As the famous saying goes, there is always room for dessert.
When it comes to all-time favourite sweet treats, dishes from around the world make it a close call to name an overall winner. However, one that certainly springs to mind for an arguable favourite is the Forest Cake—which is the most luscious cake in Germany.
In addition to the country’s stunning fairytale castles, rolling mountains, and epic festivals, Germany literally takes the cake when it comes to its black forest cake recipes. With its chocolate cake bases stacked between freshly whipped cream and topped with plump maraschino cherries or fresh cherries, this triple threat combo is bursting with flavour and beauty. In Germany, it is fondly referred to as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte and all around the world, this cake creates a fairytale of a dessert experience.
The back forest cake recipe itself dates back to the early 1900s when it was believed to first have been officially written down and printed for others to follow. The recipe celebrates the Black Forest region’s produce.
In fact, the history of this cake is so important that the European Commission now requires that any cake in Europe that refers to itself as a black forest cake must legally use all the real original ingredients.
But you don’t have to be German to become a Masterchef with this recipe. We’ve rounded up the best tips and tricks to follow this traditional recipe and can even help with getting fresh ingredients delivered to your door.
With the black forest cake being amongst one of the best recipes we’ve had the pleasure of sharing, we encourage you to turn that oven on, put on your apron, and get baking as you are in store for a delicious reward.
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Black Forest Cake
There Are Four Parts To Perfect
The black forest cake is broken down into four key parts: chocolate cake layers, dark and delicious cherries, fluffed whipped cream frosting, and dark chocolate ganache. One of the best tips is to take each part in stride and take your time to look after each of these equally. Doing so will allow you to create a perfect end result.
Hot Liquid Is Key for the Batter
When making the chocolate cake batter, pay extra attention to ensuring that you use hot liquid in the cake batter rather than lukewarm or cold. This is because the heat of the liquid will ensure that the cocoa powder will dissolve just right.
Some people even get extra creative and use coffee as the liquid to ensure it is piping hot. But regardless of whether you use hot coffee or hot water, the cake layer will end up tasting the same.
Soak the Cherries Ahead of Time
The cherries on top of the cake are one of the most important parts. To make sure they are extra sweet and delicious, make sure to soak them in cherry syrup or cherry brandy while the cake batter is baking in the oven. The extra soaking time will ensure that your cake will be bursting with delicious flavour. And we recommend always going fresh over canned cherries (especially cherry pie filling—avoid this) whenever you can.
The Cream Seals the Deal
Make sure that the cream you are using for the layers is really whipped. The light and fluffy whipped cream will seal in the moisture and ensure that every single bite is jam-packed with deliciousness.
While you can always go for the canned whipped cream as a shortcut, we encourage you to whip the cream by hand (you can use a hand mixer, stand mixer, or a whisk) as it will give the freshest result to your cake. You want to whip it until stiff peaks form.
Go for Gold With the Chocolate
Whether you are using chocolate shavings, chocolate curls, or chocolate ganache, go for gold with that extra layer of chocolate. It is the finishing piece that not only seals the entire cake together but also makes it ready for the photo opp.
Chocolate shavings always look pretty, but the chocolate ganache takes it to a whole new level. To make the ganache, all you have to do is mix together heavy cream and rich chocolate and pour over the cake.
The Best Recipe for Black Forest Cake
Ingredients You Need
First things first, round up all the ingredients in your kitchen and make sure you have the right quantities of everything. Here is what you will need.
1. 175 grams of salted butter
2. 200 grams of dark chocolate (get a whole bar)
3. 300 grams of plain flour and 375 grams of golden sugar
4. 25 grams of cocoa and 1 teaspoon of baking soda
5. Two medium eggs
6. 200 grams of buttermilk or yoghurt
7. 425 grams of pitted cherries, two tablespoons of cherry juice, 100 grams of cherry jam, and one extra punnet of cherries
8. Four tablespoons of kirsch (or juice for a non-alcoholic option)
9. 500 mililitres of double cream
10. Three tablespoons of icing sugar
11. A dash of vanilla extract
The Simple Method To Follow
Now the real fun begins. Here are the simple steps to follow to create the most delicious cake you will ever bake. This recipe will take an hour to prepare and 40 minutes to bake, with a total of 10 servings when completed.
1. Heat your oven to 160 degrees Celcius and grease three 20 centimetre cake pans (you can also line them with parchment paper). Also start to boil your kettle. While everything is heating up, put 75 grams of chocolate and all the butter into a small pan, stirring until it is all melted and combined together.
2. Now you will mix together the dry ingredients of flour, cocoa, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. You will then mix the wet ingredients of the eggs and buttermilk together in a smaller bowl. Then pour in the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the dry ingredients bow, along with the recently whisked egg mixture. After everything is in one bowl you will pour 100 millilitres of boiling hot water into the bowl and mix everything together until the cake batter is free of any lumps.
3. Pour the cake mixture into the three different cake tins and bake each for around 25 minutes. Before taking it out, make sure that the cake batter is completely baked by testing it with a skewer and making sure it comes out without any of the batters on it. Once you are confident it is fully baked, take the three tins out of the oven.
4. You will now poke a few small holes in the cake with the same skewer. Once this is finished, you will take the cherry juice and kirsch and pour over each of the three cake layers. This is what really seals the deal with the cake’s moistness.
5. Take another mixing bowl and combine the rest of the cherries and jam. You will then take 200 mililitres of cream and heat in a pan until it reaches a simmer. This is when you will put the rest of the chocolate and melt it, then pour it on top of the cream. Once it is all combined you will take it off the stove and let it cool until it reaches a temperature that you can easily spread over the cake.
6. In one more whipping effort, you will combine the rest of your cream with the icing sugar and mix together until you get a whipped cream result. You will then take the whipped cream and spread it over the cake bases and put the rest over the cherries.
7. Finally, stack the three cake layers on top of each other. The chocolate cream you made will go on the cake layer that sits at the very top. Pour the cherries (and chocolate ganache if you made it) over the cake and serve. For maximum presentation efforts, neatly arrange a few of the leftover cherries on top as garnish.
Final Thoughts on the Black Forest Cake
The hardest part about this recipe will be exhibiting self-control after you finish making the cake. The moist chocolate cake will be very tempting to eat, so it is best to serve it up immediately to the rest of your family or friends as well. The black forest cake can be stored for up to a week before needing to go in the freezer, but we honestly doubt you will have any leftovers at all.
Explore Food History and Learn How to Make a German Black Forest Cake | Britannica
Discovering the True Meaning of Black Forest Cake in the German Region Itself | Tampa Bay Times
50 of the World’s Best Desserts | CNN