I’m a huge fan of boozy desserts and this cake is no exception. I must say it’s one of my all time favorites.
When I made some research for my first book, I realized that the Swedish Schwarzwald cake I had been eating all my life was something completely different than the German Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (also known as the Black Forest cake/gâteau). The Swedish Schwarzwald cake consists of hazelnut meringue layers, whipped cream and chocolate and is of course also one of my favorites. Definitely something for a future blogpost.
Anyway, this is my version of the Black forest cake. Wait, let’s call it gâteau instead. Black forest gâteau. Sounds so much fancier. It consists of three fluffy layers of chocolate cake drenched in kirsch syrup, mascarpone frosting, cherries in kirsch, shaved chocolate, chocolate ganache and fresh cherries. I think that’s all. Phew.
black forest gâteau
Recipe adapted from my book Lomelinos tårtor
Notes about this recipe:
-Bring egg and sour cream to room temperature before beginning.
-For the filling, you can always use store-bought cherries in rum if you don’t feel like making your own cherries in kirsch.
-The frosting recipe makes slightly more than you need for filling the cake as it’s a little difficult to scale down this recipe. You could always use the extra frosting for piping dollops on top of the cake, then putting the cherries on top, like so.
-This cake is really, really tall and therefore it might be in need of some support. Placing a skewer in the middle of the cake when moving it is not a bad idea. I put a skewer in mine, then let the cake set for 20 minutes in the fridge, after that it was surprisingly stable. I was even able to take the cake along for a ride in the car (with me holding the cake of course)!
-If you want a more stable cake, bake the cakes in two or three 8 or 9 inch pans instead (but make sure to adjust baking time).
50 g butter (a scant 1/2 stick)
1 1/4 cup (180 g) all purpose flour
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (20 g) cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup (225 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp hot water
Cherries in kirsch
250 g whole cherries (weight with pits and all)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup kirsch liqueur
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Dark chocolate ganache
50 g dark chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tub (250 g) mascarpone cheese
3-4 tbsp powdered sugar
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
100 g milk chocolate, shaved or grated
Fresh cherries for the top
1. Heat oven to 175°C (350F).
2. Butter and flour three 6 inch (15 cm) cake pans. Melt the butter and let it cool.
3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients -salt, sugar, egg, sour cream, melted butter and hot water. Stir until completely smooth.
4. Divide batter between the three prepared cake pans.
5. Bake for 20-22 minutes, then let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in their pans before inverting them onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely before using.
Cherries in kirsch
1. Pit and halve the cherries and put them in a saucepan with the lemon juice, kirsch and sugar. Let come to a boil and then let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring carefully every now and then, until the cherries are soft but not mushy.
2. Pour the mixture through a strainer, with a bowl underneath to reserve the liquids. Put the cherries in another bowl to cool.
3. Prick holes in the cakes with a toothpick and brush with some of the kirsch liquid. If you wish to make a thicker syrup (which you can pour over the cake), put the remaining liquid back in the sauce pan and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Pour into a bowl and let cool completely.
Dark chocolate ganache
1. Chop the chocolate finely and put in a bowl.
2. Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan until hot but not boiling, then pour the cream mixture on top of the chocolate. Leave for 30 seconds, then stir until completely smooth. Leave to cool to spreadable consistency.
Beat the mascarpone and sugar until creamy. Add the heavy cream and whip until thick.
1. Put the first cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand. Spread a thick layer of mascarpone frosting on top. Put half of the kirsch cherries on top, then add some grated/shaved chocolate.
2. Put the next cake layer on and repeat the same steps as before.
3. Top with the third and last cake layer. Spread a thick layer of ganache on top. Decorate with fresh cherries and chocolate shavings, and if you wish, the thickened kirsch syrup.