This month for Sugar High Friday, we were challenged to make our favorite dessert – I find it difficult to pick just one favorite, as my choice would change with the season. My favorite is seasonal, made with the fantastic cherries I picked up at the farmers market this past weekend.
I present to you Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, more commonly known as Black Forest Cherry Cake – a multilayered cake with layers of chocolate and kirsch-flavored white layers, with a kirsch buttercream and cherries in between layers. Finished with chocolate shavings and whipped cream and more cherries.
I had some setbacks, so the recipe needs tweaking, thus the delay in posting. Expect this entry to be updated tomorrow with the modified recipe and some pictures of the innards.
ETA: my experience, the recipe, a pic, and my modifications
Well, I’ve got one thing to say – it tastes awesome. Especially the kirsch buttercream. It doesn’t cut too cleanly, but really, who cares? As long as the piece comes out intact who cares if it’s pretty or not? I’m sure someone who has far superior baking skills than I do could probably decorate it better than I did. I gave it my best shot.
When I first checked out this recipe yesterday, I misunderstood it. Big time. I looked at the recipe, and it really looked wrong. It didn’t call for any leavening agents, at all. Childhood baking experiments showed me what no leavening does to a cake. So I went to look at other kirschtorte recipes, to see if I could get an accurate amount of leavening to use. None of the other recipes had leavening either. So I basically just said “to hell with it” and proceeded anyway. I should have really sat down and thought through what they meant about “beat until fluffy” – if I had any sense about me, I would have thought merengue – but of course, I had no sense yesterday. I’m guessing that if done right, the texture comes out like an angel food cake. Needless to say, mine didn’t come out that way. Let’s just say that I ended up with 3 pucks. Three pucks that when stacked one on top of each other, probably ended up being the height of a single layer of cake. The flavor was good – the kirsch one was very crepelike, and was really tasty with cherries and whipped cream rolled in it. But a failure nonetheless. So I took the easy route – I used the alternate instructions in the recipe that called for cake mix, adding the amount of milk and kirsch it recommends. The layers came out nicely the second time around, and if I ever make this cake again, I’ll probably use the same shortcut. So, I’ll present the recipe in its original form, but just make sure to not make the same mistake I did if you decide to try making the cake from scratch. Note, the asterisks were in the original recipe, the only one I followed was using the cake mixes – plus I doubled the amount of filling and topping as well.
6 eggs, large
1 cup flour, sifted
2 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons Kirsch liqueur
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Kirsch liqueur
2 cups sour cherries, drained; pat or air dry***
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
8 ounces semisweet chocolate bar (shaved pieces)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Cake: Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla together until fluffy. Fold flour into mixture. Divide mixture in 3 parts. Fold baking chocolate into 2 parts. Into the other 1/3 batter fold in the Kirsch. Pour batter into 3-8″ prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for 5 minutes; turn out onto racks to finish cooling.
*Being very short on time, I used two cake mixes: one chocolate and one white. I substituted milk for the water in both mixes. I added Kirsch to the white cake mix. Since only one white cake layer was needed for this recipe, I froze the unused layer to be served at another time.
Filling: Beat sugar and butter together until blended. Add egg yolk; beat until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Fold in Kirsch.
Assembly: Place 1 chocolate layer on dish. cover top with 1/2 of the cream filling. Spread 3/4 cups cherries evenly over filling. Place white layer on top. Repeat filling/cherry procedure. Place last chocolate layer on top. Fold powdered sugar into whipped cream. Cover sides and top with most of the whipped cream. Press most of the chocolate shavings on top and sides of cake. Place remaining 1/2 cup cherries on top of cake. Finish decorating with remaining shavings/curls and whipped cream. Chill until ready to serve.
**I used twice as much whipped cream and half as much chocolate shavings.
***It was not cherry season when I made this dessert, so I used canned sour cherries.