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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

Sugar

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

 

 

 

 

 

The True (Southern) German Potato Salad

I know you’ve seen me post pictures of this on my Facebook Page so I figured it was time to spill the secret.  German Potato Salad is made two ways from what I’ve learned while living in Germany. There is the way the northerners make it and the way the southerners make it. The one ingredient that makes the difference, mayo. Thankfully, for my waistline I lived in the South where they opted out of using mayonnaise for this very common dish!

Many moons ago I asked Toblerone’s mom for her recipe for Kartoffelsalat and she wrote it out for me. I use it like there is nothing else in the world that matters. That stays with me in a special place. If I ever lost it, I would be lost. There is something about having a recipe handwritten that makes it feel more like a sacred piece of family history.  Same goes for recipes my mom has written.

On with it already, Kaitlin.

First things first…the ingredients here in the US are not exact but I will try to help you through it best I can!

You will need:

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Note: Some people cheat and use this little package by Knorr to “fix” Potato salad (See little packet on the right hand side of the picture.) We are doing things the original way today!

 

Potatoes – peeled, and cut in half if they are large. I normally use about 7-8 potatoes just for the two of us (Toblerone loves his leftovers!), or an entire 1lb bag or more for larger groups. (I use the yellow/golden potatoes. They are closest to the potatoes in Germany. Yes…even those are different.)

1 Onion – chopped in small pieces. (This time around I used a red onion for color. )

Vegetable Oil

Distilled white vinegar

Salt

Pepper

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Bouillon (powdered if you can find it. Mixed in warm water – about a 1/2 cup.) I use Knorr Delikatess Brühe (shown below) which you can find on many German import food websites. If you want to get the taste correct, trust me…you need this stuff. I’ve tried others I found in the import aisles at grocery stores and its all sorts of wrong. Threw out many batches because of this small ingredient!

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How it’s done:

Peel your potatoes and cut in half. They will cook faster when they are smaller. Place in pot and boil until soft or a knife goes through easily.

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Chop the onion in small pieces and throw into a large bowl. I always use my tupperware bowls because that would be very un-German of me if I didn’t use my tupperware.

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Once potatoes are done, drain water. Let sit until they aren’t scorching. If they are still warm I rinse them off with cold water before handling. DO NOT BURN YOURSELVES. IT’S NOT WORTH IT!!!! Once cooled, you will grab a potato and with a knife almost shave the potato over the bowl until it is in small pieces.

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Should look like this at the end:

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Now, here is where the recipe gets a little confusing. There are no real measurements. This is a “feel-it-out” situation as is any good recipe. First add the vinegar. I usually make a circle as I pour and that is usually enough to start. You don’t want a big pour. Little at a time is better so you can taste test it. Too much is hard to correct. Start small.

Next up, add the Bouillon that is premixed in warm water . Also in a circular motion.  Add your salt and pepper…also a taste as you go thing.

At the end I do the same with the oil. Circular motion. The idea is not to make the potatoes swim. It’s a salad after all…not a soup, people!! A lot of the watery bits will soak into the Potatoes but you don’t want a puddle at the bottom of your bowl.

Mix gently to get the flavors going.

Most important part of the process….LET IT SIT. Do not touch it. Let it sit on the counter for a while. Not in the fridge. Not in the garage. Just let it sit. Let the flavors work into it. Potato salad is served room temperature in Germany. So be German and do just that. Afterwards of course, whatever is left….if there is any left you can place in the fridge.

And…TA DA! There you have it….You just learned how to make a very Swabian styled Potato Salad. I bet your Omi would be oh so proud!

Guten Appetit!!!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

 

Don’t forget to follow along on Facebook for other fun updates!

 

 

An American Baby Shower For A German Baby

First Fall project completed and what a beautiful day it was!! This past weekend I threw an American style baby shower for a friend of mine. But first, a little background into how life happens when you have a German baby!
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So we all know that in the US when a a girlfriend is preggers, we throw her a fantastic party a couple months before the birth. All the women in her family come, along with all the friends she’s had to avoid because she can’t go out drinking with them anymore. The party is held at someone’s house or restaurant with food galore and presents stacked high. Games are played and everyone ooohs and ahhhs over all the sweet little baby decorations. The mom-to-be is treated like a princess and she gets EVERYTHING she could possibly need for her bundle of love on the way. Cribs, carriages, diapers, toys, clothes, breast feeding equipment, blankets, etc. The list goes on.

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And then there is Germany…..

Mom-to-be buys everything herself. Mom gives birth. All friends and family swarm over to the house with little gifts for the baby and visit as the new mom and baby are trying to get a hold of this new life they have together. The mom, exhausted and in desperate need of a nap makes coffee and cake for all the masses who visit.

So….let’s discuss. WHICH country does it better?…..it’s obvious. And there is no arguing about this. Even the German ladies here agreed that this is a tradition they have interest in starting! It’s really all about the one last fun hoorah for the new mom before her life changes with a new baby!

This was exactly what I wanted for my dear friend. I threw her a bash to remember! We invited family and friends for an intimate gathering. Each person brought a gift and brought along either a cake or snack food! It was perfect! I made the very popular “bowle” which is what we know as punch! The ladies love to mix champagne with it so I left it alcohol free and people could add what they wanted!
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And although the food was somewhat simple…of course, the Germans do know how to make a mean cake! So yums…just sooo soooo sooooo yums!
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And the snacks were great as well! I made little ricotta cheese filled tarts which were super easy thanks to this recipe I found on Pinterest.
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And another woman made these fun finger foods. I had printed out little signs that said “It’s a Girl” and pictures of a baby rattle on them, which I found a free printable for here.

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We played the ever popular, “Name That Baby Food.” Which were REALLY horrible by the way…ha! I just sectioned off 6 parts on a paper plate, everyone put a spoonful of baby food in the corresponding number place and went to town! The faces they made were hysterical..I mean REALLY funny.
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And of course we played the game, “How Big is Mommy’s Belly.” This was fun to see too! And of course the Grandma-to-be was SPOT on.
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Then after all the games, we did the PRESENTS!!!! My favorite! So, I should mention that in Germany there is a superstition about bringing a present to the mom-to-be BEFORE the baby is born. They believe that if you bring a gift before the baby is born, that the baby will be born with problems or something bad will happen. They were good sports about it and looked past this just for this “American” baby shower which was really very nice of them.

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And a little guest, Leonie, helped as best as she could. She LOVED opening all the presents! At the end of this wonderful afternoon we said goodbye and said that the baby can come now. All is done and now we are just waiting!

It really was a wonderful day and I’m so glad that I could share a piece of my home and culture with them. And mostly, that they were so open minded about it and accepting. What a gift!

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Any ideas what she is having?!?! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

The Morel Mushroom And A Recipe!

I have this secret and I might as well bring it out of the closet and confess to all of you. I like to look for mushrooms. Yes, that’s right. It excites me. I get that child-like excitement when I walk into the woods and search for them. There. I said it.

Me with a giant mushroom. Indeed, I love them!

Me with a giant mushroom. Indeed, I love them!

How big of a dork do you think I am now? Pretty big right? But hear me out…You go to the grocery store and look for Morel Mushrooms. Usually you can only find them dried. And for maybe a few dried pieces, 150 grams to 200 grams is a good $10-$15!! I’ve seen them priced at $50 a pound! And for me, I feel like I’m stealing! It’s exhilarating.
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This time of year in Germany the Morel Mushrooms start popping up in the damp, mossy parts of the forests. Theres a special place that Toblerone takes me and I get out my special mushroom smelling nose and I search. And search hard. These babies are NOT easy to see and most of the time blend in with the pine cones around you.

So, I found 4 large ones and decided it was time to make something yummy with them. There are some great places in the US where you can find these and if you have kids, its actually something really fun to do with them.
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Here’s a little recipe for the morel mushrooms:

What You Need:

1/3 cup diced onion
4 Tbsp butter
6 Fresh large Morels, sliced in half vertically, then slice horizontally to get smaller pieces.
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 freshly ground pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp Soy sauce
1/3 cup left over noodle water
Spaghetti or angel hair pasta

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How To Make It:

Cook pasta according to package instructions

In a large sauté pan sauté onions in 2Tbsp butter for 2 minutes until clear and slightly browned.

Make a roux out of the remaining butter and flour. Then add the soy sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir constantly until the consistency of peanut butter.

Turn heat to low – add morel mushrooms and let cook for a a minute or two.

Once noodles are finished add a little leftover noodle water a little at a time to the roux. Stir carefully. You don’t want the sauce to be to watery so allow the roux to work with the water to thicken.

Cover and cook 10 minutes.

Drain noodles then pour noodles into the saute pan and mix until noodles are covered in the mushroom sauce. Serve warm.

I hope you all are able to find an area where you can search for them on your own! Be sure you don’t pull the mushrooms out of the ground. You must cut them from their stalk so that they grow next year! Guten Appetit!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

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!

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What You Need:

Butter

Chili Powder

Garlic Salt

Pepper

Cinnamon

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

Creamy Dijon Chicken Linguine!

I made this for Valentine’s Day and it was a HIT! Lately, I’ve been trying to stay away from Garlic recipes since it makes for some really stinky breath but since it was Valentine’s Day I decided to let us have it!

This recipe is super easy and only takes a few ingredients! Give it a try and let me know what you think! 🙂 (Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures – I was cooking 8 things at once and didn’t have a chance to get out the good camera! Hope you can forgive me!!)

What You Will Need:

350 gram package fresh linguine, cooked
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup fresh, cleaned, and sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper to season
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds – if you can’t find toasted just regular (peeled) and chop them up!
4 ounces dry white wine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups whipping cream

How To Make It:

1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan over medium low heat.

2. Add chicken breasts, garlic, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook the chicken until completely cooked.

3. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm

4. Add 4oz white wine (I used dry) to the pan and let simmer until it is reduced by half.

5. Next add in 2 cups whipping cream, 3 tbsp Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat a metal spoon.

7. Return Chicken to the sauce and add the mushrooms.

8. Simmer for an additional 2 minutes.

9. Serve over cooked linguine. Sprinkle almonds on top.

10. GUTEN APPETIT!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

The Best Pork Tenderloin Marinade Ever!!

I’ve been working on this little ditty for a long time now. I mix all sorts of random things together and hope it turns out good. I’m still perfecting this but I’ll let you in on my little secret so far! 🙂 This is only one of the variations I make but seems to be the winner around here and SO easy!!!

What you will need:

Pork Tenderloin

Balsamic Vinegar

Honey

Rotisserie Mustard (or if you don’t have this Dijon Mustard would work also)

Spicy Mustard  (of your choice)

1 small or medium onion

I add in a few dried spices like Chili flakes, Basil, and a pinch of rosemary

flour or cornstarch

Here’s How:

Depending on the size of the tenderloin, that will dictate how much of a marinade you make. I try to make a little extra to have more sauce since Toblerone LOVES any and all gravy.

Pour a good amount of balsamic vinegar into a small bowl. I usually use about 1/2 a cup or a little more. Then add in 2-3 teaspoons of honey. You can add more later if you want it a little bit sweeter. Next I add in the Rotisserie mustard, approximately 3-5 teaspoons. Mix together.

Then I add in the spicy mustard about 2-3 teaspoons. Again, this is based on how you like it. The Honey will make it a bit sweet so I feel the more mustard the better.  Add in any extra spices you like (ie: basil, rosemary, garlic, etc.) and stir together.

Cut up the onion so it’s in thick long pieces and place in a zip-lock bag. Put the pork tenderloin into the bag as well and then pour the honey mustard mixture over the pork. Close the bag, refrigerate. Here’s the trick: I usually let it sit in the refrigerator for 2 days or so. The longer the better!

Dirty Minds....cut it out!

Cooking this beast is simple, really! There are two ways to do this. You can cook it in the oven or on the stove but I usually do it on the stove. First, heat your pan on high heat. Place only the pork tenderloin in the pan (not the marinade – that comes later) and cook all sides. It’s ok if the outside is charring, that’s what you want. It hold all the juices in so the meat stays moist as you cook it longer. So first things first, char that baby!!! Once all sides are “crusty” then turn the heat down slightly and let it cook, turning occasionally. This is about 10-15 mins, maybe more depending on the size.

In a separate sauce pan pour in the remaining marinade and a touch of flour or cornstarch. Heat on low while continuously stirring. Once pork is cooked and sauce is warm, cut the tenderloin into large pieces and pour sauce on top. Serve immediately. Done and DONE!

I hope you enjoy it! Just give it a try…I PROMISE you’ll love it!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo