Germany is a land of innovation. It has given us the printing press, cars, aspirin, and MP3 technology. Perhaps, the amazing black forest cake has been the most delectable of its inventions. A cake layered with chocolate, whipped cream, and cherries, and then topped with more whipped cream and chocolate shavings ... Sounds irresistible, doesn't it? Have you ever wondered where this delicacy originated? That's pretty obvious: it comes from the region of the Black forest in Germany. Let's read further, to know more about the history of black forest cake.
Inspired By The Black Forest
Long before the Ben and Jerry flavor Cherry Garcia, made of cherry ice cream, cherries, and chocolate chips, was made, German bakers had invented a German dessert known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, more commonly known as the Black forest cake. The Schwarzwälder or Black forest, is a popular tourist destination in Germany, with dense forests and beautiful high lands. This region is known for its abundant and beautiful cherry trees (as earlier it was a custom for newly marrieds to plant a cherry tree). This was said to be an inspiration for the makers of the cake.
The black forest cake history has many versions. However, the most popular one is that confectioner Josef Keller invented the black forest cherry, as he called it, in 1915 in his café Agner in Bad Godesberg. However, it is a known fact that the recipe did not appear in print until 1930.
Versions Of The Recipe
Besides there being different versions of its history, there are also certain differences in the cake recipe. The typical black forest cake contains several layers of chocolate cake, with oodles of whipped cream, and cherries in each layer, further decorated with additional whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and cherries. In traditional versions, Kirschwasser or kirsch is added, which is a clear, colorless fruit brandy made from double distillation of Morellos (sour cherries). However, today, even other kinds of liquors are used. Many make this without alcohol as well.
In the early printed versions of the recipe, sour cherries were used between layers of chocolate sponge cake, and the layers would be soaked in kirsch. Only the top layer was decorated with whipped cream and shaved chocolates. The non-traditional versions tend to omit the kirsch so that the cake is a little more light, as the added liquor tends to make it quite heavy. We all know that whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate cake don't exactly make a diet snack. Another notable difference in the versions can be seen with respect to the number of layers and types of cherries used. Some claim that the traditional black forest cake has only two layers, while others claim that you have to bake two layers, and then cut each layer so that you have three layers with cherry filling. Similarly, some claim that it's best to use cherry pie filling, whereas others claim that maraschino cherries are better.
Whatever the original recipe might be, after reading the above article, you surely must be craving for it. So go on, and simply indulge!