Black Forest cake is a slice of sweet Germany.
- Black Forest cake is a layered dessert made primarily of cream, cake and cherries, and it is famously German.
- ‘Black Forest cake’ is also known as ‘Black Forest gateau’, ‘Black Forest cherry cake’, and ‘Black Forest cherry torte’, while the German term for the cake is ‘Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte’.
- The typical ingredients of the layers of Black Forest cake are chocolate cake, cherries that are usually sour, and whipped cream, while more cream, cherries and chocolate flakes are often used for decoration.
- Black Forest cake is said to be named after the liquor traditionally used as an ingredient to flavour the cake, ‘Kirschwässer’ – a cherry brandy, which is believed to have originated in the Black Forest of Germany, although other theories exist, including reference to the cake having the appearance of the traditional Black Forest costume worn by women.
- It has been alleged that confectioner Josef Keller invented the Black Forest cake in 1915, at the Cafe Agner in Bad Godesberg, in Germany, Europe, and while this has been disputed, Keller’s hand written recipe is said to still exist.
Black Forest Cake
Image courtesy of Mikel Ortega/Flickr
- To be officially known as ‘Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte’, Black Forest cake requires the use of Kirschwasser, or Kirsch as it is sometimes known; cherries; cream or butter cream; as well as a minimum of three percent cocoa present in the cake batter.
- The earliest published written record of Black Forest cake was in 1934, by John Martin Erich Weber, a German confectioner, in his book ‘250 Konditorei-Spezialitäten und wie sie entstehen’, translated in English literally as ‘250 pastry specialties and how they originate’.
- Today, Black Forest cake is well known worldwide and one of the most popular cakes in Germany, though it was only listed as the thirteenth most famous German cake in 1949.
- In mid 2006, a world record for the largest Black Forest cake was set, created in Germany’s Europa Park, and it had an area of approximately 80 square metres (861 square feet) and a weight of 2,963 kilograms (6,532 pounds).
- A dessert from Sweden, known as ‘Schwarzwaldtårta’, also translated as ‘Black Forest cake’, exists, however it is made of layers of meringue and whipped cream and garnished with chocolate, and as it contains no cake batter, it is typically gluten free.