Get to know it
It is round, thick and rich, layered, and boozy. Its colours are black, white, and red. The Black Forest gateau is the sweetest temptation in the Black Forest. It is also known worldwide; even in Shanghai, America, and Australia there are shops selling "Black Forest Cake". Everyone knows it, everyone loves it. It's just better not to talk about the calories.
But how did it get its name? Do the black chocolate shavings resemble the Black Forest, or is it because kirsch is produced in the Black Forest? Some claim it is reminiscent of the Bollen hat costume: the dress is black, like the chocolate shavings, the blouse as white as the cream, and the cherries are as red and round as the Bollen pompoms on the hat.
There are many stories and theories about the origin of the Black Forest gateau and its name. The Black Forest people are certain that Black Forest gateau can only come from the Black Forest.
However, Josef Keller, a confectioner from Radolfzell, claimed to have baked a Black Forest gateau for the first time in 1915 at the Caféhaus Ahrend (now Agner) in Bad Godesberg. This cannot be disproven, although his cake was only "one-tiered" and is most likely just a predecessor. After his military service in Bad Godesberg, Keller ran his own pastry shop in Radolfzell. August Schäfer learned from him. His son, Claus Schäfer, was the owner of the Triberg Café bearing his name and has the original recipe of Josef Keller. Unfortunately, after more than 150 years, the Café closed in 2020.
However, the combination of the filling has been known in the southern Black Forest for a very long time. Farmers' wives cooked sweet and sour cherries and mixed them with cream, which they took from fresh milk. To this they added cherry brandy and the result was Black Forest Crème - a delicious dessert.
Black Forest kirsch is a brandy made from fruity black cherries, the best known and most sought-after of the Black Forest spirits. The name "Schwarzwälder Kirsch" is a seal of quality and protected by law. A brandy may only be sold as "Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser" if it was produced east of Bundesstraße 3, in the Black Forest, using cherries from this region.
The Black Forest gateau remains synonymous with the Black Forest and, along with the Bollen hat, cuckoo clock, and Black Forest ham, it is an important and world-renowned symbol of the popular German holiday region.
Black Forest Cake
To Make Yourself
Recipe to bake yourself
Recipe for a 28cm diameter cake = 16 pieces
Base: Beat 4 egg yolks, 4 eggs, and 125g sugar. Mix well: 80g flour, 20g cocoa powder, 35g Mondamin starch, and sieve, then mix into the beaten egg mixture. Finally, carefully fold in 40g melted butter. Pour the mixture into a springform pan (28cm ø) and bake at 200°C for around 20 minutes.
Cream: Whip 1 litre of cream. Carefully add 70g sugar and 5g vanilla sugar.
Sugar syrup: Bring 200ml water to the boil with 120g sugar and leave to cool. Stir in 80ml kirsch (45% abv).
Cherry filling: Stir 30ml kirsch with the set morello cherries (1 glass - 850ml).
Assembling the cake:
Cut the base into three flat layers, and spread 100g melted chocolate onto the lowest layer, then chill for the chocolate to set. Brush on some sugar syrup. Then put the set cherries on top, with around 250g whipped cream, before putting the next base layer on top and soaking well. Spread 350g of cream, place the third base layer, soak, and "dress" the cake with the remaining cream.
Divide the cake into 16 pieces and garnish with 100g chocolate chips and cherries.
(Note: Not only is kirsch good in the cake, but without an accompaniment of kirsch on the side, the cake doesn’t taste as good. So, it is better to buy a little extra kirsch.)
This recipe was given to us by master baker and confectioner Eberhard Holz of the Schwarzwälder Schokoladenmanufaktur Holz in Baiersbronn (Tel. 07442.122149).
Watch and help, layer by layer at:
- Baiersbronn, Café am Eck, www.cafe-am-eck.de
Regular baking courses upon request. A slice of cake and coffee included. Cost: €14, free with the Schwarzwald Plus Card. Info under: Tel. 07442.2229
- Enzklösterle, Hotel Hirsch, www.hirsch-enztal.de, individual courses for hotel guests, groups on request at Tel. 07085.7261, cost: €10.
- Enzklösterle, Hotel Schwarzwaldschäfer, www.hotel-schwarzwald-schaefer.de, baking courses for groups of 15 or more upon request, cost: €10, information on tel.07085.92370
- Höchenschwand, Hotel Nägele, www.hotel-naegele.de, every 14 days, Tuesdays from 3:30pm, cost: €5, 4 people and more, upon request Information on Tel. 07672.93030
- Feldberg-Bärental, Erichs Schnapshäusle G´scheiter Beck, www.gscheiter-beck.de, Thursdays at 2:30pm, duration about one hour, cost: €12, 16 people or more upon request, info Tel. 07655.341
- Lauterbach, Höhengasthaus Landgut-Hotel "Adler", www.adler-fohrenbuehl.de, including a piece of "Schwarzwälder", cost: coffee and recipe for €9.50 euros p.p., from 8 persons. Registration under Tel. 07422.95380
- Todtmoos, Café Zimmermann, www.cafe-zimmermann-todtmoos.de, Cost: including a piece of cake, coffee for €6.50 euros, register by 12 noon, 10 people or more on request. Info under Tel. 07674.90570
The Black Forest gateau celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015 - it is the gateau goddess in white, red, and black. To mark its cherry-cream anniversary, the cherry torte has now been joined by the Black Forest Kirsch Stollen Bollen Hat as its "tasty little" brother.
There are different theories about the origin of the name for the cult pastry Black Forest gateau: The black chocolate grated topping could have led to its name, as it is reminiscent of the Black Forest. The ingredient kirsch, as this is produced primarily in the Black Forest.
Therefore, for Fritz Trefzger, director of the Baden bakers' guild, there was no question that both the dark chocolate as well as the original Black Forest kirsch and the cherries soaked in it had to be included in the Black Forest Kirsch Stollen Bollen Hat. The Stollen is rounded off with a coating of white chocolate decorated with fine stripes of dark chocolate. Fritz Trefzger created the Bollen hat "on top" of the delicious recipe, as a symbol of an artisan production method. It is the trademark of the product, whose design is protected. The master bakers vouch for the fact that the Schwarzwälder Kirschstollen Bollenhut (Black Forest Kirsch Stollen Bollen Hat) is made only with kirsch from the Black Forest, giving this new pastry its special flavour.
See for yourself!
Download a list of shops in the Black Forest.
(Sizes 200g, 500g and 1kg are available for sale)
More information about the Black Forest cherry stollen Bollen hat:
Urheber und Lizenzgeber
Bäckerei Cafè Konditorei
The World's Largest Black Forest Gateau
Europa-Park is known worldwide for its numerous attractions for the whole family. Perhaps not quite so well known is that it was also the location of a very special world record. On "Black Forest Day" at Europa-Park, 13 pastry chefs created the world's largest Black Forest cake - and made it into the Guinness Book of Records.
However, the giant cake with a diameter of around 10 metres did not last long, as it was immediately sold for a good cause. The result was many happy faces.
The masterpiece in numbers:
- 5600 eggs
- 800 kilograms of sour cherries
- 700 litres of cream
- 40 kilos of chocolate shavings
- 220 kilograms of shortcrust pastry
- 850 kilograms sponge dough
- 110 litres of Black Forest kirsch