Dr. Chockenstein's German Black Forest Cake!
Dr. Chockenstein's German Black Forest Cake recipe!
Here at Dr. Chockenstein's we absolutely love our German Black Forest Cake Recipe. Filled with delicious rich dark chocolate flavor, fluffy whipped cream, and sweet dark cherry filling, this is the perfect cake for any occasion. Thanks to a liberal dose of Kirsch or cherry liqueur, this is definitely an adult's only kind of sweet treat, so make sure to enjoy it after the kids have gone to bed!
What's the story behind Black Forest Cake?
Black Forest Cake or Black Forest Gateau is an American dessert based on Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, a German dessert from the Black Forest region that literally translates to "Black Forest Cherry Torte." On a personal note, the Chockenstein family hails from the Black Forest region of Germany, so the combination of Black Forest Cake and Dr. Chockenstein's Chocolate is a perfect pairing!
Traditionally Black Forest Cake is composed of a rich chocolate cake, sweet and fluffy whipped cream for icing, cherry filling, and kirsch or cherry liqueur, as well as chocolate decorations for garnish and embellishment.
While there is some disagreement on how many layers a black forest cake should be, I prefer to make my cake two cake layers with a hefty frosting between each layer and top. This helps provide a stable base for the sweet cherry filling in the center of the cake, and in general, it's a lot easier to prepare. Purists may say that a four-layer cake is ideal, but this is much more manageable and just as delicious.
How to make a German Black Forest Cake!
While this recipe has a fairly large number of steps, it's altogether a very straightforward cake recipe. If you want to spread the prep out for this recipe over multiple days, I recommend preparing the cherry filling and the cake layers on the first day. You can wrap the cake layers, refrigerate them overnight, and assemble the cake the next day with fresh whipped cream and chocolate decorations.
Step 1: Make a chocolate cake batter.
First, to prepare the chocolate sponge, whip your butter sugar and vegetable oil in a stand mixer or blender until it is light and fluffy. Once the butter and sugar mixture is light and airy, begin adding your eggs one at a time. Allow the mixer to run for a few seconds between each egg addition; this will help keep the butter and sugar mixture fluffy and prevent breakage.
Next, add the coffee and vanilla extract to the egg, butter, sugar mixture. Finally, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to the mixer and allow to mix for a minute before stopping and checking the consistency. If the batter is even and well mixed, you can move on to the next step; if you need to mix it a little bit more, go ahead and continue mixing for another 20 seconds or so.
Step 2. Bake the cake layers.
Portion the batter evenly between two greased 9" cake pans and place the cake pans in a preheated 350°F oven. Bake the cakes until they are fluffy and firm; they should be just pulling away from the edges when they are finished. Depending on your oven, they will take around 25-35 minutes to bake.
If you are lucky enough to have a convection oven at home, go ahead and reduce the temperature to 325°F and start checking on your cakes at 25 minutes. Once the cakes have finished baking, carefully remove them from the oven and place the cake pans on a cooling rack.
Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes before carefully running a knife around the edge of the cake. Carefully unmold the cakes from the cake pans and allow them to cool completely.
Step 3. Make your cherry filling.
I like to make this cake year-round, and cherries are only in season for a short time. I like to use either cherry pie filling during the off months when I want to go the easy route or frozen dark sweet cherries when I'm looking for a more labor-intensive experience; for this filling, I would go with the cherry pie filling.
First, open your can of pie filling and dump it into a colander set over a bowl. Allow about 3/4 of the cherry syrup to drain away before transferring the remaining cherries and syrup to a separate bowl. Save the cherry syrup to brush your cake layers with during the assembly phase.
Next, add 1-2 tbsps of Kirsch cherry liqueur to the cherry filling and reserve it until you are ready to assemble the cake.
Step 5. Make your chocolate decorations.
To make the chocolate decorations for the Black Forest Cake, break 1/2 of a Dr. Chockenstein dark chocolate bar into pieces and place them in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Save the other half of the chocolate bar to shave over the cake when decorating. More on melting chocolate.
Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds, remove the bowl from the microwave, stir gently, return the bowl and microwave for another 30 seconds, and continue this process until the chocolate is fully melted.
Once the chocolate is melted, spread a large piece of parchment out on your countertop and pour the chocolate onto the parchment paper center. Next, spread the chocolate out into a paper-thin layer.
Finally, roll the parchment paper up, so the chocolate layer is rolled up onto itself and place the parchment tube into your freezer to chill. Let the chocolate parchment tube stay in the freezer until you are ready to assemble and decorate your cake.
Step 4. Prepare the whipped cream frosting
To prepare the whipped cream frosting for this recipe:
- Place 1.5 quarts of heavy cream and 2 cups of powdered sugar into a stand mixer.
- Whip the cream to stiff peaks using the whisk attachment.
- Reserve the whipped cream until you are ready to decorate your cake.
Step 5: Assembling the German Black Forest Gateau
While assembling this cake might seem tricky, don't get too hung up on the details. Remember, all cakes are delicious, and making them is about the journey as much as it is about the finished product. Relax, have fun and enjoy decoration this delightful cake!
To begin assembly, place a cooled cake layer onto a cake plate or a cake decorating stand. Next, brush the cake layer with your cherry syrup, then carefully pour the cherry filling onto the cake center. Spread the cherry filling over the cake, allowing a 1" margin for the whipped cream frosting.
Once you've spread out the cherry filling, top the filling layer with the remaining cake layer. Again brush the cake generously with the cherry juice/kirsch mixture. Using an offset spatula, apply the whipped cream frosting in a big generous layer to the cake's top and sides. Smooth the whipped cream frosting into an even clean layer. Place the cake in your fridge to cool and set.
Step 6: Decorating the Black Forest Cake.
To decorate the cake remove the chocolate parchment tube from your freezer and carefully unroll it. If done properly, the chocolate should break into slightly rounded shards. Take the chocolate shards and arrange them around the outside of the cake by pressing them gently into the whipped cream frosting.
Finally, arrange maraschino cherry around the top perimeter of the cake and then grate the remaining Dr. Chockenstein chocolate bar into chocolate shavings over the top of the cake!
Step 7. Enjoy!
At this point, your cake is ready to serve! If you can keep yourself from eating the entire thing in one sitting, this cake is best kept in the refrigerator. It will last for three days before it starts to lose its luster, but that's rarely a problem in our experience.
Check out the step-by-step recipe below, along with the itemized ingredient list
Black Forest Cake Recipe.
For the cake layers
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder
• 4 oz canola oil
• 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup coffee
For the cherry filling and cherry syrup
• 1 can cherry pie filling
• 2 tbsp Kirsch liqueur
For the whipped cream frosting
• 1.5 quarts of heavy whipping cream
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
For the chocolate decorations
• 1 Dr. Chockenstein's Dark Chocolate Bar
• 8-10 maraschino cherries
To prepare the cake layers.
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
2. Combine the butter, sugar, and canola oil in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
3. Paddle the butter, sugar, and oil until it is light and fluffy, about 8 minutes
4. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer while running, allow the mixer to run for 10-15 seconds between each egg addition to prevent the mixture from breaking or cooling too much.
5. Add the coffee and vanilla extract to the butter, sugar, egg mixture and mix for about a minute.
6. In a separate bowl combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt, mix with a whisk until completely combined.
7. Add the flour mixture to the mixer and allow the cake batter to mix for about a minute.
8. Stop the mixer and check the consistency, if the batter is smooth and even move on to the next step, if not continue mixing for another 20-30 seconds.
9. Portion the batter into 2, greased 9" cake pans.
10. Place the cake pans in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until the cakes are spongy and a cake tester comes out clean.
11. Allow the cakes to cool fully before decorating.