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






Fasching Time Again


The only thing I can think of to describe what Fashing is probably would be similar to Halloween with a bunch of drunks putting on a circus show. The one thing that is really cool is there is an ‘assigned’ costume to each town based on that towns history or back story. Toblerone’s town costume is the Rooster!


Last year was my first Fashing or “Carnival” and it was an incredible experience. Three…very long days…of drinking and dancing in a chicken costume. If you missed the experience last year, please click here to go read about it.

This year I was dreadfully ill but managed to make it out for the small parade and see the giant tree get put up. This tree is also similar to the May tree (Mai Baum) and the one they place for Christmas too but it was fun to watch them put this up as if we were in the 1500s. Very old school but keeping with tradition. My most cherished memories so far in Germany are those I’ve spent relishing in their traditional and stripped down holidays. Sadly, the US is much too commercialized and I’m really loving this easy paced life that doesn’t have much to do with money and such. But THAT, my friends, is a topic for another day!

So, we watched the mini parade, people handed me drinks of champagne and schnapps as they passed by, and the costumes were sweet and creative. For the parade, the different clubs (Music, Dance, Sport, etc) picked a theme or costume that is outside of the usual “Rooster.” Take a peak at a few!












Another year of really fun times with the crazy Germs and their weird traditions! However, I wouldn’t want to be experiencing any other place at the moment. (Except Ireland but still trying to work the husband into that idea!)







And now it’s lent time and I’ve given up alcohol. 11 days without! Phew! Glad to know I’m not an alcoholic after all this!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

A German Thanksgiving

Phew! Thanksgiving in Germany….talk about an accomplishment! This year was the first year that I’ve been away from my family for Thanksgiving in my entire life! With keeping tradition…I decided to show the Germans why excessively eating until you burst is important. After all, they drink until they burst!

With preparing for this feast there are a few things that made it difficult:

1. No pumpkin filling in the country. I had to stock up and import it.

2. Ovens in Germany are the size of a microwave. Allowing room for practically one thing at a time. No good for the scheduling!

3. You can not find a turkey over 12lbs. Whereas, I’m used to over 20lb Turkeys back home!

4. It’s impossible to find “Thanksgiving” decorations. Luckily, my mom literally packed an entire suitcase of goodies when she came over at the end of October! (Thanks mom!!)

5. Explaining to Germans not to eat the whole day and save their appetite for the feast is like telling them to stop breathing.

6. Preparing the turkey and trying to figure out how many grams equal show many pounds. Then with that how long I cook it. Then with that, converting Fahrenheit to Celcius and hoping the slight difference works. Oh…and don’t get me started on gravy!!!

There I was, already in my dress and apron like a 1950’s housewife. Grammy would be so proud! When the husband got home we had a couple glasses of wine and I waited for the moment of stress…aka, when people arrived, Turkey came out and everything else went into the oven!

This year I decided that one 12lb Turkey wasn’t enough so Toblerone’s mom cooked a 9lb bird. Hers was stuffed with giblet stuffing and mine stuffed with herbs and lemon with herbed butter rub. I know…how impressive does that sound?!?!

I had this AMAZING baked Brie appetizer and a bread bowl dip recipe that’s been in my family for ages to start. Then of course we had the usual! We tried to organize that everyone goes around and says what we are thankful for but it ended up with everyone each giving a toast basically….to me and Toblerone for the nice meal. I’ll take it!

Here’s what I learned during my first ever hosted T-Day:

1. It doesn’t matter if everything comes out at once. People eat what’s available and save room if they know more is coming.

2. No matter how you marinate the bird…it all tastes like chicken.

3. People around the world can accept and appreciate any traditions or holidays if you show them why it’s important to you.

4. No matter how far away I may be from my American Family…somehow the German family makes me feel whole when I’m feeling alone.

Check out my house shoes!!! Rockin right?!?!

5. As I posted pictures of the day on Facebook…the people who “liked” or commented have no idea how great that felt. Such a simple gesture really helps a girl not feel so excluded from all the fun back home. For that I am thankful!

All the Germans are excited for Thanksgiving next year…I’d say that’s a check mark in the success department if I do say so myself! Lets all bow our heads and give thanks that I didn’t blow up the kitchen! In fact, Martha Stewart…move aside, I got this!

Until next time, Readers!!! Xoxoxoxo

Grass Isn’t Always Greener

Not too long ago I was in the midst of a heated family conversation. The conversation was between the Aunts/Uncles/Parents and the Children/Cousins/Nephews/Nieces. This wasn’t your average talk about picking up their room, getting a better job, or putting their life in order. It was about building on the land their parents had bought for them.


I don’t know how this is in other parts of Germany but in the South it’s pretty commonly known that the Southern Germs a.k.a. The Swabisch are penny pinchers. Not always a negative thing either! Many live with their parents until an older age (25-35) or until they get married which allows most of them to have more money saved than I’ve had my whole life. Sometimes their parents buy them a piece of property for a hefty amount and wait until the child builds their forever home on it.

Note: Unlike Americans, the Germans stay put. Traditionally, they live in the same town for their entire lives. And, since they live at home longer and don’t pay for college, they can afford much more.


However, tradition had found its forever home elsewhere. Most “kids” now want to get out and explore. They don’t want to be tied down to one rinky dink town in the middle of nowhere with a population of 100 people (mostly all your family!) So herein lies the problem. Kids want to be apart of something bigger, parents want them closer. If said “kid” does not build within a certain amount of time, the land will need to be put up for sale, again. Unless of course they put a shed on it. Then it’s considered “used property.”

I’m not sure how I feel on the topic. Toblerone’s parents did the same thing. They bought a piece of land in their town and its used as a wood pile at the moment. Toblerone had first choice over his brother but decided to live somewhere else. His younger brother now has the option to do what he wants with the property. The brother doesn’t want to live their either. He wants to live closer to a major city. Quite frankly, I don’t blame him.


I, honestly, would rather live in this tiny town where is family is because its around people I know. Life would be easier on me, since the people in the town I currently live are rude and refuse to say hi to me.

What do you do when your parents want you to continue on with tradition but the world around you is changing? These small German villages struggle to keep things the way they were but the newer generation refuses to give in, on some level. It would definitely be interesting to see what happens in the next 60 years in these little towns.

Until next time, Readers!!!!! Xoxoxoxo

It’s Be-A-Crazy-German Day During Fasnet!

Well…I’m alive…and that is all that matters right?

It all started last weekend with a 3 day festival celebrating the culture and the traditions of each town.  There is a great website that I found that explains what each town’s costume means and the story behind the founding of this however it is in German and a bit spotty once translated to English.  The website is here and if you feel up to it, translate and see what it’s all about but more so, check out the costumes for each town. There are only a few towns on this page but these are all within the same area/region that we live in.

I was part of Toblerone’s hometown which is called Renquishausen. For them, the traditional garb is the suit of a Rooster and there are also women costumes which are of old maids that carry baskets full of eggs (or shots of liquor!). I was a Rooster this year but opted out of the terrifying mask – see below! I’m not quite sure why all of the masks from each town is so frightening! Some are really scary!!!

The story behind the Rooster costume goes back to the 1800’s where the men of this town would breed their roosters and be able to supply easily to Nobels and others.  Somewhere along the line there was a famine and their stock was wiped out clean. This becoming the crescent for their town and the story behind the costumes!

The 3 day party was crazy fun but mostly, I LOVED the parade. There were more than 40 towns (over 4,000 people) that joined in this parade and then went to party hardy in a giant tent afterwards. Check out some of the pictures in my slideshow below and let me know what you think!! They have some crazy imaginations! For each town there is the band, the dancers (which are dressed like cowgirls), the town crescent costume, and the old maid/witch costume.

This weekend is continuing with mamy celebrations but in everyone’s individual town. This is the time when people will come around dressed up in costumes (any costumes of their choice) and never show their faces and talk in weird voices. They will push you out of the way and go inside your house and drink your alcohol! This happened to us last year when a swarm of bees and beekeepers came into the house and forced us to drink honey liquor! (ok ok…the real truth…I wasn’t forced!)  Actually, see a picture for yourself from last year. I had been in the house for maybe 5 days so the place was a wreck and boxes were everywhere as I had just arrived!

Also this weekend each town has a giant fire and this symbolizes the old tradition of burning a witch and leaving behind winter. The welcoming of Spring!

Enjoy the Freak Show!!! :-))) (Note: I was drunk-ish and standing facing directly into the sun because it was -20 below so the pics are a little light, sorry!)

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