When Katie, our creation genius from the Innovation Kitchen, told me she was planning on doing a black forest cake for our readers who need a quick, gourmet chocolate dessert fix, I was confused. What I mean is that I have definitely heard of a black forest cake before, but I always assumed it took sooo long to make. And then I wondered…what even makes a black forest cake a black forest cake?
A traditional black forest cake, according to Wikipedia, is classified as a cake originating from Germany that is made with chocolate cake, whipped cream, cherries, and kirsch (clear liquor distilled from tart cherries). However, we made it without the liquor to save on viewers’ costs or those who are intolerant to liquor. But, by all means, kirsch away! Either add it before if you are feeling nice or after if you are feeling naughty (wink, wink).
“The cake is named not directly after the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany but rather from the specialty liquor of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser) and distilled from tart cherries. This is the ingredient, with its distinctive cherry pit flavor and alcoholic content, that gives the cake its flavor (Wikipedia).”
When it comes to the Germans, they have a few more rules than we have in classifying a black forest cake. In North America, the cake is generally not made with alcohol; however, in Germany using kirsch is necessary in order to legally market it as Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte. Also, a true black forest cake in Germany is one that specifically uses black cherries.
Kirsch or no kirsch…this is definitely going to be an epic chocolate journey.
Quick Cherry Sauce for black forest: (5-10min)
-2 cups frozen sweet cherries, pitted
-2 Tablespoons water
-1/4 Cup granulated sugar
-2 Tablespoons cornstarch
-optional: splash of Kirsch (cherry brandy) or vanilla extract
Combine sugar & starch. In a sauce pan over medium heat, heat cherries and water, add in sugar & starch, and stir frequently until mixture thickens. Once thick, remove from heat & allow to cool. Add the cherries to the top of the NeMo’s Chocolate Bundt Cake, which can be found at local convenience stores and other select retailers.