Black Forest Gateau
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte as I knew it growing up in Germany was my absolutely favorite cake (I would always request it for my birthday) and still is.
Butter Pie Crust
- 120 g Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- ½ pack Vanilla Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- 60 g Butter cold
- 1 Egg yolk only
- 6 Eggs separated whites and yolks
- 3 tbsp Water warm
- 200 g Sugar
- ½ pack Vanilla Sugar
- 150 g Flour
- 75 g Corn Starch
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 50 g Cacao Powder
- 500 g Cherries in a jar
- 250 ml Cherry Juice
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 1 pinch Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp Corn Starch
- 5 tbsp Kirsch
- 1 ltr Heavy Cream
- 60 gr Sugar
- 1 pack Vanilla Sugar
- 3 pack ‘Whip It’ if you don’t use ‘Whip It’: 4 tsp powder gelatin
- 4 tbsp Kirsch
- 13 retained Cherries
- 50 g good quality dark chocolate or more
- 5 tbsp Kirsch or more!
- 5 tbsp Cherry Juice
- 1 tbsp Sugar
Butter Pie Crust
- Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Add egg yolk and butter cut into cubes and mix all together – preferably with a dough cutter. Knead the dough as briefly as possible so that he crust won’t get too hard after baking.
- Chill the dough for about 30 min and roll out to a round of c. 2-3 mm thickness.
- Bake for about 10 min at 175°C and keep a close eye on it as this thin a dough sheet can get brown very quickly.
- While still warm, use your spring form to ‘cut’ the right size bottom.
- Handle very carefully as this thin pie crust layer easily breaks
- Whisk the egg yolks with the warm water until foamy
- Add about two thirds of the sugar and the vanilla sugar and beat until light in colour and creamy.
- Now whisk the egg whites – while slowly trickling in the remaining sugar – until stiff peaks.
- Carefully mix the stiff egg whites under the egg yolk batter.
- Mix flour, starch, baking powder, and cacao power and sift into the batter
- Carefully mix all together.
- Put the batter into a buttered 9” spring form and even out the top.
- Bake at 190°C for about 30 min
- Drain the cherries and retain 13 for decoration
- Bring 250 ml of the drained cherry juice with the sugar (if you decide to use sugar) and the cinnamon to a light boil.
- Mix the corn starch with a little cold water and add to the juice.
- Bring to a boil again and add the cherries.
- Stir carefully to not smash the cherries.
- Bring to a very brief boil again, remove from heat and let it cool down.
- Add the Kirsch
- Mix ‘Whip It’ and sugar.
- Start whisking the very cold heavy cream and steadily trickle in the sugar mixture.
- Whisk until stiff peaks
- Finally add in the Kirsch
Method if you are using gelatin as stabilizer
- Start whisking the very cold heavy cream and steadily trickle in the sugar.
- Whisk until soft peaks
- Mix gelatin with Kirsch and over a near-hot water (double boiler style) dissolve the gelatin
- Cool gelatin to body temperature – do not let it get too cold
- Continue whisking cream and drizzle in the dissolved gelatin
- Whisk the cream to stiff peaks
- Make sure the cherries are dry
- Use a peeler or knife’s edge to create chocolate shavings
- Keep both cool until use
- Cut the well cooled biscuit horizontally into three even layers
- Mix the cherry juice with the Kirsch and sugar (if you want to use sugar)
- Drizzle the three biscuit layers with the mixture to lightly drench them
- Cover the edges of a cake plate with aluminum or baking paper
- (to keep the plate clean during assembly)
- Place the pie crust layer on the cake plate
- Cover the pie crust layer with about 2 tblsp of the cherry filling sauce (without any cherries)
- Place the first biscuit layer on the pie crust
- Add all cherries onto the first biscuit and only as much sauce as needed to cover the cherries
- Add just about a quarter of the whipped cream on top of the cherries and spread evenly – let the cream go slightly over the edges
- Place the second biscuit layer on top of the cake and add the next quarter of the whipped cream on that; again spread the cream evenly and a little of the edges
- Place the final biscuit layer on top of that
- Retain enough whipped cream into a piping bag to make 13 rosettes (1 for each of the 12 slices plus one for the middle)
- Generously cover the cake top and sides evenly with as much of the whipped cream as needed
- Pipe 12 whipped cream rosettes around the outer edge of the cake
- (the farther to the edge you pipe them, the larger your cake will appear)
- Sprinkle some of the shaved chocolate in the centre of the cake top
- Pipe the last whipped cream rosette in the middle of the cake
- Sprinkle the remaining shaved chocolate around the side of the cake
- Place the 13 retained cherries on top of the whipped cream rosettes
- Carefully remove the aluminum/baking paper from the cake plate
The making of a Black Forest Cake not as elaborate as the recipe suggests. It is best to make the pie crust, sponge cake, and the cherry filling the night before so all can cool down well before the cream is added. You could omit the butter-pie-crust bottom layer but that would not make it an “original” Black Forest Cake anymore. Also, it would make the cake slices more difficult to maneuver. By using a whipping cream stabilizer (e.g. Dr. Oetker ‘Whip It’) instead of gelatin, the cream filling will be nice and fluffy. That said, whipping cream stabilizer might be hard to find and gelatin – used carefully and properly –is not at all a bad way to go. The cake should be cooled well before eating to allow the “Kirsch” (Kirschwasser, clear cherry brandy) to fully permeate. A word on “Kirsch”: since it is a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, Kirsch from the Black Forest region should be used. But you can use just as well Kirsch from Switzerland or even Austria depending on what you find in your liquor store. More info on Kirsch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsch A word on cherries: back home we have “sour cherries” in jars. The cherries as well as the juice they are in really are a tart. The ones I got here at Urban Fare are from Oregon (and both, super delicious and stupid expensive!) and they are not tart at all – rather sweet actually. The recipe below is based on the tart German ones. I used no additional sugar for the cherry filling or the soaking liquid.