March 28th is National Black Forest Cake Day.
Black Forest Cake, called a Black Forest Gâteau in Britain, is a German dessert known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte which means “Black Forest Cherry Torte”.
This cake consists of layers of chocolate cake filled with whipped cream and cherries and topped with more whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate shavings.
In Germany, the cake must include Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) to be marketed as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. The cakes are usually decorated with black cherries.
In the US, the liquor is usually omitted, and maraschino cherries are used for decoration.
The cake is named for the cherry liquor, a specialty of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) region.
Black Forest Cake
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups cake flour, sifted
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
filling and frosting
1-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon kirsch or maraschino cherry juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup kirsch or maraschino cherry juice
2, 14 ounce cans sweet cherries in heavy syrup, well-drained
3-4 cups shredded chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F. Heavily grease two 8-inch round pans.
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Beat in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Remove cakes from pans and cut each one in half, so you end up with four layers.
Make the filling by whipping cream with powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
Beat in cocoa powder, kirsch, and vanilla.
Assemble by placing the first cake layer on a plate, brush it with some kirsch, spread with some of the whipped cream mixture, then spread with a third of the cherries. Hold back a few cherries for the top.
Do the same with the remaining layers, then frost with remaining frosting.
Press chocolate shavings onto the sides of cake and sprinkle on top. Decoratewith reserved cherries.
image courtesy of Mikelo, Wikipedia.org