I’ve always liked Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, but this is the first time I’ve made a Black Forest Cake from scratch. It turned out great, although my cake-decorating skills are not outstanding.
For the cake (24 cm/9″ springform pan)
75 grams butter
140 grams dark chocolate
100 grams flour
15 grams baking powder
50 grams corn starch
180 grams sugar (preferably vanilla-scented by keeping used vanilla beans in the sugar jar)
For the filling
500 grams (net weight) pitted sour cherries with syrup from a can or jar, preferably Italian amarene
70 ml kirsch (cherry brandy)
750 ml whipping cream
60 grams confectioner’s sugar
Melt the chocolate (broken into pieces) and the butter (cut into pieces) over very low heat or au bain marie.
Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Take off the heat and let cool.
Seperate the eggs. (Make sure there is absolutely no egg yolk in the egg whites. To prevent this, a trick I use is to separate each egg separately above a small bowl and pour each egg white from the cup if I have succeeded to not get any egg yolk in. This way, if something goes wrong, I only have to throw away one egg.)
Beat the egg yolks with 90 grams sugar to obtain a pale yellow creamy consistency.
Mix in the chocolate mixture that should not be hot anymore (otherwise the egg yolks will be cooked!).
Pour this mixture into a large bowl.
Whisk the egg whites in a very clean dry bowl with a very clean dry whisk or very clean dry beaters until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 90 grams sugar in three additions and whisk until firmer peaks form.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Gently fold in the egg whites in three additions. By doing this gently, you keep as much air in the batter as possible.
Gently fold in the sieved flour and sieved baking powder.
Butter and flour a 24 cm/9″ springform pan. Pour the batter into the pan and flatten the top with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes at 180C/350F until a tester comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. The edges should come loose from the sides of the pan (otherwise, use a knife).
Turn over onto a large flat plate and let cool. Press down gently on the cake to make it flat if needed.
Drain the cherries and reserve the syrup. Keep 11 cherries apart for decoration. Slice or chop the remaining cherries (or keep them whole if you like that better).
Cut the cake base into three discs. Start with the bottom disc. Measure 140 ml of the cherry syrup and mix it with the kirsch. Sprinkle this liberally over the cake disc, making sure that the cake is evenly soaked. Spread out half the cherries onto the disc.
Whip the whipping cream with the confectioner’s sugar. Spread a layer of whipped cream on the cherries.
Make sure the layer of whipping cream reaches to the very edge.
Add the second disc and repeat with syrup, cherries and whipped cream. Add the third disc and sprinkle with syrup.
Cover the entire cake, top and sides, with whipped cream.
Make chocolate shavings using a potato peeler.
Decorate the cake with the chocolate shavings, whipping cream and the reserved cherries.
Store in the refrigerator. The cake can be eaten straight away, but can also be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. If not using straight away, you may want to decorate the cake with whipped cream at the last minute because the whipped cream may lose some of its firmness during storage.