If anyone asked my about my favorite cake, I would answer without hesitation: Black Forest cake. Layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream and cherries constitute the foundation of this great dessert, which was born in Germany almost a century ago. It's usually decorated with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and cherries.
Image by plusgood
Even though the question of its origin is not settled, Josef Keller claimed to invent the Black Forest cake in its current form in 1915, while working as a pastry chef in the Café Ahrend. After Keller established his own café, he worked with August Schäfer as his apprentice, and eventually gave him his recipe book with the original recipe. Claus Schäfer, the son of August, inherited the book and still makes the cake according to Keller's recipe, which he serves at Café Schäfer.
|Image by wikimedia|
Called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in German, the “Queen of Cakes” owes its name to a liquor from the German southwestern mountain region. This liquor, called Scharzwälder Kirschwasser or Kirsch, is a clear, colorless fruit brandy, made from double distillation of morello cherries. Kirschwasser is the most important ingredient in a Black Forest cake, providing an unique flavor to the cream and moisturizing the sponge cake. The difference between a good and a great cake depends very much on the use of dark cherries, soaked in Kirschwasser, instead of choosing maraschino cherries. Dark, sour cherries provide the spark that highlights the deep richness of the chocolate and the soft sweetness of the whipped cream.
|Image by whitneyinchicago|
Personally, I've tried many versions of the Black Forest cake, but one will always remain close to my heart. Last year I was in Frankfurt (the closest I've ever been to the Black Forest) and I had the chance to taste a piece of cake from a near bakery. I can clearly remember the shock of the first bite. I was expecting the sweet cherry flavor and instead savored the sourness of the Kirsch soaked dark cherries. It was incredible! My only regret is that I only had one piece, but I'll go back someday and I'll probably eat a whole cake.