The Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is probably the most famous German cake known around the world, and typically German. It is also regulated on its ingredients and aspect. (Have a look here, to learn all about Germans love for certificates).
For many Germans it’s their favourite cake and for a good reason: it’s super tasty!
And not so difficult to prepare. What you need is time, but a little trick helps: The sponges and the cherry filling can be prepared in advance, so that only the whipped cream filling and the assembling has to be done on the same day.
If you can’t get all the ingredients you need in the country you live in, consider asking a German friend to bring them back for you. Maybe you’ll have to share the cake with them afterwards, but that makes a nice German Kaffee & Kuchen afternoon.
Here the recipe step by step:
Ingredients for the sponge cake:
- 8 eggs
- 250 g sugar
- 30 g cocoa
- 220 g flour
Ingredients for the cherry filling
- 750 g jar of sour cherries in juice
- 3 tbs starch
- 2 tbs Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps)
Ingredients for the whipped cream filling and topping:
- 1100 ml whipped cream
- 13 gelatine sheets
- 80 – 100 g icing sugar (depending on how sweet you want it to be)
You will also need a bar of dark chocolate.
The sponge cake:
1. Mix all the eggs and the sugar in a water bath (the eggs should have room temperature) until it reaches a thick creamy consistence and keeps the traces of the mixer for some seconds.
2. Slowly add the flour and the cocoa to the dough with a hand whisk (not the electric one!) and stop immediately when it’s homogenous.
3. Fill it in a 28 cm cake ring (if you don’t have the one with the bottom part, you can use the newspaper trick as shown on the picture).
4. Put it in the oven for 30 mins at 180°C.
5. Let it cool down.
The cherry filling:
1. Drain the cherries but keep 500 ml of the juice in a pot.
2. Add the starch to the juice and heat it up. Don’t stop stirring until it’s boiling. It will get thick quickly. Stop the heat.
3. Add the cherries and the Kirschwasser, mix it with a spoon and let it cool down.
The Whipped cream filling and topping:
You don’t have to use gelatine or AgarAgar, but in that case, make sure you eat the cake quickly.
1. Prepare the gelatine as instructed on the package.
2. Whip the cream together with the sugar until it is stiff, don’t make butter.
3. Now be quick and use the hand whisk again to stir the gelatine into the whipped cream.
Build up the cake:
1. You need to cut the biscuit base horizontally in 2-3 pieces (depending on its height) of ca. 1.5 cm thick.
2. Take a long and sharp knife and first mark on the side where you want to cut it.
Start cutting the lower slice by pushing the point of the knife to the middle of the biscuit. Now cut by “turning” the entire biscuit around. Do the same for the next slice.
3. Take care to have equal and smooth-surfaced slices.
4. Now sprinkle one side of each biscuit slice with Kirschwasser. Be generous, without soaking it :-D
5. Start putting a good layer of cherries onto your bottom sponge slice, keep a small amount of fringe free.
6. Place the next sponge slice on top of the cherries and press down gently.
7. If you have cherries left, put them in the centre of this layer.
8. Spread a good layer of whipped cream on top, about 1 cm or more. (If you only have two sponge slices, proceed to instruction number 10 directly)
9. Now place the last sponge slice on top and again press down gently.
10. Start putting whipped cream all over the cake by first applying it on top and let it also spill over the edge.
Go on distributing it on the sides. Keep some for the little roses on top. Remember that we didn’t wanted the cherries too close to the edges? Here’s why - if they are, the whipped cream becomes red.
11. Now you take the chocolate bar and scrape it with a knife to make light and delicate chocolate flakes. Grate the chocolate over and towards the cake so that the flakes fly directly onto it.
12. Put some whipped cream in a piping bag and form roses on top of the cake. This size of cake makes ca. 15 slices, so place the same number of roses.
If you have some glacé cherries, arrange them on top of the roses.
13. Time to enjoy the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte!
All photos by Candice Gärtner