Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today is Sugar High Friday, a very popular event among food bloggers and one which I have never managed to join. Until now.

February’s theme, in line with St Valentine’s Day, is Sweet Seduction.

Our host, Jasmine, from Confessions of a Cardamom Addict writes
Your mission, should you accept, is to provide a sweet that entices and lures. There are a number of ways you can approach this:
• Something you’ve made to seduce someone
• Something you’re planning on making to seduce someone
• Something someone’s made to seduce you.
• Something you wish someone would make to seduce you

I have to admit that I’ve never cooked anything to seduce someone. My cooking skills really took off sometime after Jonas and I had started living together.

By the same token, I’ve never had anything cooked to seduce me either. So no luck there.

But I certainly have a long list of things I wish Jonas would cook to seduce me. And there’s one in particular that I always point to and tell him “if you ever feel like making me something really nice, this is it.”

Alas, he never took the hint.

So with this event in mind, my own desire to taste it and Ashlee’s birthday on the horizon I whipped up my favoruite cake: Schwarzwälderkirschtorte.

I’ve loved Black Forest Cake ever since I was a child and there are numerous reasons why: cherries are one of my favourite fruits; I adore chocolate, who doesn’t?; whipped cream is divine; how can you not love a place called the Black Forest? It sounds so dark and mysterious! Fittingly it was the setting of many Grimm fairytales.

It’s believed that the Black Forest Cake originated in the 16th century in the form of biscuits drenched in Kirsch then topped with cream and poached cherries. Good start!

The Black Forest, or Schwarzwald, is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg which is famous for sour cherries and Kirsch. It is commonly believed that the cake did not originate in the Black Forest but could possibly be named after the origin of the main ingredients.

The earliest written record for Black Forest Cake was in Dresden in 1934 and by 1949 it was listed as lucky number 13 in a list of Germany’s most famous cakes. (My favourite number too – wow, this cake is spookily MINE).

So if you’re ever trying to woo me, just bake me a Black Forest Cake and I’ll be yours forever.

Black Forest Cake or Schwarzwälderkirschtorte
Gourmet Traveller Annual Cookbook: 2006. Serves 10.

300g dark chocolate (63% cocoa solids), chopped coarsely
1½ tablespoons Kirsch
155g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
6 eggs
55g dried breadcrumbs (I used plain flour)
250g almond meal
300ml thickened cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g canned morello cherries, pitted

1. Combine 130g chocolate, kirsch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and heat in a bain-marie until chocolate has melted. Stir until smooth and set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until pale and creamy.
3. Add eggs one at a time, allowing each to be fully incorporated before the next is added.
4. Add chocolate mixture, mix to combine then fold through breadcrumbs and almond meal.
5. Spoon into baking tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake withdraws clean.
6. Cool on wire rack then halve cake horizontally.
7. Combine thickened cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
8. Place base of cake on a serving plate then smother with cream. Top with cherries then a little more cream then place top layer of cake over cream.
9. Melt remaining chocolate in a saucepan then pour over cake. Serve immediately.


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