Black Forest Cake

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Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte)

A classic cake of cherries, chocolate and cream invented by patissier Josef Keller at an upscale cafe near Bonn in the 1920s. Keller came from the Black Forest region, hence the name (this is speculation, but sounds right).
Servings 12


  • 4 squares semi sweet chocolate 1 oz each
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour plus 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/4 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs separated

For the filling:

  • 1 can tart, pitted red cherries 14-1/2 ounces
  • 1/4 cup Kirsch
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tsp cherry Jell-O
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2-1 square semisweet chocolate for garnish 1 oz each square


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan

For the dough:

  • Grate the chocolate in a food processor to a very fine consistency. Mix it with the flour, baking powder,cocoa and 2 tablespoon water.
  • Beat the butter with the sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks until creamy and pale yellow. Add it to the batter.
  • Beat the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks and fold them into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until done. Check fo doneness with a toothpick. Cool and remove from the pan. Keep in a dry, cool place.

For the filling:

  • Strain the cherries nd reserve the juice (you should have 3/4 to 1 cup juice). Sprinkle the cherries with kirschwasser brandy, cover and let stand for a few hours
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in a few tablespoons of the juice. Heat the juice in a small saucepan and whisk in the cornstarch. Stir vigorously and cook over very low heat until mixture thickens and becomes clear again. Sweeten with the sugar and add the cherries. Remove from the heat, and cool.
  • Whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar in a chilled bowl until firm but not too stiff. Dissolve the Jell-O in the hot water and set it over a bowl of ice water. Stir continously until it cools. Blend the Jell-O with the whipped cream.
  • Remove the cake from the pan and cool it completely on a cake rack. Cut it horizontally into two layers. (A neat and easy way of doing this is to first use a sharp knife to make two 1/4 inch incisions all around the cake. For each incision, end at the same spot where you started. Then take a piece of heavy twine or dental floss the diameter of the cake plus enough twist around the fingers. Pull the twine taut between your fingers and slide through the incision. Using the twine like a saw, cut slowly through the cake.) Spread the cherries evenly on the bottom layer. Top with 1/3 of the cream. Place the other layer neatly on top. Brush off the crumbs and spread the remaining cream evenly on the entire cake. Grate the chocolate finely over the cake and chill.
  • Black Forest Cake can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days. I find that it tastes best the second day.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Baden Wuerttemberg
Keyword: Black Forest, cherries, Chocolate, Whipped Cream
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