Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 20-40 minutes
Germans will tell you that this torte is, of course, best in the Black Forest. You can sample it in just about every restaurant and tea salon. One of the essential ingredients is kirsch as it is made here, since it is only in the Black Forest that you'll find the authentic cherries used to produce this liquor.
There are many different presentations but traditionally the cake is covered in whipped cream and decorated, just on the top, with big chocolate shavings.
The "pastry chef" version involves setting the cake on a layer of pastry (pâte brisée) covered with raspberry or red currant jam, but you can omit this step if you like.
To simplify the assembly, I suggest baking the cake batter in 3 pans of the same size. If you use just one pan, increase the baking time to 40 minutes.
- Macerate the cherries in a bowl with the kirsch and 150 ml (10 tbsp.) water.
Making the cake
- In a bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and cocoa (if using version 2). Separate the eggs.
- Beat the yolks with the sugar until light and pale. Add the melted chocolate (version 1), butter and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute and set aside.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients from step 1 into the egg-chocolate mixture (step 2) until well blended.
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form; fold them gently into the batter.
- Divide the batter among three buttered and floured round cake pans. Bake at 180° C (350° F) for about 20 minutes, checking for doneness with the tip of a knife. Remove from the pans and cool.
Last step before assembly
- Whip the cream. Mix in the sugar and vanilla.
- Place each cake layer on a high-sided plate and sprinkle generously with the macerating liquid from the cherries.
- Place a cake layer on a platter; cover the top with whipped cream and top with a layer of drained cherries.
- Cover with a second cake layer; top with whipped cream and cherries as for layer 1.
- Place on the third layer. Frost the whole cake with whipped cream.
- Decorate the whole surface with white and dark chocolate shavings.
- Decorate with whipped cream rosettes, each topped with a cherry for garnish. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.
Hints & Tips