Black Forest Cherry Cake

  • Serves: Makes one 9-inch cake
  • Views: 41175

Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2011 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com





The Black Forest Cherry Cake, also known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is a classic combination of chocolate cake perfumed with Kirsch syrup, sweetened sour cherries, and whipped cream. Though the cake originated in Germany, it is copied and used all over Europe and called a Foret Noire in French and Foresta Nera in Italian. Making the cake is not done in a few minutes, however, the result is most rewarding. If you are in a hurry, you can use ready-made sponge cake layers from a good pastry shop.

Guidelines for a traditional German black forest cake recipe:
chocolate sponge layers, the bottom layer can also be a sweet shortcrust pastry
whipped cream or buttercream, or a combination of both
cherries and Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps, Kirsch) The cherry spirit flavour must be noticeable
the gateau is covered with whipped cream or butter cream and decorated with cream roses, cherries and grated chocolate.
CAKE RECIPE HELP

This delicious and show-stopping dessert is made from a couple of recipes and steps:
1 recipe Chocolate Sponge Cake - can be made a month in advance and frozen

STEP I: MAKE THE SOUR CHERRY FILLING - can be made in advance
STEP II: MAKE THE STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM - 8 cup recipe
STEP III: MAKE THE CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS AND CURL GARNISH
STEP IV: MAKE THE KIRSCH SYRUP AND ASSEMBLE THE CAKE. DECORATE.

STEP I: MAKE THE SOUR CHERRY FILLING
SOUR CHERRY FILLING / recipe alone
Makes enough to fill one, 9-inch three-layer cake

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 pounds pitted sour cherries, canned (3, 14-ounce cans) or frozen, drained
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps, Kirsch)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 drops red gel food coloring, optional - just helps with the color of the filling with naturally looks brownish

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Combine the cherries, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan.


2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally to avoid stirring and breaking up the cherries. Cook until the cherries have exuded their juices.
Remove the pan from the heat temporarily.

3. Whisk the Kirschwasser and cornstarch together in a small bowl and stir in a couple of spoonfuls of the hot cherry liquid.


4. Return the remaining cherries and liquid to a simmer.
Stir in the cornstarch mixture, continuing to stir until the filling has thickened and the juices are clear, about 1 minute.


Remove from heat and add the red gel food coloring, if using.


5. Scrape the rest of the filling into a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until it is cold.


STORAGE
Store in the refrigerator for about 5 days or freeze for a month or more. Thaw in the refrigerator.

STEP II: MAKE THE STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM
STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM
Makes 8 cups
NOTE: You will need 6 cups STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM to fill and frost the cake and 2 cups to pipe the 12 STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM ROSETTES and decorate the cake with.

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup cold water
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

4 cups (2 pints) chilled whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon flavored oil
4 tablespoons sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Prepare the gelatin:
A. Place the dry gelatin in a small bowl. Pour cold water over it. Let soak for 5 minutes.


B. Dissolve by placing it in a container over a small pot of simmering water. Set aside to let cool.
NOTE: Alternatively, you may dissolve the gelatin by heating it for 20 seconds in the microwave, under low power. Do not let it overheat. Let cool.

2. Prepare the whipped cream:
A. Place the empty bowl in the freezer to quickly chill.
Using an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream on high speed in its pre-chilled mixer bowl.
 

B. Just before it becomes soft and billowy, slowly add the sugar and vanilla extract to the whipped cream at the sides of the bowl.
Continue to whip on high as you do.


 

C. Whip the cream until it barely starts to stiffen. Stop the mixer.

D. Add melted and cooled gelatin to the cream mixture.
Kelly SAYS: I find there is less tendency for the cooled gelatin to for blobs in the finished whipped cream using my method:
1. First, take about 2 tablespoons of the cream from the mixer bowl.
 

2. Stir it into the cooled gelatin.
 

3. Return the cream/ gelatin mixture back into the main mixing bowl with the rest of the semi-whipped cream.


E. Continue to whip the cream on high until soft peaks form.
Finish beating with wire balloon whisk to adjust consistency, if necessary.


3. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

STORAGE
If storing, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 to 36 hours. If the cream separates in the refrigerator, whisk the cream together again with a large wire balloon whisk until it has come back together (do not rebeat with an electric mixer).

STEP III: MAKE THE CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS AND CURL GARNISH
CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS / How to
Makes about 1 cup
INGREDIENTS
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS
For the small chocolate shavings, I used a vegetable peeler on the side of a chocolate bar.

CHOCOLATE CURLS
INGREDIENTS
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch evenly sized pieces


INSTRUCTIONS
1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler, over previously simmering water, until ALMOST melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir until melted.
Or, microwave at 50% power on HIGH for 30 seconds at a time and stir after each session, until melted.

2. With an large offset icing spatula, spread the melted chocolate out on the back of the baking sheet.


3. Set aside at the cool side of room temperature for about 20 minutes until the sheen is off the chocolate. The chocolate should NOT be fully set.

4. Then, use a bench scraper or the edge of a sharp knife to scrape against the chocolate to make the curls.


STORAGE
If the room is warm, chill momentarily in the refrigerator until needed in the recipe.
Take out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before using to warm slightly.
For best and long term storage, store in an airtight container at the cool side of room temperature.

STEP IV: MAKE THE KIRSCH SYRUP AND ASSEMBLE THE CAKE. DECORATE.
Make the Kirsch Syrup:
KIRSCH SYRUP / recipe alone
INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps, Kirsch)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Add sugar to a small saucepan, fitted with a lid. Pour in water and stir.


2. Allow the mixture to simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off heat and let sit until cool.

3. Stir in the Kirschwasser.


STORAGE
Use immediately or refrigerate indefinitely in a covered container until needed.

Aseemble the Cake:
INGREDIENTS
STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM:
You will need 6 cups STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM to fill and frost the cake and 2 cups to pipe the 12 STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM ROSETTES and decorate the cake with.
Keep chilled until needed.
NOTE: Fit a large piping bag with a 1/2-inch star tube (Ateco #844) and fill it with the 2 cups of STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM. Place the bag, tip side down into a large glass, with a damp paper towel first placed in the bottom. Place in the refrigerator and make sure it stays chilled until needed.

INSTRUCTIONS
Fill the cake:
1. Slice the cooled CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE into three equal horizontal layers with a long, sharp serrated knife.


Reserve what was the bottom of the cake layer to serve as the top of the cake, as it will have the smoothest surface.

2. Place a 9-inch springform pan ring without a bottom on a 10-inch cakeboard cake round.


3. Place the top layer of the CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE, bottom-side-down, on the bottom, and generously brush with 1/3 of the KIRSCH SYRUP, taking care not to oversoak.


KELLY  SAYS: Then, using the filled piping bag, I like to pipe a dam of STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM around the outside of the layer, so the cherry filling doesn't seep out of the sides of the cake.


4. Spread the layer with half of the cooled CHERRY FILLING.


With a small offset icing spatula, spread about 1/4 of the 6 cups of STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM over the CHERRY FILLING.


5. Top with the middle layer of the CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE and repeat with 1/3 of the KIRSCH SYRUP.
Pipe a dam of STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM around the outside of the layer.
Fill with the remaining CHERRY FILLING, and another 1/4 of the 6 cups of STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM.








6. Place the top CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE layer on the STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM, with the flat bottom up.


Moisten with the remaining KIRSCH SYRUP.


7. Chill the cake for at least an hour.

Frost and decorate the cake:
INGREDIENTS
STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM:
You will need 6 cups STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM to fill and frost the cake and 2 cups to pipe the 12 STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM ROSETTES and decorate the cake with.
Keep chilled until needed.
NOTE: Fit a large piping bag with a 1/2-inch star tube (Ateco #844) and fill it with the 2 cups of STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM. Place the bag, tip side down into a large glass, with a damp paper towel first placed in the bottom. Place in the refrigerator and make sure it stays chilled until needed.

Chocolate Shavings
Chocolate Curls
12 fresh whole cherries with stems or whole Maraschino cherries, for decorations

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Set the cake on a cake stand. Unclamp the Springform pan sides and lift it from the chilled cake.


2. With a large offset icing spatula, spread the whole cake evenly with remaining 6 cups of STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM.


Quickly smooth the whipped cream.


3. With your fingertips, quickly press CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS against the side of the cake; make sure you do so quickly as not to melt the chocolate.


4. Pipe 2 cups of STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM in the prepared pastry bag, and form 12 rosettes around the top border of the cake.


5. Top each of the rosettes with one of the FRESH WHOLE CHERRIES WITH STEMS.


6. Place the CHOCOLATE CURLS in the center of the cake.


7. Refrigerate the cake, uncovered, for about an hour before serving.


SERVE
Serve this cake chilled.

STORAGE
The cake is highly perishable because of the whipped cream and should not stay out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours, at the cool side of room temperature.

Try to use up the cake on the day it is assembled. Keep the cake refrigerated for up to a few days.
The cake does not freeze well because of the whipped cream.