While the recipes can vary slightly, for the most part Black Forest Cherry Torte or as it is called in Germany Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is a sponge cake or Gateau style chocolate cake soaked with cherry schnapps (Kirschwasser) and filled with whipped cream, cherries and chocolate shavings, and frosted with the same.
What is the origin of the name?
This cake is named for the Black Forest area in Germany and features one of it's main crops, cherries.
Where is the Black Forest?
The Black Forest is an area in Southwest Germany that got it's name many centuries ago from how thick and wooded it use to be with fir and pine trees
. It is also famous for its cuckoo clocks, dark chocolate, Morello cherries, and Kirsch, the double-distilled clear alcohol they produce from the cherries
The Black Forest area in Germany
You will also see the famous Bollenhut (hat shown on the left) that resembles the colors of the Black forest cherry cake. Nobody is sure that the ingredients were chosen to resemble the hat, but it is a nice coincidence.
The black dress is the dark chocolate cake, the white shirt with Balloon puffy sleeves are the light real whipped cream, the 8-11 red pompoms are the cherries, and the black undulating lace veil shielding the young women's eyes are represented by the chocolate curls.
The hat is coincidentally similar in weight they say to the cake you buy in the Black Forest.
The giant wool pompoms also signify marital status. red is for single and black is for married.
So the Jury is still out .....Who made the first Black Forest Cherry Torte?
There are 2 different claims as to who made the first Black forest Cherry torte.
Josef Keller (1887-1981) is the inventor of the Black Forest cherry cake. Keller was the pastry chef in the Café “Ahrend” (today called Agner) in Bad Godesberg. In the year 1915 he created for the first time what he called a “Schwarzwaelder Kirsch”, or “Black Forest Cherry”.
After his time in the military, Josef Keller established his own café in Radolfzell. August Schaefer learned the trade as the apprentice to Josef Keller in Radolfzell from 1924 to 1927. After many years of collaboration, Josef Keller gave August Schaefer his recipe book which contained the original recipe. His son, Claus Schaefer, the current Konditormeister of the Triberg Café Schaefer, inherited the book and the original recipe and has thus been able to carry on making Josef Keller’s original.
what is a torte ? a torte is actually a cake that is made with ground nuts instead of flour. Most recipes I have seen for Black Forest Cherry Torte don't have nuts in the cake batter, Although the first recipes may have.
What is Kirschwässer German for “cherry water", is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from double-distillation of Morello cherries, a dark-colored cultivar of the sour cherry. However, the beverage is now also made from other kinds of cherries.
Does this cake have a future or will it die out?
There have been many recipes over the years that die out for one reason or another.
In medieval times they use to bake live blackbirds in pies, that has lost it's glitz.
With a focus on healthier foods some recipes are shunned or somtimes or put off for special
Several versions of this cake exist using an angel food cake, which is fat free.
To also reduce fat several different fillings can be used. Non fat whipped cream
is not always acceptable to some but can be used.