Monday, October 20, 2008

Oktoberfest - Schwarzwälder

Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
Yesterday was the first annual Colvin Family Oktoberfest. N- made vegetarian sausages, and I made Roggenbrot (German rye bread), Caraway-Ale Potato Salad, and Cheddar and Hard Cider Fondue (highly recommended).

With all the dark, sour, and vinegary flavors included in German food (from beer to sauerkraut), it was essential that we have a sweet dessert to balance everything out. I think this must be why most German desserts are so sweet.

Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake)

For the cake:

* 6 large eggs
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
* 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
* 1 cup flour, sifted

For the syrup:

* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup water
* 2 tablespoons Kirsch

For the filling:

* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar / icing sugar
* 1/3 cup unsalted butter
* 1 large egg yolk
* 2 tablespoons Kirsch

For the topping:

* 2 cups canned sour cherries, drained
* 2 tablespoons confectioners' / icing sugar
* 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
* 8 ounces semisweet chocolate

CAKE: Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until thick and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Alternately fold chocolate and flour into the egg mixture, ending with flour. Pour the batter into 3 8-inch cake pans that have been well greased and floured. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 5 minutes; turn out on racks to cool completely.

SYRUP: Make syrup by mixing together sugar and water and boiling for 5 minutes. When syrup has cooled, stir in kirsch. Prick the cake layers and pour syrup over all 3 layers.

FILLING: To make the butter-cream filling, beat together sugar and butter until well blended. Add egg yolk; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Fold in Kirsch.

CAKE ASSEMBLY: To assemble cake, place 1 layer on a cake plate. Spread with butter cream filling. Using 3/4 cup of the cherries, which have been patted dry, drop cherries evenly over cream. Place second layer on cake. Repeat. Place third layer on top. Fold 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar into the whipped cream. Cover the sides and top of the cake with whipped cream.

Decorate top of cake with remaining 1/2 cup cherries. To make chocolate curls from chocolate bar, shave (at room temperature) with a vegetable peeler. Refrigerate curls until ready to use. Press chocolate curls on sides of cake and sprinkle a few on the top. Chill until serving time.


The only thing I didn't do very well was incorporating the chocolate - I think it was too warm, and I ended up with a flecked cake instead of a chocolate one. It still tasted good though. The kirsch is essential to make this "authentic" but it definitely has a presence. That combined with the sour cherries (as opposed to maraschino or cherry pie filling) makes the cake less sweet than you would assume, and there is a nice contrast and balance in the flavors.

I wanted to be blogging about the rye bread which I spent a blissful 12 minutes kneading, but my kitchen was too cold, the dough never went through its second rise very well, and the end result was tasty but too dense. I really want to go more towards bread baking and get away from these super sweet desserts!

Categories: Cake, Cherry, Chocolate


Treasure Ann said...

Hi Jenny, that food sounds great. I love sweets myself and that cake looks delicious. I may try that recipe.

Anonymous said...

So that's what black forest is called in German. Looks amazing.