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The Black Forest Cake (Gâteau La Forêt Noire) or “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte”, is the most famous German cake, coming from the “Schwarzwäld” mountainous region, famous for black cherries plantation and dark chocolate. To prepare for a CAP Pâtissier (Pastry Chef Diploma), you should master the Black Forest Cake, even in some Culinary Schools, the whipped cream of the filling is replaced by a classic chocolate mousse, which is a mixture of ganache and unsweetened whipped cream (Chantilly cream).

The original German Black Forest Cake is made of three layers of the classic chocolate sponge (génoise) cake, sprinkled with “Kirschwässer” (cherry liquor) a regional specialty, a rich Chantilly cream, and cherries filling flavored with “Kirschwässer”, a conserved Morello cherries, and dark chocolate shavings. This recipe is a non-alcoholic one, to celebrate Mother’s Day or New Eve year, or, to serve as a birthday cake.

How To Make The Black Forest Cake

Yield: 8-10 portions / 8-inch non-stick springform pan

Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 100 g       all-purpose flour or T55 flour
  • 180 g       superfine sugar
  • 50 g         unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 50 g         cornstarch
  • 70 g         butter, at room temperature
  • 6              eggs, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt

Chantilly Cream

  • 150 g       powdered sugar
  • 700 g       heavy cream 
  • 1/2 tsp “A” grade vanilla extract

Cherry Syrup

  • 100 g      granulated sugar
  • 100 g      water
  • 100 g      cherry water
  • 500 g      preserved sour cherries, for the filling; strain and preserve the water

For Decorating

Method/ Preparation

Making Chocolate Genoese Cake

  1. To Make The Black Forest Cake, start by preheating the oven to  350° F. Grease the cake pan with butter, and line it with a parchment circle.
  2. Combine the eggs with sugar in a bowl, then set over a pan of barely simmering water (bain-marie) and whisk until the mixture reaches 110°F.
  3. Whip the mixture at high speed in an electric mixer, for almost 2 minutes until you get a foam with the maximum. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and mix for 7 minutes more to stabilize the mixture.
  4. Fold in the flour (sift the flour with cocoa powder and salt), add the butter with a small portion, and fold again into the large portion of the batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake, for about 30 minutes, at 350° F.
  6. Let the cake cool slightly, then unmold, to cool completely, on a wire rack.

Making The Chantilly Cream

  1. Whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla (extract or beans), using an electric mixer or a balloon whisk, until it forms soft peaks. Divide into three portions
  2. Note: Chill your mixing bowl in the refrigerator before whipping the cream.

Making Cherry Syrup

  1. Boil the water with sugar to make a light syrup. Set aside to cool completely
  2. Add cherry water to flavor the syrup ( it’s preferable to use cherry extract).

The Assemblage Of The Black Forest Cake

Note: Keep in mind that the assemblage of any layered cake or “entremet” needs time, and patience and works smoothly to get the perfect cut, and an elegant finish to the cake.

  1. Slice three even layers of the sponge cake.
  2. Sprinkle the layers with cherry syrup to moisten the cake.
  3. Pipe a swirl ring with the whipped cream (Chantilly cream) over the first cake layer, using a #5 plain tip, and arrange the preserved cherries over the cream. Proceed with the second layer carefully, pipe the cream, then arrange the cherries.
  4. Cover the cake with the third layer, and spread evenly the remaining whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake.
  5. Make ten whipped cream rosettes, garnish with cherries, pile some chocolate shavings on the center of the cake, and garnish the sides with the remaining chocolate shavings, by gently pressing.
  6. Keep the Black Forest Cake in the refrigerator, until serving time. 

Chef’s Note:

  • Several recipes worldwide make the Black Forest Cake differently, but the best recipe is still secret, and kept in the “Schwarzwäld ” region, as a German gastronomy heritage, there, you can test the best “Shwarzwälder Kirshtorte“.
  • Detailed recipe of Genoese Cake.

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