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Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake, or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in German, is a traditional German dessert known for its rich chocolate layers, sweet cherries, and whipped cream. This elegant and delicious cake is perfect for celebrations and special occasions. Its combination of flavors and textures makes it a delightful treat for any sweet tooth.

 

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Cherry Filling:

  • 1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling or 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup kirsch (cherry brandy) or cherry juice

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Garnish:

  • Dark chocolate shavings or curls
  • Fresh cherries (optional)

 

Steps

1. Prepare the Cake

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Cream Butter and Sugars: In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
  5. Bake: Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

2. Prepare the Cherry Filling

  1. Kirsch Soak: If using cherry pie filling, combine it with the kirsch or cherry juice in a bowl. If using fresh cherries, mix them with the kirsch or cherry juice and let them soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

3. Prepare the Whipped Cream

  1. Whip Cream: In a large bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.

4. Assemble the Cake

  1. Layer Cake: Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Brush the top with some of the cherry-kirsch mixture. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the cake, then spoon some of the cherries over the cream.
  2. Repeat Layers: Place the second cake layer on top and repeat the process. Place the third cake layer on top, brush with the cherry-kirsch mixture, and spread a final layer of whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake.

5. Garnish

  1. Decorate: Garnish the top of the cake with dark chocolate shavings or curls. Add fresh cherries on top for an extra touch, if desired.

6. Chill and Serve

  1. Chill: Refrigerate the assembled cake for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld and the cake to set.

 

Tips

  • Cake Texture: Ensure the cakes are completely cooled before assembling to prevent the whipped cream from melting.
  • Cherry Brand: Use high-quality cherry pie filling or fresh cherries for the best flavor.
  • Kirsch Substitution: If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, use cherry juice instead of kirsch.

 

Variations

  • Chocolate Ganache: Add a layer of chocolate ganache between the cake layers for an extra decadent touch.
  • Alternate Fillings: Experiment with different fruit fillings such as raspberry or strawberry for a unique twist.

Black Forest Cake is a classic dessert that combines rich chocolate cake, sweet cherries, and fluffy whipped cream into a delightful treat. This cake is perfect for any special occasion, providing a show-stopping centerpiece that tastes as good as it looks. Follow this recipe to create a traditional Black Forest Cake that will impress your family and friends. Enjoy the layers of indulgent flavors and textures in every bite!

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