Black Forest Cake

Continuing my obsession, I ended up with a huge can of cherries. Tinned, syrupy cherries. Why would I do that when there were fresh cherries available outside?  Ahh well, there come in the complexities of purchase decisions and I have decided not to bore you with them.

So the next in my fruity fixation was the Black Forest Cake / Black Forest gâteau. I searched far and wide for write ups, blogs, recipes, etc, etc about the cake. And the first time, I got nothing. Nothing. Were people not eating this dessert anymore? Had bloggers not tried it before? What am I supposed to do with a million images? I want experiences. Of course, I hit treasure a second time. And I wish I had read Heston Blumenthal’s article  from the Sunday Times before. It even has an authentic German recipe that I would have loved to try (sure, give me 8 hours straight, and oh, the ingredients are welcome too)

Now I have a history with this particular cake. Yes history. Two decades worth. I have been eating it since my first birthday (and I have pictures to prove it. Really.) from this one particular bakery. It had a royal status every single vacation. Black Forest gâteau was rare in the places I lived. So every holiday, I had to eat this cake (never mind all the other delicasies I had to make up for either). And from then on, I compare every cake to that particular cake from that particular bakery. No other cake was as good. Ever. (Except the one my Mom made; naturally. But read on, the authentic version, did change my mind)

Black Forest Cake or Schwarzwälder kirschtorte is a German cake and as I belived till date, it is not named after the German ‘Black Forest’ but rather the cherry liquor from the region - Schwarzwälder Kirsch otherwise known to me as Kirsch.  That cherry liquor is the main flavour of the cake. And I tell you it’s good. I have had black forest cake in the black forest region soaked in Kirsch, and I think it beat every other. Schwarzwälder kirschtorte (Don’t ask me to pronounce that, I know French, not German. Yet. If you want to know, Google it) translates to ‘Black Forest cherry torte’ .

You can find the recipe for this cake here in the recipe section of my blog. When you see the recipe, you’ll notice that the amount of flour is quite less – just about ¾ of a cup. But don’t worry, that amount would work wonders. Secondly, I felt that the amount of cocoa mentioned to be slightly less for a chocolate cake; hence I increased the cocoa to 3 heaped tablespoons. I wasn’t keen initially, I didn’t want anything to affect the quality of the sponge cake, but the batter looked too pale to me to qualify to be chocolate sponge. So I chanced it. It did not change anything about the cake, but that was not the source of problems. More on that later.

Once you beat the eggs, make sure they really double in volume. They turn into a pale yellow mousse like batter. At this stage, add the sifted flour to the batter. No I suggest you sift the flour directly into the batter. Because, that way, the batter retains more air. Now comes the tricky part. The dry mix immediately starts to sink in the centre. At this stage, work fast; incorporate all the flour into the egg mixture by cutting the mixture and folding gently with a steel spoon or a spatula. Don’t whisk it, or you’ll take out the air. And don’t worry if a few lumps stay, they’ll blend in when they bake.

Once the cakes are done, cool them completely. Overnight if possible. Keep them in the fridge for a couple of hours before you start icing.

Now Black Forest is 3 main ingredients. Cherries. Cream. Chocolate. Simple? Should be. Cherries – check. Chocolate – (after last minute call to Mom) check. Cream – check (The first ingredient I purchased for this cake). My friend, who makes an exceptional Black Forest Cake, gets cream from some specific small local dairy. Which is what I should have done in the first place. Used the unprocessed stuff. Natural. But I went and bought a carton of cream (a famous brand at that) with all the pretty pics on it. (Go ahead. Say it. I am an impulsive shopper.)

I paid the price with an aching shoulder for 2 days. How? I used my blender to whip the cream to a stiff icing stage, but my blender got so hot in the process that I had to turn it off. Then I had to use my balloon hand whip and do it the old fashioned way. I whipped and whipped (I just realised, that does not make me look good) but the cream wouldn't come together. I tried to cool it and then beat it, but every time I stopped, it turned liquid within about 5 minutes. I gave up. I finally froze it so that it would at least hold shape when I was icing the cakes. The result? Let’s just say, I could have done a lot better. My previous attempts have been quite OK. The Eggless Black Forest  was eccentric and unconventional  


  1. Loved it :)
    When do i cum to eat it ;)


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