A Family Recipe: Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte (Black Forest Cake)

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.

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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.

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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.



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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






A German Bucket List

The truth is, I’ve been in Germany for just a few months shy of two years and there is no telling when I’ll make it back to the states. Ill admit that lately I’ve become more accepting of the culture around me and much more comfortable with the life I do have here. With that being said, regardless of time…I’m making a bucket list for Germany.

Here we go

1. Learn how to bake 3 different German tortes/cakes.

2. Snowboard on the Alps.

3. Try to have a whole conversation in German without ANY grammar mistakes!

4. Make crafty stuff/cookies and sell it at the famous Christmas Markets.

5. Try out a Zumba class in German and stick with it!

6. Start up a once-a-month game night with friends.

7. Go to Berlin and be a massive tourist.

8. Learn how to knit socks from Toblerone’s grandmothers.

So far this is what I’ve got! Anyone have any other suggestions for me? I really want to make this list meaningful and fulfilling. Taking advantage of all the time I have there! Leave your suggestions in the comments for me!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Pumpkin Seeds Delight

Of course I wouldn’t just throw out the seeds from the pumpkin I used yesterday to make the soup!! I’m living the Swabisch lifestyle which means…SAVE EVERYTHING!!!

So, I experimented a bit and I’d say these came out pretty good….slightly addicting in fact!


What You Need:


Chili Powder

Garlic Salt



How To Make It:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I let these sit out overnight on a tray to dry. So in the morning, these were completely dry making it quicker to cook.  I heated up about 1 tablespoon of butter in a bowl and this can vary depending on how many seeds you have.

I threw in the pumpkin seeds and stirred gently to cover them with the butter. Then I added the rest sparingly. Chili powder and garlic salt and pepper were added and then stirred. This is to your liking, but I prefer more of a salty taste so I added more garlic salt.

Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 10 mins. Then take out and turn seeds over for another 10 minutes. Very quick process. If they start popping in the oven it’s time to take them out.

And there you have it! my very easy addicting pumpkin seeds! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

German Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup, A Taste of Autumn

I’m sure you all know by now but if you don’t… I’m obsessed with PUMPKIN. If there was a pumpkin flavored gum…I’d never spit it out. I’m really way overly into it. And in Germany, that haven’t got on to the whole Pumpkin fiasco that is America. We have the Pumpkin Spice lattes, Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ravioli…etc etc. The list goes on. HOWEVER, my friends and neighbors, they do have one dish that involves the beauty of the orange ball and that is…Pumpkin Soup!

I think within the first 5 days of me moving to Germany I was able to try this and it was FANTASTIC! So…now that it’s a year later…I decided it was time to try it myself. Toblerone’s parents came over last night to drop off a few things and naturally I asked his mom how she makes the pumpkin soup and before I know it we were in the thralls of cooking at 9pm.

Most of the pictures are taken with my iPhone as she busied away doing whatever it was that she was doing. I was trying to document so I would remember for you guys of course!

What you need:

1 ‘Hokkaido’ Pumpkin

1 medium-sized onion

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 cups water

2 Tablespoons Beef Bouillon

White wine

Salt and Pepper

150 grams (about 3/4 cup) Creme Fraiche

200 grams ( about 1 cup) Whipping cream

How You Make It:

Take a sharp knife and cut off the skin completely around the pumpkin. Don’t cut too deep, just enough to get the outer layer off. Then cut the pumpkin in half, scooping out the seeds in the middle. 

Cut the pumpkin into small chunks (easier to cook and puree). Next cut the onion into small pieces as well. Then add two tablespoons of butter to a pot and heat on medium heat. Once butter starts to melt, add the onions. Let onions cook until they are starting to get golden brown.

Easy so far right?? Once the onion is golden brown add in the chunks of pumpkin and mix together. NOTE: If you want a thicker soup you can cut up a potato and cook as well. Once you puree you won’t taste the potato so much and it will thicken the soup. I thought it was perfect without.

So the madre-in-law filled up a bowl of water without measuring and poured the water into the pot as well. Then we cooked it for a good 15 more minutes. Here’s the thing, as I said…without measuring so at a glance I would say it was 2 cups to 2 1/2 cups of water. You basically want the water to cover the pumpkin pieces. This is the “soup” part of it.

Add in the beef bouillon and cover. Let cook for 15 -20 mins. Check the pumpkin. If the pumpkin is soft then it’s ready to puree.  Take the pot and place in the sink and  puree until all chunks have met their doom with the mixer.

Toblerone’s mother has a handy dandy puree machine which I want SO badly! I’ve never seen this in America but granted…I didn’t cook much when I lived there so if you have one, awesome!

Harley Jones was REALLLLLLLLY enjoying this as you can see.

Once you puree, place the soup back on the burner on low heat and start adding in the rest of the ingredients. Salt and Pepper to taste, a little more beef bouillon if you wish, and white wine. So…here’s the other fun part. Earlier I had poured his mom a glass of white wine and in the heat of the moment she grabbed her wine…took a sip and then poured it into the soup. This was about a half a cup I think. But add a little and taste it until it’s to your preference.

Next you add in the whipping cream (leaving behind a little for the finishing touch). Do not whip it or any such thing, just simply pour in and stir. Next add the creme fraiche as well. Stir and let sit so the wine can cook for about 5 – 10 minutes.

In the mean time, toast a few pieces of bread and cut into small “crouton” sizes. I had onion bread here at home so that worked out perfectly.

Pour the soup into bowls and drizzle the remaining whipping cream into the soup like so:

Add your toasted bread “croutons” and VOILA! Chow down time! Keep in mind that this is not supposed to taste like a pumpkin pie. It’s not sweet, it’s just simply, TASTY!!!!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Candied Walnuts – Pin Challenge – Day 7

I made these for Christmas and then again recently for a strawberry balsamic salad and they are DIVINE, not to mention they went like wild fire for the Americans and the Germans. Perfect for anything really. Icecream toppers, gift bags, parties, etc. Just awesome awesome awesome. This particular recipe is SO incredibly simple and each time, these little buggers come out perfect. EVERY TIME.

I wanted to share this with you to convince you that you MUST make these. Every day, all day. The pinterest link is here and the actual link to the site is here.

The recipe obviously states for candied pecans but I did mine with walnuts as I can’t find any pecans in this country. Either way, it tastes awesome! Follow the recipe and be sure to use a really large egg. For some reason this works the best if I use enough egg to coat the nuts completely.

Don’t those look awesome? Come on now….get up and go back them! Super easy!!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

German Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte

Friends, let me share with you the beast of all cakes that I know of thus far – The Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte. This monster is difficult for a few reasons:

1. There are a million steps to it and you have to find a way to do it simultaneously.

2. There are 3 layers of hell that you have to fill with whipped cream and cherry filling which usually collapses

3. This is not a job for one person, a beginner, or someone who doesn’t like baking.

4. You need a German wing-man in the kitchen, without this, failure is on the horizon.

Ok so maybe it’s not that extreme but realistically, this is a very difficult cake to make. I made it for Toblerone’s birthday last year with the help of my mom and it wasn’t too bad. A few technical difficulties but easily avoidable this time around. Problem for me is, I know for a FACT that something is different here as far as ingredients are concerned. I haven’t figured it out yet but every time I bake now nothing comes out the way it should. In the US I had no problem at all with my baking. Cookies were perfect, cakes also good. And here…I end up with all sorts of messes that never see the light of day, only the inside of the trash can. I’m on a mission to figure out what it is…maybe the conversions aren’t totally spot on as far as celsius to Farenheit, or the sugar and flour are processed differently, eggs are from the wrong chickens? I have no idea. Anyways, life goes on!

Last year I used the recipe I found on Diana’s Desserts, after discussing with Toblerone if this was closer to what he remembers from home. I was given the “go”  from him and my mom and I battled it out in the kitchen armed with spatulas and pans for 5 hours one evening. Literally, 5 hours.

This is the exact recipe pulled from the above website but I’ll walk you through where I changed a few things and tips that I have as well. If you look on the website at the comments, you’ll see that many people had struggles with this. Whether it was the recipe itself or the instructions, who knows but it’s a toughy!

For The Cake:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into bits
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick/3 oz/85g) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
l/3 cup water
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cake flour SPICE TIP: This is an important ingredient since you’re not using any other flour, baking powder, baking soda, etc. Make sure you have cake flour. I have the Pillsbury brand found in the baking section. 
1/2 teaspoon sal

For The Filling:
2 pounds canned sour cherries, drained, reserving the juice
l/3 cup granulated sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Kirsch (cherry liqueur or brandy) SPICE TIP: Make sure this is Kirsh Wasser, can usually buy this from your local liquor store. Any old brandy or flavored liqueur will not work. 

For The Syrup:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
l/4 cup Kirsch (cherry liqueur or brandy)

For The Chocolate Whipped Cream Topping:
l envelope (1/4 oz./7g) unflavored gelatin SPICE TIP: Gelatin is a pain to work with. You have a matter of seconds to get it to the right consistency. I would say forget this portion of it altogether unless you’re the master with Gelatin. Otherwise, see my tip below. In Germany they have a powder additive that turns the whipped cream really stiff which is great but I don’t believe we have this in the US so keeping it cold is the best. 
3 tablespoons Kirsch (cherry liqueur or brandy)
3 cups well-chilled heavy cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder SPICE TIP: This is an added ingredient I think. This is not typical of the cakes in Germany and all people here prefer the regular old cream. I never add this into the mix. But it’s optional.
1/3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
l teaspoon vanilla extract

For Garnish: 
1-1/2 cups chocolate shavings or chocolate curls
Glaceed or Maraschino cherries

To Make the Cake: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Butter three 7-inch cake pans, line them with wax paper and butter and flour the paper. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water melt the chocolate with the butter, vanilla and water, stirring until smooth. Remove the pan from heat. Into a bowl sift together the flour and salt. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the eggs with the sugar for 5 to 10 minutes, or until batter ribbons when beaters are lifted. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined and fold in chocolate mixture gently but thoroughly.

Pour batter into pans, smoothing the tops, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of pans and invert onto racks to cool completely.

To Make the Filling: 
In a saucepan combine reserved cherry juice, sugar and cornstarch. Bring mixture to a boil over moderate heat, stirring, and simmer, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in cherries and kirsch, transfer to a bowl and let cool. Filling may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. SPICE TIP: Be sure that this portion of it is completely cooled down. If you assemble it warm on the cake, it melts the cream and then you have an avalanche. NOT GOOD. Learn from my mistake!

To Make the Syrup: 
In a saucepan combine the sugar and water, bring to a simmer, stirring, and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and stir in Kirsch. Let cool. SPICE TIP: This actually makes quite a lot, way more than you need so you can probably cut the entire recipe for the syrup in half. You’re only brushing this on the top of each cake so it’s nothing grand. You could even skip this part if you felt necessary. 

To Make the Whipped Cream Topping:
In small saucepan combine gelatin and Kirsch and let soften 5 minutes. Gently heat mixture over low heat, stirring, until liquid is clear. Remove from heat. In chilled bowl with chilled beaters beat cream until it holds soft peaks, add sugar, cocoa, and vanilla and beat until it holds stiff peaks. Add gelatin mixture in stream, beating, and beat until it holds stiff peaks. SPICE TIP: If you choose to do this with the Gelatin, congrats to you. If you choose to not use the gelatin, good on ya! Now, the best thing I can advise is that you immediately put this cream into the fridge/freezer until everything else is cooled down completely. This will melt really fast if the filling is warm and the cake is still warm. Remember you have to assemble several layers so you need some time. 

Assembling the Cake: 
Invert one layer of cake onto a cardboard round, brush with some of syrup and spread half cherry filling over it. Spread 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream over cherries, sprinkle with 1/4 cup chocolate shavings and invert second layer of genoise onto cake. Brush with syrup, spread with remaining cherry filling and top with 1 1/2 cups whipped cream, spreading it into an even layer. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of chocolate shavings and invert third genoise layer onto cake. Brush top with syrup and spread remaining whipped cream over top and sides of cake reserving about 2/3 cup for garnish. Transfer remaining whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe rosettes decoratively around top and bottom edge of cake and top the rosettes (on top edges of cake) with glaceed cherries. Sprinkle top of cake with remaining chocolate shavings and let cake stand, covered and chilled, for at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours. Store cake in refrigerator. SPICE TIP: What I do to make sure that I don’t lose everything is make a wall of aluminum foil around the cake, putting only about a 1/2 inch of it underneath the first cake. This way it kind of holds it all together as I’m doing it. Once I have all the layers on I put it in the freezer before I spread the remaining cream around the entire cake. It gives it time to sit and settle in. Another thing I would recommend is to not make a giant layer of the filling and to not spread it out to the edges. The main thing is that it’s in the middle of the cake. You can give yourself about 1/4 of an inch of room around the outside edge. This way it doesn’t over flow and break your cake on the way down. This has happened to me before. Be sure to throw this into the refrigerator right away when you’re done. 

The aluminum foil wall I built!

(Beautiful hair, right?)

So this year it was ok, except for some reason the cake layers didn’t come out as fluffy as they should be. Really made me angry since I spent all afternoon working on this! Anywho…theres always next year and I think next time I’ll try it with a German’s recipe and see how it comes out.

Good luck to all those that attempt this! As far as flavor, you won’t be disappointed! Think chocolate covered cherries…YUM! Or as the Germans say, “Lecker!”

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Erdbeerkuchen – German Strawberry Cake

It honestly was almost the death of me. I mean, try making things (and not even from scratch, mind you) and reading the directions/recipe in German. It’s not easy for someone who is just learning. Thankfully, I have Toblerone who took time out of his busy day to translate everything to me!

Today is his brother’s bday and per his request, he wants Erdbeerkuchen. I know, you alcoholics see “beer” in that and think it’s something fancy made with alcohol. *insert a game show’s wrong answer sound*

So, to better document, of course…PICTURES!!!!!

Vanilla Cream Pudding placed on Torte

Strawberries cut into halves.
Important: Omi said the strawberries need to be very dry. It’s best if you let them sit out and dry off for a bit.
Now I bought one large package of strawberries (500g) but that wasn’t enough, 600g would have been perfect I think. So I rearranged the strawberries to fill in the spaces a bit more, naturally.
The fun part: Gelatin. It’s the death of me.  I brushed the gelatin on each strawberry before it turned into, well gelatin. You want it warm and more liquidy. (Is that even a word?)
After I brushed each strawberry with the gelatin, I poured the remaining onto the Torte making sure not to let it run down the sides, that’s important. Literally, as I poured it on, it didn’t move anymore so this all happened in about 15 seconds, with camera in hand. I’m a genius. Admit it.

So it’s now in the fridge, awaiting it’s appearance at the Birthday party. I always get so nervous when I make German food, for Germans. It’s fierce competition with those who have been making these dishes in their families for centuries. I’ve got a lot to live up to! However, this is a pretty easy cake, if you can read in a different language. The American websites are very inconsistent with one another so I have to trust what the locals say. (Or should I?)
Wish me luck, readers!! It’s bound to be a berry good time!  (So lame, but had to use a berry joke!)