Thursday, April 21, 2011

HH6 - April Challenge

April's Challenge -
Create a meal or a dish from a country you have been stationed in, lived in, visited, or would like to visit (America excluded). It can be a main dish, side dish, dessert, drink, or all of the above. Tell us the story of why you chose it and if it has any special meaning to you or your family.

Some of my all time favorite childhood memories are the trips we made as a family to the Black Forest while stationed at Ramstein, Germany.  We always stayed at our favorite Gastehaus where rolls, cheese, butter, and slices of meat were served as breakfast items (which to this day I blame for my hips and love of all butter, cheese, and bread - HAHA).   The scenery is truly breathe taking during all seasons but my favorite was always winter.  Where I could look out the window and dream of walking through the Forest while the snow was falling at night. 

As I get older the memories are fading but I hold onto the hope of going back one day to visit.  Till then, occasionally I try my hand at German dishes and treats.  Like the treat I am about to share with you.....Black Forest Cake.

I didn't have a a recipe of my own for Black Forest Cake.  So I went to the Internet and researched many recipes.  I quickly learned about "Traditional" Black Forest Cake and "Americanized" (so to speak) version.  I decided to make more of a "Americanized" Black Forest Cake because the traditional made me nervous.

Black Forest Cake -
*my notes


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup kirschwasser *searched all over town and no one sold this.  I used the juice from the jar of cherries
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon strong brewed coffee *I don't drink coffee, therefor none was made and used
2 (14 ounce) cans pitted Bing cherries, drained *Can't tell you what Bing cherries are.  I used the jar cherries that were pitted and believe they were Wal-Mart brand.  Cherry Pie filling could work but I wouldn't use.
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon kirschwasser *I used cherry juice from jar
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet
**Make sure to taste your whip cream for sweetness.  I added sugar until it was to the sweetness of my liking.

1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line the bottoms of two 8 inch round pans *I used 2 round 9 inch pans since I couldn't find my 8 inch pans with parchment paper circles. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Dry ingredients shifted...I need to buy a nicer one
so the ingredients don't clog up

2 - Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Pour into 2 round 8 inch pans.
My mixer starting the creaming process

3 - Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove paper from the cakes. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total *cut carefully and evenly or you will have uneven layers like mine....honestly if going 9 inch I would skip cutting cakes in half. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup kirshwasser. 

1st ever from complete scratch cake...very delish!
Cooked 35 and 30 probably would have been perfect.

4 - In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling. Top with 1/3 of the cherries. Repeat with the remaining layers.

Bottom layers

This is where I was distracted singing with my iPad
and cut the other cake way horribly.  Nothing a little
bit of frosting can't fix......

5 - In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon kirshwasser. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler on semisweet baking chocolate.
Finished cake

Now I wish I could tell you how fabulous or horrible this cake is.  I didn't want to cut into the cake since it was going to work with Mr. May (Mr. May's unit are sometimes my taste testers).  However, I can tell you Mr. May brought home a empty cake tray.  As well as several requests for me to make the unit more cakes.  So from my fabulous taste testers......HUGE Success!!

Enjoy and don't forget to check out the other HH6 Bloggers
(listed on the first HH6 Posting)


  1. O yummy! I'm not a cherry fan, but I this looks great. I wonder what the traditional recipe is like? BTW, I made that other recipe of yours (the cinn. one) last night. My kids wouldn't touch it but I LOVED it! Gonna blog about that one later.

  2. I have eaten black forest cake but have never actually made it myself. Looks amazing!! Great post :)

  3. I'm curious now what the difference is between the traditional and American versions on this cake?

  4. I've heard about Black Forest Cake, but wasn't sure what it was. I'm intrigued now!

  5. I made Black Forest cupcakes not too long ago, this looks pretty similar. Looks great! I, too, wonder what the difference between Americanized and traditional is!


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