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Black Forest Cake

A German classic to sweeten the best moments

One of the most popular desserts in the world, the Black Forest cake (Schwarzwälder Kirsch) joins an extensive list of classic sweet recipes, like panettone, chocolate truffles, coulant or baumkuchen. Of German origin, this cake is made up of several layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and cherries, which are the essential ingredient of this dessert.

The sponge cake should also be well soaked in kirsch, a liqueur made from slightly bitter cherries from southern Germany, specifically Baden.

Regarding the origin of this dessert, some point out that it was in 1915 when the pastry chef Joseph Keller prepared this cake to serve in the so-called Agner Café, located in the city of Bad Godesberg. Others say that the creator was Erwin Hildenberg of the Café Walz. What is clear is that the first handwritten recipe dates back to 1927.

The Black Forest cake is a great dessert to add a sweet touch to a meal, as well as a perfect way to accompany a good tea or coffee.

Tarta Selva Negra
Black Forest Cake

Ingredients for a 20 cm cake

For the syrup

  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 ml kirsch liqueur
  • 100 ml water

For the sponge cake

  • 250 ml milk
  • 15 ml white wine vinegar
  • 100 g dark baking chocolate
  • 100 g butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300 g pastry flour
  • 15 g cocoa powder
  • 16 g baking powder
  • 5 g baking soda

For the filling

  • 500 ml liquid whipping cream, minimum 35% fat content
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 100 g black cherry jam (alternative: berries)

For decoration

  • 75 g dark baking chocolate
  • Forest fruits: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, …
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Step-by-step preparation

For the syrup

  1. Pour the water, the kirsch and the sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes over medium heat. Reserve.
  2. For the sponge cake
  3. Grease the base and sides of a 20 cm cake mold with removable base and cover the base with parchment paper.
  4. Mix the milk with the vinegar and let it rest for 15 minutes, long enough for it to curdle.
  5. Chop the chocolate and melt in the microwave, heating in short bursts and stirring now and then to avoid burning.
  6. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until creamed and doubled in volume.
  7. Without ceasing to beat, add the eggs one by one, then the melted chocolate.
  8. Sift the flour with cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the previous mixture and stir with rotating movements to avoid losing volume.Finish the dough by gently incorporating the milk and vinegar mixture.
  9. Pour the dough into the mold and smooth the surface. Put in the oven (preheated to 180ºC with top and bottom heat) and cook for 1 hour or until when inserted a toothpick comes out clean.
  10.  Cool completely before removing from the mold and cut horizontally into three layers.

For the filling

  1. Beat the cream, which must be very cold, with an electric mixer.
  2. Add the sugar when the cream begins to take shape and continue beating until it is firm and peaks form.

Decoration

  1. Brush the three layers of sponge cake with syrup, cover with a thin layer of jam and spread a quarter of the cream on top.
  2. Assemble the cake by placing the layers on top of each other and cover with the remaining third of cream.
  3. Peel chocolate shavings and decorate the surface with them.
  4. Top the cake with the berries and some mint leaves. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge until consuming.

‘Harmonies in Flavors and Fragrances’ by Juan Muñoz Ramos.

S.Pellegrino and Jerez Cream Fernando de Castilla: Palomino Fino with Pedro Ximénez yearn for chocolate to create a unique trilogy of flavors and fragrances. It is like a kind of love attraction, each element respecting the other but showing its own personality.

S.Pellegrino y Vermut Fernando de Castilla
S.Pellegrino and Fernando de Castilla

Sweet and generous wine; fresh and lively water; chocolate and more chocolate, whose flavor is amplified thanks to the carbonation and fresh flavor of the water; and cream, which provides richness and gives strength. Both the wine and the Black Forest cake would be nothing or almost nothing without these wonderful S. Pellegrino bubbles and fine taste that makes all the flavors last longer. 

Tips

  • In order for the cake to be very moist, you have to be generous when brushing with the syrup.
  • If we make the cake and keep it in the fridge, it is important to tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, making it easier to cut and preserving the shape of the cake.The sides of the cake can be covered with whipped cream and decorated with chocolate sprinkles. It is a way to hide possible flaws in the cake.
  • The original black forest cake contains candied cherries between the layers of sponge cake and fresh cherries on the surface. Out of cherry season, it is difficult to be faithful to the traditional recipe, but other fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. can be used.

Make it a perfect meal with our  Tuna Poke Bowl… find the step-by-step recipe here!

End this amazing meal with a Cheesecake with Strawberrys, click here to see the complete recipe.

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Autor del artículo
Manu Balanzino
Chef, sumiller y asesor gastronómico. Experto en gestión de Alimentos y Bebidas en el sector de la Hostelería, se encuentra inmerso en labores de asesoramiento a restaurantes en el desarrollo de cartas, vinos, destilados y control de costes. A su vez, asesora a numerosas marcas del sector agroalimentario. Su formación en el sector Servicios comienza en la Escuela de Hostelería de Benalmádena, para posteriormente ampliar sus conocimientos, cursando la "Diplomatura en Gestión de Alimentos y Bebidas" en CIOMijas, y el "Certificado Profesional de Sommelier Internacional" por ESHOB. Manu Balanzino es un apasionado del mundo de la comunicación, y ha fundado el periódico digital de gastronomía, The Gourmet Journal, una publicación referencial del ámbito gastronómico la cual dirige. Además, es colaborador experto en gastronomía en revistas especializadas como Andalucía de Viaje, El Gourmet (AMC Networks International Latin America) y Diario Sur. En radio, conduce el programa "Momentos Gourmets" en COPE y en televisión, colabora en Canal Cocina, RTV Marbella y Fuengirola TV.

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