Black Forest Cake is the well known German cake, that is made with layers of chocolate sponge cake filled with whipped cream and kirsch soaked cherries, decorated with chocolate and more cherries.
One of the main ingredients in this recipe is the cherry brandy that the layers are soaked in, which is called kirschwasser, a brandy originated from the Black Forest Mountain region in Germany, a clear sweet less, colorless cherry brandy, with a subtle cherry flavor, that brings its unique flavor to this simple yet delicious cake.
Due to its high percentage of alcohol, Black Forest Cake is a dessert made for adults only, but it can be replaced with a simple cherry syrup if needed to be served for kids as well. Enjoy!!
Black Forest Cake
Chocolate Sponge Cake
- 6 large eggs , separated
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 4 oz (120g) semisweet chocolate , melted
- 1/4 cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp (1g) instant coffee
- 25 oz (700g) fresh black cherries
- 1/2 cup (120ml) cherry brandy (kirsch)
- 2 tbsp (30ml) water
- 1 tbsp (8g) cornstarch
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 2 ¼ cups (550g) whipping cream , 35% fat
- 3 tbsp (24g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp (5g) vanilla extract
- 3.5 oz (100g) semisweet chocolate , cut in small pieces
- 1/3 cup (80g) whipping cream
- 1 tbsp (15ml) cherry brandy (kirsch)
- Fresh black cherries
- Chocolate curls
- Pit the cherries, cut in half and transfer into a bowl. Pour the cherry brandy (kirsch) over the cherries and let them soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or even overnight.
- Prepare the chocolate sponge cake. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease with butter an 8 inch (20cm) round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a bowl sieve flour, salt, cocoa powder and instant coffee. Whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually incorporate sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the yolks and stir to combine. Pour the chocolate yolk mixture over the whites and using a spatula gently fold them in.
- Gradually incorporate flour mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the pan for 10 mins then invert the cake on a cooling rack and cool completely.
- While the sponge cake is baking prepare the cherry filling.
- Drain the cherries and keep the kirsch for later use, to soak the layer cakes in.
- Transfer the drained cherries into a saucepan, add sugar, water and cornstarch. Place over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Simmer, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until reduced and thick.
- Let it cool completely.
- Prepare the whipped cream. In a large bowl whip cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble the cake. Divide the sponge cake into three cake layers. Place one cake layer on the serving platter.
- Soak with a third of reserved kirsch. Spread half of whipped cream and then half of cherry filling.
- Add the second cake layer, soak with another third of kirsch, spread the remaining whipping cream and cherry filling. Finish with the third layer, prick with a toothpick if necessary and soak with the remaining kirsch.
- Prepare chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate, cream and kirsch into a small saucepan, place over very low heat until chocolate is completely melted.
- Pour over the cake and let some drip down the sides.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Before serving decorate the cake with fresh cherries and chocolate curls if desired.