Black Forest Cake, sometimes called by the French gateau, gateaux or gâteau (meaning "cake"), is a chocolate cake with a strong cherry element, popular throughout North America. The recipe originates from Germany, where it is called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.
Black Forest gâteau (British English) and Black Forest cake (American English and Australian English) are the English names for the German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (pronounced [ˈʃvaʁt͡svɛldɐ ˈkɪʁʃˌtɔʁtə]), literally "Black Forest cherry-torte". Black Forest cake originated in Germany.
Typically, Black Forest cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top. Traditionally, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake, although other liquors are also used (such as rum, which is common in Austrian recipes).
In the United States, Black Forest cake is most often prepared without alcohol. German statutory interpretation states Kirschwasser as a mandatory ingredient, otherwise the cake is legally not allowed to be marketed as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. True Black Forest cakes are decorated with black cherries.
The cake is named not directly after the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany but rather from the specialty liquor of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser) and distilled from tart cherries. This is the ingredient, with its distinctive cherry pit flavor and alcoholic content, that gives the cake its flavor. Cherries, cream, and Kirschwasser were first combined in the form of a dessert in which cooked cherries were served with cream and Kirschwasser, while a cake combining cherries, cookies / biscuits and cream (but without Kirschwasser) probably originated in Germany.
Today, the Swiss canton of Zug is world-renowned for its Zuger Kirschtorte, a cookie / biscuit-based cake which formerly contained no Kirschwasser. A version from the canton of Basel also exists. The confectioner Josef Keller (de) (1887–1981) claimed to have invented Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in its present form in 1915 at the then prominent Café Agner in Bad Godesberg, now a suburb of Bonn about 500 km north of the Black Forest. This claim, however, has never been substantiated.
|From Wikibooks Cookbook|
|Black Forest Cake Recipe|
For The Cake
4oz/100g Irish butter
[Margarine, vegetable oil
or regular butter may be
8oz /225g brown sugar
4oz /100g plain chocolate
7oz /200g self-raising
1/4 pint sour cream
3 tablespoons strong cold
pinch of salt
For The Pastry Base
4oz/100g cream flour
pinch of salt
2oz /50g icing sugar
2 oz/50g Irish butter
1 egg yolk
a few drops of vanilla essence
For The Flavoring and Decoration
1 pint cream
1-lb tin black cherries
4 tablespoons black cherry jam
brandy or cherry juice
4oz/100g grated chocolate
To prepare the cake: Cream the butter and sugar together well. Melt the chocolate and beat into the creamed mixture, then mix in the eggs. Sift flour, salt and cinnamon together. Fold the dry mix lightly into the liquids, then fold in the sour cream and cold coffee. Pour the mixture into a lined and greased 9-inch round, deep tin,and bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Set to cool on a wire rack.
To prepare the pastry base: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and bind until the mixture stiffens. Roll the pastry onto a floured board worktable until pastry is about the same size as the base of the tin. Lay out on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Assemblage: Whip cream until it holds its shape. Put some whipped cream into pastry piping bag with a star pipe attached, and reserve this for the decoration.
Slice the cake into 3 equal-sized layers. Drain the cherries, reserve 8 for decoration and remove the stones from the remainder. Put pastry on serving plate and spread the pastry with black cherry jam. Soak the cakes with spirit. Put one layer of cake on top of coated pastry. Spread a layer of cream with half the stoned cherries. Put the second layer of cake and add another layer of cream and cherries. Add the final layer of the cake. Cover the entire cake with the remaining cream and press on the grated chocolate. Decorate the top with piped rosettes of cream and the reserved whole black cherries.
This recipe did not come with a temperature to bake at for either the pastry or cake. Cakes usually work at between 325°F and 400°F (160°C and 205°C). Pastries usually work at between 350°F and 425°F (175°C and 220°C). 45-60 mins is usually a functional baking time.
Text Credits: Wikipedia Wikibooks Cookbook
Image Credit: petitplat at deviantart