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Black Forest Cake In German Is Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte

forest cake

March 28 recognizes a food holiday known as National Black Forest Cake Day. Black Forest cake is the English name for the 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.  In some traditional recipes, sour cherries are used between the layers and a Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake.  In the United States, alcohol is usually not used. However, in Germany, the liqueur is a mandatory ingredient. Otherwise, the cake can not legally be sold under the Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte name.

The cake is named after the specialty liquor (Schwarzwalder Kirschwasser) of the region of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany.

  1. In some European traditions sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top.
  2. Traditionally, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake, although other liquors are also used
  3. It has been alleged that confectioner Josef Keller invented the Black Forest cake in 1915, at the Cafe Agner in Bad Godesberg, in Germany, Europe, and while this has been disputed, Keller’s hand written recipe is said to still exist.
  4. The earliest published written record of Black Forest cake was in 1934, by John Martin Erich Weber, a German confectioner, in his book ‘250 Konditorei-Spezialitäten und wie sie entstehen’, translated in English literally as ‘250 pastry specialties and how they originate’.
  5. Today, Black Forest cake is well known worldwide and one of the most popular cakes in Germany, though it was only listed as the thirteenth most famous German cake in 1949.
  6. In mid 2006, a world record for the largest Black Forest cake was set, created in Germany’s Europa Park, and it had an area of approximately 80 square metres (861 square feet) and a weight of 2,963 kilograms (6,532 pounds).
  7. A dessert from Sweden, known as ‘Schwarzwaldtårta’, also translated as ‘Black Forest cake’, exists, however it is made of layers of meringue and whipped cream and garnished with chocolate, and as it contains no cake batter, it is typically gluten free.


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