Black Forest gateau
|Alternative names||Black Forest cake|
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Created by||Josef Keller|
|Main ingredients||Chocolate cake, cherries, whipped cream, Kirschwasser|
Black Forest gâteau (British English) or Black Forest cake (American English) is a chocolate sponge cake with a rich cherry filling based on the German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (pronounced [ˈʃvaʁt͡svɛldɐ ˈkɪʁʃˌtɔʁtə]), literally "Black Forest Cherry-torte".
Typically, Black Forest gateau consists of several layers of chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and cherries. It is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions, sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top. Traditionally, kirschwasser, a clear spirit made from sour cherries, is added to the cake. Other spirits are sometimes used, such as rum, which is common in Austrian recipes. In India, Black Forest gateau is generally prepared without alcohol. German law mandates that kirschwasser must be present in the cake for it to be labelled a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.
The dessert is not directly named after the Black Forest mountain range in south-western Germany but from the speciality liquor of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser) and distilled from tart cherries. This is the ingredient, with its distinctive cherry pit flavour and alcoholic content, that gives the dessert its flavour. Cherries, cream, and Kirschwasser were first combined in the form of a dessert in which cooked cherries were served with cream and Kirschwasser, while a cake combining cherries, cookies / biscuits and cream (but without Kirschwasser) probably originated in Germany.
The confectioner Josef Keller (1887–1981) claimed to have invented Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in its present form in 1915 at the prominent Café Agner in Bad Godesberg, now a suburb of Bonn about 500 km north of the Black Forest. This claim, however, has never been substantiated.
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte was first mentioned in writing in 1934. At the time it was particularly associated with Berlin but was also available from high-class confectioners in other German, Austrian, and Swiss cities. In 1949 it took 13th place in a list of best-known German cakes.
The record for the world's largest authentic Black Forest gâteau was set at Europa Park, Germany on 16 July 2006, by K&U Bakery. Measuring nearly 80 m² and weighing 3,000 kg, the cake, which was 10 m in diameter, used up 700 litres of cream, 5,600 eggs, 800 kg of cherries, 40 kg of chocolate shavings, and 120 litres of kirsch. On 9 December 2012, a team led by chefs Jörg Mink and Julien Bompard made Asia's biggest Black Forest cake at the S-One Expo in Singapore. The 500-kg cake was made from 165 litres of cream, 1,500 eggs, 68 kg of cherries, 60 kg of chocolate shavings, and 10 litres of kirsch.
Swedish "Black Forest cake"
A Swedish cake called Schwarzwaldtårta is related to the traditional Black Forest gâteau only by name. It consists of layers of meringue with whipped cream in between. The whole cake is also covered with whipped cream and decorated with chocolate.
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