.