The humble Schwarzwald Torte is a cake that’s not humble at all......layers of chocolate sponge cake, cream, cherries and chocolate shavings all come together into a gloriously rich dessert......best served mid-afternoon with a creamy coffee. The best one I ever tasted was in a coffee shop in Bad Liebenzell (a spa town in the Black Forest), the coffee was sweet and the slice of cake was so large and rich that I almost couldn’t finish it (note that I said “almost” because of course I finished every crumb!).
So when a friend of ours asked if Chef had an easy recipe for Blackforest cake I was intrigued. He wanted to make one & had been trying to find a recipe on the Internet but found that they all looked very complicated. Chef grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany and has made countless Schwarzwald Tortes so he was the perfect person to ask. His opinion was that it looks complicated in recipes but isn’t so difficult to actually make. This might be true for a seasoned Chef but maybe not so for someone who’s not a confident cake maker (like myself!). Chef offered to teach our friend how to make an “easy” Blackforest cake by making one together, as he says it’s easier to understand the recipe if you’re being shown rather than trying to read and interpret it from a written text.
So our friend happily turned up to the kitchen in preparation for some serious cake making with all the ingredients in hand. Flour, eggs, chocolate, cherries, cream…but he hadn’t been able to find any Kirsch (Cherry Liqueur). Living in a Far North Queensland tourist town on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef may be glorious, but finding Kirsch at short notice is not the easiest thing here. The bottle shops didn’t have any and a trip to Cairns wasn’t practical.
Luckily Chef had a plan based on many years’ experience – he substituted the Kirsch with a mixture of Brandy & Cherry juice and the desired effect was achieved! One slightly boozy cake was on the way!
After lots of cooking and a few hours in the hot kitchen they had a magnificent Blackforest Cake which from what I understand was extremely tasty…..and Hayden had the step by step instructions he needed to be able to make another one.
The question still remained, is it easy to make a Blackforest Cake? You be the judge! You’ll need the following ingredients –
Cake Ingredients –
Please note this is an ingredient list for a basic sponge cake – you can use just about any chocolate cake recipe .
6 Eggs (60gr )
125gr Caster sugar (some of this is for the cherry mixture)
100gr plain flour
50gr corn flour
6gr baking powder
30gr good quality dark cocoa
pinch of salt
50gr Unsalted Butter melted
(“Lazy cook” cheat hint – a packet mix chocolate cake works just as well!)
Decorating Ingredients -
Large Jar of pitted cherries
1ltr of thickened cream
300gr Dark chocolate shavings
Pre-heat oven to 180 c
Combine the Eggs, sugar and pinch of salt in mixer and whip until fluffy.
Sift the flour, corn flour cocoa and baking powder and fold under the egg mix.
At last fold through the molten butter.
Poor mix into non stick 21cm cake tin and bake on 180 degrees celcius for about 30 -35 min, or until skewer comes clean out.
Once cooked and cooled, cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers – you’ll need a large knife and a steady hand.
Drain the bottle of cherries but keep the juice and keep 12 cherries aside to decorate the top of the cake.( In cherry season you can use fresh ones)
Put about 180ml of the juice, about 30gr of sugar and 25gr cornflour into a saucepan. Simmer over low heat while stirring until the mixture thickens. Once thickened add the drained cherries and pop it in the fridge to cool.
In a sauce pan bring 60ml of water with 60gr sugar to boil and then add the Kirsch.
Cool mixture before using.
Whip the cream until stiff.
Take the first layer of cake & lightly spread about ½ of the Kirsch mixture over the cake. With a piping bag and star nozzle pipe the cream in 3 circles on top of the first layer.
Arrange the thickened cherries in between.
Place the second layer of cake on top – repeat the process.
Place the third layer of cake on top. Cover the whole cake with the rest of the cream and then cover the sides in chocolate shavings. Save some shavings for the top of the cake.
With the rest of the cream pipe 12 cream rosettes around the edge of the cake top.
Finish the cake with the rest of the chocolate shavings and place cherries on the rosettes.
Now you have a Blackforest cake! Enjoy your Kaffee & Kuchen!