Follow This Tutorial and Learn to Bake the Traditional Black Forest Cake
Are you a fan of the black forest cake but never got the guts to try your hand at baking it? Well, we wouldn’t blame you, the cake indeed looks complicated and difficult to nail. But, guess what, it isn’t as bad as you think it will be, in fact making a black forest cake is piece of cake (notice the pun?) Follow this easy tutorial and we will take you through the whole process in small and simple steps.
What Is the Black Forest Cake?
Before we head straight into the baking part, let's get to know our black forest cake better. Do you know where this particular type of cake originated and why exactly it is called so? The black forest cake or Schwartzwalder Kirsch torte (as it is known in German) is said to have originated in Germany in the late 16th century. It was during this era that chocolate was first being used in cakes and cookies. Germans combined chocolate with their specialty cherry liquor called Kirsch or Kirshwasser to create the black forest cake. Hence the name!
But there are other assumptions also about the origin of the name. Some historians say that the cake is named after the Black Forest mountain range in Southwestern Germany. Others claim that the name derives from the traditional costume worn by the women of the Black Forest in Germany. The dress was mainly comprised of the three colours black, red and white!
What Are the Main Steps Involved in Making the Cake?
Black forest cake is otherwise known as black forest gateau mainly consists of multiple (usually four) layers of chocolate cake. The cake is layered with whipped cream and cherry filling in between. Though kirsch or the fruit liquor made from sour cherries is used in the authentic recipe, we are going to bake a version of the cake which tastes just as fine even without it!
Making the black forest cake basically involves four main steps. Follow the instructions for each of these steps and your black forest cake will be ready in no time.
Step 1- Baking the Basic Chocolate Cake
Chocolate and cherries with the cream is a flavorful pairing for a wonderful dessert. A very basic moist and spongy chocolate cake is prepared to form the foundation of the black forest cake. The chocolate cakes are not overly sweet as the cherry filling will compensate for that.
Step 2- Preparing the Cherry Filling
The cherry filling can either be prepared with fresh or canned cherries and sugar. Alternatively, you can also use store-bought cherry filling for the cake. The syrup from the cherry filling is soaked up by the layers of the chocolate cake, giving it that distinctive and delicious taste!
Step 3- Assembling the Cake
This step gives the black forest cake its unique shape and form. The chocolate cakes are layered generously with whipped cream and cherry filling. This process is followed for all layers except the top most one.
Step 4- Decorating the Cake
Chocolate shavings make up the most important part of the garnishing or decoration of the black forest cake. You can either prepare the chocolate shavings on your own or use store-bought ones for the cake. Fresh cherries are a must in the decoration of the black forest cake!
What Are the Ingredients in the Black Forest Cake?
The black forest cake, (like any other cake) tastes best when prepared with the best ingredients. So, make sure to select fresh ingredients for the cake. Here is a list of the ingredients and their quantities required for the baking of our black forest cake.
For the Chocolate Cake:
- flour- 1 1/3cup
- cocoa powder- 2/3 cup
- baking soda- 2tsp
- baking powder- 1tsp
- salt- 1 tsp
- sugar- 2 cups
- eggs- 2 large
- vegetable oil- 1/2 cup
- vanilla extract- 2 tsp
- buttermilk- 1 cup
- hot water- 1 cup
For the Cherry Filling:
- Canned cherries- 1 cup
- reserved juice from the drained cherries- 1/4 cup
- Sugar- 1/2 cup
- cornstarch- 1/8 cup
- Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp
You can replace the canned cherries with fresh ones if you like. But we recommend using canned ones as they turn out to be sweeter and tastier in the cake.
For the Frosting:
- Heavy cream- 3 cups (cold)
- powdered sugar- 1/2 cup (sifted)
We are using heavy cream to prepare the whipped cream frosting for the black forest cake. Alternatively, you can also use readymade whipped cream available in the stores. This will reduce the time in preparing the frosting for the cake.
For the Cake Decoration:
- chocolate shavings- 200gms
- fresh whole cherries
Chocolate shaving can either be store-bought ones or can be prepared at home. You can prepare chocolate shavings at home by using a vegetable peeler or grater to shave flat thin shavings from a chocolate block at room temperature.
The Instructions to Prepare the Black Forest Cake:
Making the black forest cake as said involves a series of four main steps. Each step has to be carried out with precision for the cake to turn out well. Read the instructions carefully and make sure to follow them correctly.
To Bake the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 175 degree Celsius before you head out with the preparation. Butter and dust two 8-inch baking pans with flour and keep ready.
- Take a large bowl and combine the dry ingredients. These include the Flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. For best results, it is always recommended that you sieve through the dry ingredients of the cake. This should remove any impurities in the ingredients and also help in combining the ingredients well. Set this aside.
- In another bowl, add the eggs and beat well. To this, add milk, oil, vanilla extract and buttermilk. After combining well, add the hot water little by little and mix well. Please make sure that the water isn’t too hot as it will get the eggs cooked in the mixing process! Whisk until smooth.
- To the dry ingredients, you can now add the egg mix in small batches. Always be careful to only fold in the ingredients smoothly and not overbeat. The batter may be lumpy at first, but gently mix the ingredients till smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans. Bake the cakes in the oven for around 30 to 35 minutes. The baking time may differ depending on the oven used. You can also insert a skewer or toothpick into the cake to check if it is cooked. The inserted skewer should come out clean with a few crumbs. Once done, the cakes should be cooled on a wire rack. It is recommended that you place the cakes in the refrigerator for a while before cutting them.
- Cut the cakes in horizontal halves.
To Make the Cherry Filling:
- Drain the cherries and separate it from the juice.
- Now reserve ¼ cup of the drained juice.
- Combine the reserved juice, drained cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a sauce pan.
- Cook over low heat till all the ingredients are mixed well. The syrup should thicken to form the cherry filling.
- Keep on stirring continuously
- Take the pan off the flame. Add the vanilla extract to the saucepan and combine well.
- Always cool the cherry filling well before using.
To Make the Whipped Cream Frosting:
- Add heavy cream and powdered sugar to a whisking bowl.
- Beat well with a stand mixer or a hand mixer till stiff peaks are formed.
- Always make sure that the bowl and the whisker are chilled in the freezer before use.
- Set aside 1 ½ cups of the frosting for decoration of the black forest cake.
For the Assembly of the Cake:
- Take the halved chocolate cake layers and brush off the loose crumbs.
- Place one layer of the chocolate cake on a flat surface.
- Spread evenly a generous amount of the whipped cream frosting on it.
- Top the layer with a spread of the cherry filling.
- Repeat the same process with the next two layers of the chocolate cake.
- Now cover the sides and top of the assembled cake with the frosting.
- You can also use a piping bag with a flower tip to decorate the top of the cake with the frosting.
- Cover the sides and the top of the cake with the chocolate shavings.
- Place fresh cherries evenly on the cake.
You can cover and store this black forest cake in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Now, that are done with the making of our black forest cake, let us get into some interesting facts about this amazing dessert.
- The black forest cake is one of the top ten cakes that are the most famous and very popular around the world.
- The German pastry chef Josef Keller is said to have invented the modern version of the black forest cake in 1915.
- In 2006, K and U bakery in Germany set the Guinness world record by baking the biggest black forest cake ever. It weighed a whopping 3000kgs!
- The white forest cake is derived from the black forest cake and is made from predominantly the same ingredients. The chocolate cake in the black forest cake is replaced with white sponge cakes (basically leaving the cocoa powder away from the recipe!). The dark chocolate shavings are replaced with white chocolate shavings. The assembly and main steps in the preparation are quite much similar to that of our beloved black forest cake!
- One single slice of the typical black forest cake gives 441 calories! Yikes, that is a lot of calories for you to burn down if you are a conscious weight watcher. In fact, it takes more than 2 hours of brisk walking to burn that much calories! So, consider this amazing cake as yummy occasional treat and be careful not to consume too much of it.
- March 28 is celebrated as the National Black forest day in many parts of the world.
- The cherries are replaced with strawberries in the black forest cake to give an interesting spin to the traditional cake. The cherry filling or cherry compote is replaced with a strawberry filling.
How to Make Eggless Black Forest Cake?
This probably might be one question that intrigued many minds especially that of the vegans! The only variation here is in the baking of the chocolate cake without eggs. So, here we give you a splendid recipe to a chocolate cake that tastes just as fine without eggs. You can comfortably use this chocolate cake in the preparation of the black forest cake!
Eggless chocolate cake
- All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cups
- Unsweetened cocoa powder- ½ cup
- Granulated white sugar- 1 cup
- Baking soda- 1 tsp
- Salt- ¼ tsp
- Milk- 1 cup
- White vinegar- 1 tbsp
- Refined vegetable oil- ½ cup
- Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
- Water – 2 tbsp (optional/ only if needed)
- Preheat the oven at 350F degrees and prepare the baking pans.
- Combine the flour and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Sift them through a strainer.
- Then add sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
- In a cup, add the milk and white vinegar. Keep this aside for five minutes.
- The milk should curdle up within a few minutes. Add the oil and vanilla extract to this.
- Stir well.
- Add this mix to the dry ingredients mix little by little and combine well.
- If the batter seems too thick, then you may add the water to make it smooth.
- Never overbeat the batter. Make sure to only gently fold in the ingredients.
- Transfer the cake batter to the baking pans.
- Bake the cakes at 350F degrees till done. You can insert a skewer or a tooth pick into the cake to check if it is baked.
- Once baked, cool the cakes well on a wire rack. You can also chill the cakes in the refrigerator for a while.
- Cut the cakes into horizontal halves.
You can now follow the detailed recipe for making the black forest cake. Assemble and garnish this eggless chocolate cake to make a vegan version of the famous black forest cake!
Take a Good Care of Taste, Health and Presenation
You do anything, Presentation matters a lot. Follow this guide very carefully and do some of your creativity too and make your cake look delicious that even if someone doesn't like cake, he/she should tend to taste it once. After that keep the sugar maintained. The cake needs some extra after making it too. Always keep it in a dry and cool place before the use. Keep it away from the small children before presenting because kids are kids, The will likely struggle to get their hands on it and to taste it. Make the moment happier with the special homemade cake.