I’ve got the goods, lovelies! I cornered my mother-in-law and held her hostage until she showed me how to make the infamous family favorite, Schwarwalder Kirsch Torte (or as you may know it..Black Forest Cake.) Ok, so maybe I didn’t hold her hostage…and maybe she actually was excited to show me. Just maybe.
I’m ready to share the recipe but first you should know that some of these ingredients are not easily found in the US. Actually, for those of you who have made this cake here, maybe you can help us all out to find better equivalents for a few of these. You can get the majority of these items in import/export stores and online on Amazon as well for a steep price. Also, I apologize for the pictures. I was writing down the recipe (trying to translate in my head), talk, help stir, and take pictures of each step. It was NOT an easy task…but I do these things for you people because I care. 🙂
First things first….The cake part. Please note that this particular recipe for cake is standard for any “Torte” that you are making. Anything with fresh berries or cream (sahne) you will use this same basic recipe. Just remove the cacao. Cacao is strictly for chocolate cake or mainly used with the Black Forest Cake.
What You Will Need:
6 eggs (Separate whites and yolks in two different mixing bowls)
200 grams/ 1 cup of sugar (Can use 250 grams but the cake is sweet enough so we use less)
Butter to grease the pan
300 grams/3 cups Flour (Best to use half all purpose flour, King Arthur brand is really good, and half cake flour)
15 grams/ 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Pure Cacao (Can use hot chocolate if you don’t have this on hand.)
How To Make It:
Preheat oven to 150 Celcius or 300 Fahrenheit.
Take the 6 egg whites and beat with a mixer until you have a meringue.
Take the 6 egg yolks, add 6 tablespoons of luke warm water. Next, take your sugar and mix with the egg yolks. You can add a couple teaspoons of vanilla flavored sugar or vanilla extract to the sugar, but it’s not necessary. Just added flavor. Beat the egg yolk mixture until it’s almost white.
Spread butter on your spring-form baking pan and up the sides as well (I use a 28cm pan). Add a little bit of flour and shake around to cover the bottom of the pan. Shake out any excess.
Next take your 150 grams of all purpose flour and 150 grams of cake flour and mix together. Add in your baking powder and mix gently. Next add in your Cacao and mix until combined. Add the entire flour mixture slowly to the egg yolk mixture as you beat.
Add a little bit of the meringue you made with the egg whites (about half) to the flour and egg yolk mixture. This keeps the cake from becoming too hard and helps to soften it. Once combined, remove the beaters and mix very slowly with a spatula the remaining meringue until it is fluffy.
Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Test with a fork. Note: DO NOT open the oven door once during those 30 minutes. Strict orders from my mother-in-law.
Let the cake cool completely. Once cooled, Turn cake over so bottom is facing up (this will allow for the top of the cake to be a bit more even), cut about an inch all the way around in two different places, making three layers.
Take regular old sewing string and holding both ends bring very slowly through to complete the cutting of the sections. My M-I-L brought the string towards her, crossing her hands to make an X to make sure the entire section was cut.
Remove the top two layers, leaving the last layer as is. You will need an adjustable cake ring to hold everything in place for adding the filling.
Next up: The Filling!!!
What You Will Need:
100 gram/ 1 jar of sour cherries in juice. (NOTE: In the US this hasn’t been easy to find. They do have them in the canned fruit section..usually on the top shelf. Make sure you get the TART cherries. Also, you can buy the German ones here: BavariaSausage.com)
Cornstarch mixed with water to thicken
Kirschwasser (most liquor stores have this, you will need about a cup approximately so not too much..but a little extra on hand is always good for drinking in between :-))
800 grams/28.5 ounces of whipping cream (30% fat is ideal)
2 packages of Sahnesteif/ Whipped Cream Stabilizer (King Arthur brand, which carries a good flour that is similar to that in Germany, also carries Instant Food Starch or there is also by the Dr. Oetker brand, Whipped Cream Stabilizer. The higher fat content of the whipping cream also will help the stiffness in the end if you can’t find the stabilizers.)
Finely Shaved Chocolate Pieces
How To Make It:
Remove the juice from the jar of cherries and pour into small pot. Save the cherries for later, keeping about 16 completely separate for decoration. Heat cherry juice on high and add in the cornstarch mixture while continuously whisking. Bring to a boil and add cherries to pot. Mix gently and remove from heat to allow to harden.
Sprinkle 4 Tablespoons of Kirschwasser over the top of the bottom layer of cake. Once cherries have hardened, Use a spoon to spread over the top of the bottom layer evenly. When finished, sprinkle a little more Kirschwasser on top of the cherry mixture. Using a spoon helps to sprinkle this evenly.
In large bowl, mix whipping cream with 2 packages of whipping cream stabilizer and beat. Add 2 tablespoons Kirschwasser and continue to beat. Add approximately one tablespoon of sugar to the cream mixture. You don’t want it too sweet. Germans don’t do sugar like us Americans do…hence why their cakes are way more amazing! Whipping cream is done when you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing comes out. 🙂 True story. Spread just a little bit of the whipped cream to the top of the cherries. Just to give it that extra thickness and taste.
Take your 2nd layer of cake and place it on top of the cherry mixture. Again, sprinkle 4 Tablespoons of Kirschwasser over the cake. Next, spread the whipping cream to cover the top of your 2nd layer cake. Be generous with this layer, majority of the cream will be here.
Finally, place your 3rd layer of cake on top of the other two. With the remaining whipping cream mixture, spread evenly on top making sure it is smooth. Save a little bit to do the sides. Remove the cake ring and spread the whipped cream along the sides, smooth and evenly, saving a small amount to decorate the top.
Depending on how many cherries you saved to decorate for the top you can use one of the fancy frosting decorating thingy majiggies or you can do it the old fashioned way like I do with a plastic bag with the corner cut off. Put remaining whipped cream in bag and squirt into small puffs of fun on top of the cake. Place your cherries on top of said puffs of fun, sprinkle your shaved chocolate pieces on top and VOILA! You have made yourself a traditional Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte!
Keep in cool area or refrigerate until ready to eat. (Cream melts, you know!)
Hope this was helpful and for those of you who asked me to post this, I hope this fills up your home with the tradition you know and love! Guten Appetit!
Until next time, Readers!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxox
2 thoughts on “A Family Recipe: Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte (Black Forest Cake)”
Dear sugar & spice,
this sounds like a good recipe! And you (and your MIL) are absolutely right to bake a fresh bisquit cake-base. Buying a prebaked one is a big no-no!
But: only a single tablespoon of cacao for the three layers? Why not treat yourself to some more chocolate goodness? Makes a nice dark (chocolate) to white (cream) contrast, too!
All the best and “bon appetite”,
Hi Martin! Thanks for stopping in! To be honest, I’m not sure why she only used a little bit of cacao but knowing my MIL, she’s not big in to sweet stuff and I can assume that is why she does it that way. I have had this in other places where it is almost too overpowering with the Chocolate flavor however it looked beautiful as well! When I make my cake I’m sure I will be adding a bit more cacao 🙂