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Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte
(Black Forest Cherry Cake)



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 "I feel the end approaching.
Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."
- Pierette, great-aunt of Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Fresh Sweet Cherries with Stems
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La Belle Cuisine


Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

(Black Forest Cherry Cake)
Gourmet Archives

To me, this is the ultimate, quintessential dessert of all time. Although this
recipe is excellent, I must admit I have yet to find a recipe that produces a
cake to equal the one served at my very favorite cafe in Bad Homburg,
Germany, where I have spent countless pleasurable hours lingering
over Kaffee und Kuchen. (MG)

2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup boiling water
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sweet black cherries
1/4 cup kirsch
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons kirsch
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
10 sweet black cherries, for garnish

In a large bowl cream together 2 cups sugar and 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, until mixture is light and fluffy and beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl combine the buttermilk
and baking soda, add mixture to sugar mixture alternately with the flour
sifted with salt, and beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
In a heatproof small bowl combine the boiling water and 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces, stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted, and beat it into the batter. Divide the batter among
3 well-buttered and floured 9-inch cake pans and bake cakes in a pre-
heated 325-degree F. oven for 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted
in centers comes out clean.
Let the layers cool in pans and freeze them in pans covered with foil
at least 24 hours. Let the layers thaw.
In a bowl let the cherries macerate in 1/4 cup kirsch for 8 hours and
drain them, reserving the kirsch. In a heavy saucepan combine 1 1/4
cups sugar and 1 cup heavy cream, bring cream to a boil, stirring, and
simmer the mixture undisturbed for 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat,
stir in 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces, and stir
mixture until the chocolate is melted. Stir in 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Combine mixture well and
chill it for 1 hour or until it thickens. In a bowl with electric mixer beat
the chocolate buttercream until it is thick and creamy.
In a chilled bowl beat 3 cups heavy cream until it holds soft peaks,
beat in the sifted confectioner's sugar and beat cream until it holds
stiff peaks. Beat in the reserved kirsch, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating
cream until kirsch is just absorbed.
In another bowl combine 1 1/2 cups whipped cream with 1 cup
cherries. Put one cake layer on a serving plate and spread the chocolate buttercream over it. Spread the remaining cherries over the buttercream
and top them with another layer. Prick the layer 10 times all over with a
fork and sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons kirsch. Spread the cherry and
cream mixture over the layer and top it with remaining layer. Fill a pastry
bag fitted with fluted tip with 3/4 cup cream and kirsch mixture, spread
top and sides of cake with remaining cream and kirsch mixture and pipe
rosettes decoratively around top of cake. Chill the cake for at least 1
hour 30 minutes.
In top of double boiler set over simmering water melt 2 ounces semi-
sweet chocolate. Line an 8-inch cake pan with a round of wax paper,
spread chocolate evenly over the paper and chill it for 15 minutes. Cut
chocolate into 8 wedges with a sharp knife, chill wedges 1 hour and peel
them off the paper. Garnish cake with 10 sweet black cherries, pitted,
and arrange the chocolate wedges, pointed ends up, around the sides.

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