A chocolate genoise (sponge) cake layered with whipped cream and cherries in each layer, and then topped with more whipped cream and chocolate shavings....sounds delicious, doesn't it?
The black forest cake originated in the region of Schwarzwälder or Black Forest in Germany, which is a popular tourist place in Germany with dense forests and beautiful high lands. The region is known for its abundant and beautiful cherry trees, said to be the inspiration for the black forest cake.
An interesting fact from the black forest cake history is that it was intended to be a dessert recipe rather than a cake. The most popular version of its history states that confectioner Josef Keller invented the black forest cake, or as he called it, the Black Forest Cherry in 1915 in his café Agner in Bad Godesberg . However, the recipe of black forest cake did not appear in public print until 1930.
The typical black forest cake contains several layers of chocolate cake, with oodles of whipped cream and cherries in each layer, further decorated with additional whipped cream, chocolate shavings and cherries. Also, in traditional black forest cakes, Kirschwasser or Kirsch, which is a clear colorless fruit brandy made from double distillation of Morellos (made of sour cherries) is added. However, today even other kinds of liqueur like rum, brandy are used instead of kirsch, or a lot of times, the cake is made without any alcohol.
Strangely I still remember how some of my favorite foods used to taste and feel even from when I was little. My father used to be in the Indian Air Force and we used to live near the Air Force base which was then in a remote place far away from the main town but we used to visit the town every weekend! I used to anxiously wait for that trip as it involved lot of shopping, dining out and movies. My Appa (Dad) always used to get me a Black Forest pastry from the Nilgiris Cafe at Brigade Road in Bangalore (India) which makes me drool just thinking about it. Recently I got a craving for that same moist black forest cake and I attempted to recreate that. I was pretty impressed with the resulting 4 layer chocolate genoise cake with whipped cream frosting, drizzled with cherry-cognac syrup in each layer.
Dark chocolate Genoise (Sponge) Cake Ingredients2/3 Cup (115gms) - Dark chocolate morsels (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet dark chocolate morsels)
1/3 Cup - Water
4 - Eggs
1/2 Cup - Sugar
1 1/2 tsp - Pure vanilla extract
2/3 Cups - All purpose flour
2 Tbsp - Cornflour
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease 2 5.5inch pans and line them with parchment paper.
- Sift the All purpose flour and corn flour.
- In a non-stick sauce pan, bring the chocolate and the water to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the chocolate thickens to a pudding like consistency. Let this mixture cool completely.
- Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl on high speed until the volume has tripled (about 10 minutes)
- Mix 1/2 the flour mix over the egg mixture, and fold in gently but rapidly until some of the flour has disappeared. Repeat with the remaining flour until all the flour has disappeared.
- Fold in the chocolate mixture until incorporated.
- Pour the cake batter immediately into prepared pans and bake at 350F / 180C for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick when inserted into the cake, comes out clean.
- Carefully loosen the side and rest the cake on a cooling rack.
Cherry Syrup Ingredients1/8 Cup - Sugar
1/4 Cup - Cherry syrup from the canned cherries or water (Cherries will be used while assembling the cake)
1 Tbsp - Kirsch, Cognac or any liqueur of your choice
- In a small saucepan bring the sugar and cherry syrup to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and add the liqueur and allow to cool completely.
1 Can - Tinned cherry
1 Bar - Chocolate, shaving
1 Tub 8oz (226gm) - Whipped cream (Use a good brand)
- Split each cake horizontally into 2 to get 4 layers.
- Sprinkle each layer with the cherry syrup.
- Spread the whipped cream over the bottom layer.
- Sprinkle chopped cherries.
- Repeat with the remaining 3 layers.
- Frost the whole cake with whipped cream.
- Cover the sides and top with grated dark chocolate.
- Add some whipped cream to the piping bag to make rosettes.
- Place cherries on the rosettes.