Legendary Dishes | Kirschtorte (cherry and chocolate cake)

AUSTRIA GERMANY SWITZERLAND

There are as many stories about the origins of this kirsch-flavoured cake as there are variations of the recipe. Josef Keller, pastry chef in Café Ahrend in Bad Godesberg, is credited with inventing the Black Forest (Schwarzwalder) version in 1915. He passed his recipe to August Schaefer. His son Claus still makes the original cake at Café Schaefer in Triberg.

Kirsch, the clear cherry brandy made from the dark red sour berries of the Black Forest in south-west Germany, identifies kirschtorte with the region but there are occasional doubts about the cake‘s geographical authenticity.

The claim that the cake represents the women‘s costume of the region (black like the dress, cream like the blouse and cherries like the red balls of adornment) is seen as a tourist entrapment.

These days it does not matter where kirschtorte originated. This delicious cherry-chocolate cake is now omnipient.

Flan Dough

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g butter, softened
  • 200 g sugar
  • 170 g white wheat flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 8 g baking powder
  • Bicarbonate of soda, large pinch

Preheat oven to 180°C. Whisk eggs and sugar until foamy. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Fold into egg-sugar mixture. Pour into mould. Bake for 30 minutes. Divide cake into two equal pieces.

Topping

  • 800 ml cream
  • 400 g sour cherries
  • 250 ml sour cherry juice
  • 100 ml kirschwasser
  • 50 g chocolate flakes
  • 50 g vanilla sugar

Whip cream with sugar. Boil cherry juice until syrupy, leave to cool, stir in three-quarters of the cherries and a splash of kirsch. Spread on first base. Follow with a layer of piped cream and another splash of kirsch. Place second base on top. Pipe on remaining cream, decorate with chocolate flakes and remaining cherries.