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Authentic Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwald Kirsch Kuchen) Recipe


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Will I go straight to hell if I make this for July 4 with bourbon cherries instead of kirsch?

Why not... the alcohol should not be the mainstay - bourbon enhances both the cherries and the chocolate. there's some theory here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/dec/19/how-to-cook-perfect-black-forest-gateau. That said, I'm not a big fan of the traditional presentation - little bit too seventies for me. This looked rather nice:

Black Forest Gateau Dessert Recipe - Great British Chefs

I don't fancy such a slick presentation myself. I like homemade foods to look homemade, not like they were bought in a cake shop half an hour before the dinner! Also... what are those oval things anyway?

Gammy your link didn't work -- I think because of the period in that sentence?

OK people, I made the "perfect" Black Forest gateau from this recipe! For the Panda's birthday party. Except being American and Troutgirl, I used BOURBON instead of kirsch and it was genius. Also:

* Definitely do not skip the "pastry" layer which is actually a big chocolate cookie layer. Not only is it easy and really does the job of preventing the whole thing from becoming too mushy... but people mysteriously love it. If you've ever had an icebox cake, it's like that but more so!

* I used DRIED sour (Montmorency) cherries soaked in bourbon instead of tinned fruit. I used the bourbon instead of tinned cherry juice and kirsch. I'm not gonna lie: these cherries are booze BOMBS, they are not something most people would want to eat by themselves... but in the context of this cake they are outstanding. You do not need that many of them, I think it was about half a cup soaked so maybe 4 ounces dried. I probably only used about 2 oz of the bourbon to soak (really sprinkle) the sponge layers.

* The recipe calls for a 20 cm springform tin, which a little Googling shows is about 3 inches tall. In this you are supposed to produce a very tall flourless chocolate sponge -- basically a souffle that you dry out -- and then cut it into thirds. I used 2 normal American 9 inch cake pans (1.5 inches tall) and did not cut the layers. My cake turned out about half as tall as the photos, but I liked the unintimidating look because I don't actually want to produce something that has that "1970's German cruise ship dessert cart" aura which even the author of the recipe dreads for its supreme cheesiness.

* I used slightly more jam than the recipe suggests -- in fact I made a friend of mine drive to a specialty German shop to get the authentic German sauerkirsche jam, which is quite a bit more sour than anything American -- and somewhat less cream, like maybe 350 ml or a cup and a half. Not that you want to be stingy, but again I wanted to avoid florid gestures.

* In the end, I was surprised how well all the flavors melded. The sharpness of the bourbon cherries and the potential dustiness of the cocoa was brilliantly rounded out by the jam and cream. All the guests commented on how much they enjoyed the rare lightness and not-too-sweetness for a chocolate dessert. FTW!!!

Reading about this cake is the next best thing to eating it.

From the comments below it clearly has fans. :)

This looks pretty darned tasty... 

Especially the cherries!

The flavors melded really well. See Joyce's notes above!

thank you for the glorious tips.

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