March 28
National Black Forest Cake Day

Black Forest Cake

Yield: Serves 8


Cake•3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled,
plus more for buttering cake pan

•1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
plus more for dusting cake pan

•1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa

•Pinch of salt

•6 large eggs, at room temperature

•3/4 cup (4 3/4 ounces) superfine sugar

•1 teaspoon vanilla extract


•1/2 cup sugar

•1 ounce (2 tablespoons) kirsch


•4 cups heavy cream

•1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar

•2 teaspoons vanilla extract

•2 cups Spirited Sour Cherries , drained, or a 24-ounce
jar sour cherries such as morello or amarena

•jar sour cherries such as morello or amarena

•8 fresh cherries with stems (optional)

•About 2 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao)
in a single block

•About 1/2 cup ground dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao)
or chocolate cookie crumbs

•Powdered sugar for dusting


To Make the Cake:Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the rack in the
center of the oven. Butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan that is
3 inches deep such as a springform mold.

Sift the 1/2 cup flour, the cocoa, and the salt together onto a
sheet of parchment paper and set aside. In the bowl of a stand
mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar,
and vanilla at high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume
and is very thick, about 8 minutes. When the whisk is lifted, the
batter will form a thick ribbon as it falls back into the bowl.

Lower the speed to stir and carefully tap the dry ingredients into
the egg mixture. As soon as all the flour has been added to the eggs,
stop the machine. Pour in the melted butter, making sure to leave
the white, milky solids behind. With a large rubber spatula, using as
few strokes as possible, finish folding the flour mixture and butter
into the batter until evenly mixed.

Immediately scrape the batter into the prepared pan, place the pan on
a baking sheet, and bake until the cake feels just firm to the touch,
about 40 minutes. Transfer the cake to a rack and let it cool for about
5 minutes. Then turn the cake upside down onto a rack to cool. This will
flatten the slightly domed top.

To Make Syrup

To Make the Syrup:Place the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan
over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring to
dissolve the sugar. Add the kirsch and remove from the heat. Pour the
syrup into a small cup or bowl and set it aside.

Assemble the Cake

To Assemble the Cake:In a large bowl, whip the cream with the sugar and
vanilla on medium-high speed until it holds firm peaks. Do not overbeat;
the whipped cream should be smooth and firm. Divide the cream into 4
equal portions and set them aside. (This helps prevent getting to the
last bit of decorating and discovering you have run out of cream.) Drain
the cherries and divide them into 2 equal piles. Reserve 8 to 12 cherries
to garnish the top of the cake if you do not have fresh cherries.

Place the cake on a work surface with its original top up. Trim off any
hard crusts. With a long serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into
3 even layers. Transfer the top layer to a serving plate, arranging it
top side down. Brush it liberally with the syrup. With an offset spatula
or rubber spatula, smooth on a 1/2-inch layer of whipped cream. Push the
cream a little beyond the edge of the cake. (This prevents gaps when you
settle the next layer on top.) Nestle half of the cherries into the
whipped cream, scattering them evenly over the top.

Place the middle cake layer on top of the cherries, pressing it lightly
into the whipped-cream layer. Brush with syrup, spread with whipped cream,
and scatter the remaining half of the cherries over the cream.

Finally, add the last cake layer, cut side up, on top of the cherries,
again settling it into the whipped-cream layer. Brush with syrup. With
an icing spatula or a large rubber spatula, spread a thin layer of
whipped cream over the top of the cake. Spread a thicker layer onto
the sides.

Pastry shops add a decorative scalloped edge of ground dark chocolate
around the base of the cake. Fill your cupped palm with some of the
ground chocolate and lift and tilt it onto the base of the cake all
around the bottom edge. Rotate the cake between handfulls. It's the
heel of your hand that forms the scalloped edge.

Rotate the edge of a sharp knife against the block of chocolate to
make curls or cut shavings with a vegetable peeler. Pile them on top
of the cake.

Scoop the remaining whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a
medium star tip. Pipe fat rosettes all around the top edge of the
cake. Press a fresh or spirited cherry into the center of each
rosette. Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours to let the
flavors meld. Just before serving, dust the top with powdered

Alcohol-Free Variation

Use about 24 ounces of preserved sour cherries in syrup. Drain the
cherries, reserving the syrup and cherries separately. In a small
saucepan, bring to a boil 1/3 cup espresso or strong coffee, the
reserved syrup, and 3/4 cup sugar (or to taste), stirring until the
sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and reserve until needed.

Black Forest Cake


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