The Origin Of  The Black Forest Cake

The Black Forest Cake or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is the most famous German cake, from the Schwarzwäld mountainous region, famous of black cherries plantations and dark chocolate. France also makes "Gâteaux La Forêt Noire", similar to the German one, usually, made with Chantilly cream, and Bigareaux cherries.

How It Is Made The Black Forest Cake?

In French culinary institutes, like Le Cordon Bleu, or Le Nôtre, it is obligatory to master the Black Forest Cake. The classic Black forest Cake, is made of three layers of Chocolate sponge cake (génoise), sprinkled with the Kirschwässer (cherry liquor), which is a region specialty, a rich Chantilly cream and cherries filling, flavored with the Kirschwässer, a conserved Morello cherries, and German or Swiss dark chocolate shavings. This recipe is a non-alcoholic one, it is a good cake to celebrate Mother's Day, or birthdays.

How To Make The German Black Forest Cake?

YIELD: 8-10 portions

Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 100 g                         all-purpose 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

Homemade Chantilly Cream 

  • 150 g                          powdered sugar
  • 700 g                         heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp                       vanilla extract

Cherry Syrup 

  • 100 g                          caster sugar
  • 100 g                          water
  • 100 g                          cherry water


(A) Making Chocolate Genoise

  1. Preheat  the oven  to  350° F. Grease the cake pan with butter, and line with 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 on high speed in an electric mixer, for almost 2 minutes until you get a foam. 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 portions, and fold again into the large portion of the batter.
  5. Pour the batter on the prepared pan, and bake, about 30 minutes, at 350° F.
  6. Let the cake to cool slightly, then unmold, to cool completely, on a wire rack.

(B) 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. Note: Chill your mixing bowl in the refrigerator before whipping the cream.

(C) Making Cherry Syrup 

  1. Boil the water with sugar to make a light syrup. Set aside to cool completely, then add cherry water to flavor the syrup (I prefer cherry extract).

The Assemblage Of The Black Forest Cake

Keep in mind that the assemblage of layered cakes, or entremet needs time, patience, and to work smoothly, otherwise, to get the perfect cut of the sponge cake, and an elegant finish of the cake.
  1. Slice three even layers of the chocolate sponge cake.
  2. Sprinkle the layers with cherry syrup to moisten the chocolate Genoise.
  3. Pipe a swirl ring with the whipped cream (Chantilly cream) over the first cake layer, using a #5 plain tip, then arrange the preserved cherries over the cream. Proceed with the second layer carefully, pipe the cream, then arrange 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 dark 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.

La Dorure Notes

  • Several recipes worldwide make the Black Forest Cake differently, but the best recipe still secret, just for a Schwarzwäldregion, as a German gastronomy heritage.
  • The good taste of  The Black Forest Cake depends on the best ingredients, the very heavy cream and the assemblage.

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