Black Forest cake
|Black Forest cake|
|Alternative name(s)||Black Forest gâteau|
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Main ingredient(s)||Chocolate cake, cherries, whipped cream, Kirschwasser|
Black Forest gâteau (British English) and Black Forest cake (American English and Australian English) are the English names for the German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (pronounced [ˈʃvaʁt͡svɛldɐ ˈkɪʁʃˌtɔʁtə]), literally "Black Forest cherry-torte". Black Forest cake originated in Germany.
Typically, Black Forest cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top. Traditionally, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake, although other liquors are also used (such as rum, which is common in Austrian recipes). In the United States, Black Forest cake is most often prepared without alcohol. German statutory interpretation states Kirschwasser as a mandatory ingredient, otherwise the cake is legally not allowed to be marketed as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. True Black Forest cakes are decorated with black cherries.
The cake is named not directly after the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany but rather from the specialty liquor of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser) and distilled from tart cherries. This is the ingredient, with its distinctive cherry pit flavor and alcoholic content, that gives the cake its flavor. Cherries, cream, and Kirschwasser were first combined in the form of a dessert in which cooked cherries were served with cream and Kirschwasser, while a cake combining cherries, cookies / biscuits and cream (but without Kirschwasser) probably originated in Germany.
Today, the Swiss canton of Zug is world-renowned for its Zuger Kirschtorte, a cookie / biscuit-based cake which formerly contained no Kirschwasser. A version from the canton of Basel also exists. The confectioner Josef Keller (de) (1887–1981) claimed to have invented Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in its present form in 1915 at the then prominent Café Agner in Bad Godesberg, now a suburb of Bonn about 500 km north of the Black Forest. This claim, however, has never been substantiated.
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte was first mentioned in writing in 1934. At the time it was particularly associated with Berlin but was also available from high-class confectioners in other German, Austrian, and Swiss cities. In 1949 it took 13th place in a list of best-known German cakes, and since that time Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte has become world-renowned.
The record for the world's largest authentic black forest cake was set at Europa Park, Germany on 16 July 2006, by K&D Bakery. Measuring nearly 80sqm and weighing 3,000 kg, the cake, which is 10m in diameter, used up 700l of cream, 5,600 eggs, 800 kg of cherries, 40 kg of chocolate shavings and 120l of Kirsch. On 9 December 2012, a team led by chefs Jörg Mink and Julien Bompard, made Asia's biggest black forest cake at the S-One Expo in Singapore on 9 December 2012. The 500 kg cake was made from 165l of cream, 1,500 eggs, 68 kg of cherries, 60 kg of chocolate shavings and 10l of Kirsch.
Swedish "Black Forest cake"
A Swedish cake called Schwarzwaldtårta is related to the traditional Black Forest cake only by name. It consists of layers of meringue with whipped cream in between. The whole cake is also covered with whipped cream and decorated with chocolate.
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