Black Forest Cake - The Oregon Twist

Cherry season in Oregon is very inspiring, generous bounties of the fertile soil, bring the price so down in summer, making it very affordable to buy bags and bags of plum ripe cherries for testing out all the cherry recipes you fancy. During my first cherry season here, we sequentially went through buying, picking, pitting and canning sprees, which were followed by equally memorable pie and tart making episodes. Nowadays, during the season I am more into exploring different preservation methods for good. After thinking through cherry pies and tarts I decided on making something less “cherry filled” to take for a graduation party we had last weekend and this Oregon twist of a Black forest cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) was made. Traditionally a black forest gateau ( torte/cake) has fine layers of chocolate cake/cake biscuit liberally drizzled with cherry brandy( Kirshwasser- made from finest Morello cherries from the Black forest region of Germany ) , filled with cherries, topped with whipped cream and decorated with fine shavings of chocolate. I love exploring what I call " the cakes of the world", regional gourmet specialty cakes, which reflect the culinary attitudes or traditions of a particular region or a period. Often moderately decorated, these cakes leave a signature taste to remember. My fellow gastronome, T, expresses his discontent every time we try out a piece of BFC from the restaurants here, declaring that there is nothing like the original Black forest cake. He lived in southern Germany for a while, and had many helpings of this fabulous torte while he was there, so I trust his judgment on this matter. In this version of BFC, I followed the original method of assembling the cake, used Oregon grown Bing cherries in homemade syrup, substituted cherry brandy with homemade cherry liquor (which is sweet, cherry brandy is not) made from last year’s harvest. There is perhaps no doubt that BFC tastes best when it is made with the original ingredients, but this version has a personality of its own, tastes much better than the ones made with cherry pie filling or canned cherries. . You could substitute rum for cherry liquor or completely avoid the alcohol and use cherry syrup instead. Assembling this cake is a breeze, if you have a flan ring handy (A Cake pan with out bottom is a humble flan ring- find it here) Check out the step by step photos of assembling this cake here
Prepare cake layers, cherries in syrup, whipped cream, grated chocolate and pitted cherries before assembling the cake.
This cake is my entry to fellow Portland blogger Je Mange la Ville's Celebratory Cake-athon 2006 event marking the first anniversary of her spectacular blog. Happy Birthday, may your blog live long and thrive!!!!
Tags Cake blackforest

1 ¾ cups flour

2 cups white sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

½ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in hot water. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven,until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry. Cool in the pans for1 hour, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
This cake has a dry texture, but turns very moist when drizzled with syrup.
Stabilized Whipped cream filling

3 cups heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

¼ tsp rum/cherry liquor

1 tsp Unflavored Gelatin

3 tsp water

Soak gelatin in 2 tsp water for 5 minutes, add 1 tsp water and melt over a boiling water bath or in a microwave. Cool to room temperature. Beat cream till soft peaks form, sprinkle sugar, add rum and beat again. Pour in Gelatin and beat well till stiff peak consistency is achieved. Refrigerate till use.

Cherries in syrup

Pitted fresh cherries – 1 ½ cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Cherry liquor / rum - 1 tbsp

Mix sugar and water, boil in a thick bottomed pan, with constant stirring, till the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens. Add cherries, remove from fire, add liquor/rum, keep it covered for 10-12 hours. Drain cherries on a sieve; reserve the syrup for moistening the cake.
* Coming soon as a separarte post-- Homemade cherry liquor

For garnishing

Pitted fresh cherries

Tools for pitting - Invest on a cherry pitter or use simple dedicated slant tweezers

Grated chocolate – Using a vegetable peeler/ melon baller / cookie cutter, shave off fine flakes from a block of chocolate ( use a chocolate bar instead)

Assembling the cake

1) Slice the baked cakes horizontally using a serrated knife to make one 0.75 to 1 inch thick layer from each cake ( remove the top part of each of these cakes)

2) Place one layer of cake on a serving plate; position the flan ring to enclose the cake.

3) Sprinkle with 3 tbsp of cherry syrup

4) Spread whipped cream in 1 inch thickness ( more if you have a 4inch high flan ring)

5) Embed drained cherries in the whipped cream.

6) Keep the second cake layer on top

7) Sprinkle 3 tbsp cherry syrup

8) Top with more whipped cream, level the surface.

9) Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hrs.

10) Remove the flan ring, liberally spread chocolate shavings on the top

11) Pipe whipped cream in any desired shape and top with cherries.

12) Refrigerate till ready to serve.


Sumitha said...

Archana what can any person possibly comment on such a cake!!!It is simply AWESOME!

Shammi said...

What an absolutely fantastic baker you are, Archana! I am in awe! :)

Krithika said...

Cherries in home made syrup...
Home made liquor ....
Close to original BFC ...
I am speechless !

Sudha said...

Archana, no words to say..what a beautiful cake..feeling having them right now..they look so delicious. And the step by step explanation is great..its gonna help fresher like me to bake the cake better..thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

How was your long weekend?

KA said...

Another awesome creation from the great baker of the blog world!! Your creations speak for themselves! My respect and admiration for you grew in exponential ratios after I started going to the classes(as I now know how difficult it is to create these beauties)

Tanuja said...

wow Archana,No words to explain we become speechless when ever we visit ur blog. Ur such a wonderful cook:)

Priya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Priya said...

Y.U.M.M.Y.L.I.C.I.O.U.S !!
The cake looks perfect..!! Black forest is my most fav cake, partly cos of the dark chocolate :-P !! I really wish u cud send us all a slice ..:-)

starry said...

Archana..Just helped myself to a piece of that scrumptious Black forest cake, one of my favorites. I am not a good baker, would be scared to even attempt this. Just the pics intimidate me. you are indeed so talented.Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I love exploring what I call the cakes which are out of this world!!

I dont like chocolate
I dont like cherries
I dont like cakes

Please repeat this along with me, fellow weak-hearted bloggers!

Anonymous said...

hi archana

Is that for us?:)
It looks sooo good..Awesome!!!!

Mandira said...

This looks amazing. I haven't had good black forest cake in such a long time...
I am looking forward to your cherry liqeur too. :)

Nabeela said...

yum yum yum......that looks too good to be eaten!!

Vineela said...

Hi Archana,
I love cakes.
I like cakes.
I love "Archana's Cakes".Have you heard that brand .
Thanks for the links and i really like the way you prepared and presented.

Anonymous said...

Oooh..My!!What a beautiful cake..!!Nothing more Archana...You are amazing..

Anonymous said...

Wow...That looks amazing as always... I love black forest cakes..
I have one question.. I had prepared black forest cake few days back. But the cherry syrup which I had used had some acidic smell and spoiled the whole cake. I don't think I have patience to prepare it at home, so please can you tell me which brand can be used (I do not want to use any alcohol)?

Rajesh &Shankari said...

OMG..they look too good to eat. I wont have the heart to eat your creations..masterpiece!

Anonymous said...

Archana -- WOW!! That looks absolutely awesome!! Northern Michigan (my fav vacation spot) also is great cherry country... if I get any this year I'll be freezing a bunch. Then can eat some while gazing at this cake ;)

Raghav said...

gotta show this page to my GF, she doesn't know the ABC of cooking.. and this cake would appeal to her taste-buds too :-) cheers !

Gattina Cheung said...

Reading your post feels like I'm on tour, from Oregon to Germany! I always like to know more about the originality and authenticity (if any) of any cake, you've got us great info! And now I know why my whipped cream always collapsed, thanks for the recipe too! Archanat, your cake always looks wonderful, I bet all your friends must be thrilled!

Mamatha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mamatha said...

What can I say that the others haven't already said. That looks simply wicked - if only I could have a taste of it *sigh*.

Thanks for dropping by my blog (if I can call it that!) - really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Archana,
Very beautiful looking peice of art. Thanks for the visual treat.

Anonymous said...

Hello Archana,

Toooooo daughter wants me do the same cake...i hope i meet her expectations...

lost in thoughts said...

This is just gorgeous ! Keep up the great work :).

Orchidea said...

WOW... this black forest cake looks absolutely delicious!!!
I like your blog too... very beautiful photos.

G said...

I am so glad you helped me find your blog bc you are excellent. This cak is so fabulous. Homemade to the max!

Anonymous said...

I Love Love Love Black Forest cake ! And yours looks absolutely DELICIOUS !!!

BTW i just tried you naan. I usually make naan using my recipe, but yours looked too good and i had to try it. It was very soft, just like the restaurant ones. I used the first method ( using roller pin), but as you said nothing like the 2nd method (Using hand). This and Ashwini's Achari Baingan was our dinner tonite. Both were very tasty and easy too.

I wish i could try all your other recipes too, but i dont think its possible in the near future :( whatever i bake is a flop show except that i got lucky with Pushpa's cake recipes once or twice. But i sure can try your rasa vada recipe :)

I really enjoy looking at your lovely cakes though. All are great but my favorite is the pearl and pink roses fondant cake . SIMPLY SUPERB !

Thankx again for the recipes Archana !

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous black forest cake you have there! Absolutely perfect. Can i have a piece? :)

Raji said...

Such a sumptuous looking cake. God, I'm drooling...

indianadoc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
indianadoc said...

Entha parayuka Archane'...bhagyam cheythavarokkey archanayudey cake kazhichu sukhichirikkukayanallo yennorkkumbol ichiri asooya!!..nammalinganey kutti sponge cake-um,vanilla cake-um okkeyayi othungi koodumbol kothippikkanayi oraal blackforestum white forestum okkey aayi varum...manushyaney kothippikkan!! Undakki nokkanulla dhairyavum kittunnilla,yentha cheyyuka!! Oru samshayam koodi,ee Rum cherkkathey cake undakkan pattilley?('Thanni' cherkkan ithiri ymanasyam!!)...or cn u suggest any alternative?Thanx 4 the brilliant recipe...

Neelu said...

I am not going ot say yum now because it implies to evry article you post, I must take some baking classes from you now. If you have to denie a perfect foodie that will be you archna :)

Neelu said...

I ment to say define a perfect foodie

archana said...

Thank you so much friends

Thank you, i am glad that you liked it. Well, long weekend just flew by,we had couple fo friedns over, and went to couple (!!!) of parties too. Exhausted !!!!

Thank you, you are always very kind. I am sure that you are having fun in the Wilton Class. Looking forward to see your cakes soon.

Tanjua, Priya
Thanks a bunch

Starry N
Thank you, i am so happy that you liked it. Trust me SN, this is altoghether not a difficult cake to assemble, please do try it out sometime.

Here she goes again........
Thank you dear

Shoma & Vidhu
You bet !!!!
Thank you. Hope we will make it together sometime.

thank you, will be posting it soon.

Thank you

Ha...Ha... No i havn't, but i have heard of Indian Sushi and plenty of other goodstuff from somebody !!! Thank you Vineela,i appreciate your kind words.

Thank you so much

I know exactly what you are talking about, i cna't stand the taste of store bought cherry syrup. Too synthetic tasting !!! If fresh cherries are avialble in your place, you can make syrup using the recipe given in the post, feel free to skip alcohol. You can add some more cherries, and cook it a little bit longer to get a stronger cherry syrup. Strain it before use.

Thank you so much for your kind words.

Thank you friend. I try to do that most of the times. Stabilised whipped cream is so much fun, and less tension about "weeping cream" !!!

Thank you and you are welcome,anytime...

Madhu,Anony,Spicehut,Gabriela, Orchidea
Thank you for visiting, i appreciate your words of encouragement.

Thank you. I am so happy that Naan worked out well for you, i too personally prefer the second method. thank you for letting me know about it. Cakes flopping, might not be a problem with your method at all. Check the actual temperature of your oven using an oven thermometer. Sometimes the oven might not mantain the actual temperature that it displays and that may mess up your cake. I like the color theme of that cake Priya, i am sooooooooooo happy that it is your favorite. Thank you

thank you

"Shynee entha pazhayunne, ezhikkonuum manszhilakunnillallo" njan ivide Rum chertha BFC thinnu kirungi irukkunnathu kondavum. Thank you for all these kind words dear. You can totally skip the alcohol part Shynee, many people do that. I have mentioned that in the last part of the recipe. I am sure this cake is going taste alright without RUM. Try cheythittu parayane...

Point taken and thank you. Ha Ha Ha

Anonymous said...

hey Archana wht cud i say...ur cakes are simply breathtaking.

Ann said...

Your cakes are so wonderful....and your hands are truely Magical!

Revathi said...

Hi Archana

Read ur comment on Mahanandi bout the mumbai blasts. Hopefully all ur friends are safe.

Keep us postes

archana said...

Thank you
Thank you for checking with us. We heard from many, hope everything is alright.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

You know Archana, I have never made the Schwarzlwälder Kirchtorte - probably because I live at the source (Germany!) of this cake! Our bakery bakes a great Kirchtorte with the original recipe.

It is one of my favorites and I'd be having it all the time if it was not for those nasty calories! Your version looks completely delectable. Great job!

Alanna Kellogg said...

Amazing!! BTW you should introduce yourself to Je Mange La Ville. Just yesterday she was saying she doesn't know any other Portland food bloggers! PS I'll share the whole carrot salad if I can have just one little tiny eentsy weentsy bite of your cake!

Anonymous said...

Wow. That is a beautiful cake! Just amazing -- I'm totally in awe :)

Sowjanya said...

Archana, what can I comment on your post! simply fabulous. Hey I've tagged you for Confessions in groups of five Meme. Do drop in when you have time.

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,
I came across your blog today.
it is wonderful..i am interested to try some cake recipes of yours..but being a vegetarian,i want to avoid eggs usage..can you suggest me a best replacement for eggs in your cake recipes ?
Sowmya Baskar

Anonymous said...

Hello!I enjoyed looking around Your website, colors,
layouts are great, keep up a good work!With the best regards!

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,
What a beautiful cake u have! I would like to ask u, why put gelatine into whipping cream? Very curious! I'm learning to make cake with icing n every time i make one, the cream will crack the next day. do u have any idea? thanks!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! » » »

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana , thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipie but by the way i have a small question what is this pitted fresh cherries
called in telugu please do respond to this.

Anonymous said...

Very nice site! »

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Purnima said...

Dearest Archana, I m truly thankful to you and grateful too as your BFC inspired me to bake my own and i took your design for making mine! Since i love the one wt crust, i even made a crust for this.Thanks a ton again! All my friends enjoyed this cake and it was over within minutes!

Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,
I am very happy to tell u that i took help of your BFC photo to design mine..i made an icing cake for first time and it looked pretty decent and tasted great..thanks to your influence of iced/frosted cakes!!!
Best Regards,

Pwinncess said...

Hi, Im new to baking and was wondering if you could answer my this Q.

I heard that its best to serve cakes with freshly whipped cream ie whip the cream just before you serve the cake. but the recipe you posted is a stabalised whipped cream, which is the first time i've heard of it and was wondering if it is the same concept?



Pwinncess said...

oh yes, and awesome cake btw!


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