Black Forest Cake Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top!"
Besides the famous Black Forest Cake ( the German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, with cherries on top and in the middle) there are other classic cherry deserts - British Cherry Cake (with cherries throughout), Cherries Jubilee (with cherries on fire), and Cherpumple, a British novelty dish in which several different flavor pies are baked inside of several different flavors of cake and stacked together! In a Cherpumple, the apple pie is baked in spice cake, the pumpkin in yellow cake, and the cherry in white cake! Goodness gracious! Recipe link included.
Putting the Cherry on the Cake
March 28th is Black Forest Cake Day, named for German dessert Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, meaning “Black Forest Cherry Torte”.
Most often, the Black Forest cake is made of several layers of chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. The cake is then decorated with whipped cream, maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings.
But in traditional recipes, sour Morello cherries are used between the layers, and Kirschwasser (a clear fruit liquor distilled from tart Morello cherries) is added to the whipped cream, not the cake mass. Unlike other cakes flavoured with alcoholic drinks which are then baked, this cake retains much of its alcoholic zing!
The cake is actually named after the specialty liquor (Schwarzwalder Kirschwasser) of the region of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany. Because morellos were originally grown in the Black Forest regions of Germany, kirschwasser is believed to have originated there. A café in Bad Godesberg (part of the former (West) German capital, Bonn or another café in Tübingen (south of Stuttgart) are both potentially the originators of this dessert, believed to have been created in the late 1920s. Black Forest cake only rose to its current popularity as the most iconic German cake after WWII.
In Germany Kirschwasser is a mandatory ingredient, otherwise, the cake can not legally be sold under the Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte name.
The cherries are fermented complete with their stones. Unlike cherry liqueurs and other “cherry brandies”, kirschwasser is not sweet.
The best kirschwassers have subtle flavors of cherry and a slight bitter-almond taste that derives from the stones.
For an authentic traditional recipe containing all sorts of delicious ingredients, click the Morello cherries!