Germany: Black Forest Cake

Our black forest cake.

It seems like forever ago I arranged for my son and I to spend the weekend with Bells.  My husband Paul was going away for the weekend to Mittagong (a halfway point between my house and Bells’s house) and I was to drop him off so I would have the car.  It only made sense to keep driving so that I could visit with my sister.

Naturally our conversations over the last few months have been about what we will do over the weekend and more importantly, what will we eat.  It seemed the perfect opportunity to make something together for the blog.  I don’t think there was ever any doubt that it would be the Black Forest Cake from Food Safari.  It seemed like the most perfect challenge that we could do together.

Black forest cake

You know, I think a big part of the joy of baking is in the discussion that comes before even cracking your first egg.  Bells and I spent many a phone call and email discussing the ins and outs of this cake.  For example: who would source the ingredients, in what order and the timing of each step of the recipe.  It was so much fun!!!

Bells and I have a tendancy to overfill out time together and the push to squeeze in as much activity and cooking as possible is strong. But fortunately good sense rained down and we managed to create this masterpiece with little stress and much enjoyment.

Initially we were going to follow the recipe from Food Safari.  It was complete and seemed only natural that we would follow it to the letter.  However, as our discussions progressed we discovered that our mutual love and affection for Nigella Lawson encouraged us to see what she had to offer relating to this cake.

We loved this recipe and decided to use her cake batter recipe which was light, airy and so very much complementary to the remaining ingredients of the Food Safari recipe.  Bells baked the cake in advance so that this morning all we had to do was assemble it. The real wonder of this cake was that it contained six egg whites, beaten to stiffness and folded through at the end, creating a dense, high but very light cake.

There seemed t be so many stages to this cake. The was mousse to make, cream to whip, cherries to inspire us and ganache to tempt the most devout dieter. Each element required cooling completely before using on the cake and so it did seem to take all morning but it all added to the build up of anticipation.

Can I just say that this was one of the most enjoyable baking experiences I have ever had.  Baking with Bells was delightful.  As we went about creating this cake we discussed ways of doing things, bounced alternate ideas around and just enjoyed the shared task.  We both have different strengths and both added our skills to the mix.

Once all the dressings for the cake were prepared I set about the scary task of cutting the cake into thirds.

slicing the cake

Bells had to watch the knife as I sliced and thankfully I managed it.  As you can see from the photos that follow – the layering was beautiful and each  layer complemented the other.  Sweet mixed with sour and liquer to surprise you.

The blend of these two recipes was genius.  The cake’s lightness was just right and the mousse and ganache didn’t give you the heaviness and guilt that can sometimes come from a cake like this.  It was rich without being overwhelming.

cake with ganache

You could appreciate its complexity and its surprisingly simple flavours all at the same time.

cake with cherrie

The balls at the top were balls of ganache rolled in dutch cocoa. (Bells: They were Delly’s idea and they were so very inspired. They worked so well!)


The hint of mint leaves broke up the weight of the chocolate and just gave us the finishing touch it needed.

All in all – a fabulous cake.  We were able to share this with our family who all agreed it was delicious without being, as Nigella might say, cloyingly sweet. We deliberately added minimal sugar to the cherry mixture to keep it on the sour side rather than the sweet.

A wonderful sweet end to a delightful day.

sliced cake

Delly & Bells


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rose Red
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 21:08:16

    mmmmm, what a great looking cake! Nice work ladies!


  2. drkknits
    Nov 21, 2010 @ 06:02:33

    i can almost taste it. i do love a good BFC, and this looks divine! great team work too!


  3. essjayeats
    Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:32:31

    Do reckon that would survive the post? Delicious! I love a good Black Forest cake. One day – I will make the Heston Blumenthal one. Spray Gun chocolate coating and all.


  4. David Hilyard
    Nov 21, 2010 @ 16:22:36

    Black forest cake – it has something for everyone, doesn’t it – chocolate, booze, cherries? Looks sensational. I love cakes like this – and tiramisu – where you get a real liqueur hit. Hope you used lots of kirsch!

    I bet is tasted good. The ganache balls on top are the real piece of resistance. And such a cake DESERVES the pedestal cake stand in your pic. Nice one!


  5. Trackback: The Value of Sisters « Bellsknits
  6. Tam
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 05:34:43




  7. corrie
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 11:22:19

    yuuuuuum! ohhh it looks lovely and i couldn’t think of a nicer way to spend an afternoon!


  8. Gae
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 08:09:59

    I have waited a few days, not wishing to spoil your sisterly fun, but that is a VERSION of a Black Forest Cherry Cake, just not in the same category as the lime jelly and Philly version of a “cheesecake”. It does look delish and very beautiful.

    How do I know? – well, I have the German-born husband and several German cookbooks to back me up, and the experience of eating the real McCoy in Germany.

    The real thing has a shortbread type base (for stability), no chocolate mousse, instead layered with whipped cream, and ‘dressed’ with MORE whipped cream. And my dairy-farming rellies-in-law wanted to dollop MORE whipped cream on my slice!!

    If you are interested, I can provide a translation of a dinki-di recipe.

    Gae, in Callala Bay


  9. Tammi
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:40:10

    Delly & Bells, your cake looks totally amazing, and I say that as someone who doesn’t really like cake (or any sweets, really… sorry!). And what a beautiful labour of sisterly love, as detailed on Bells’ blog as well. 🙂

    But I must respond to Gae re: authenticity. My PhD is about the role of food in a cosmopolitan society, and as such I have cause to interrogate authenticity regularly. In short, it’s a fraught concept as it’s unstable across both time and location. What is ‘authentic’ for one family will not be for another, what is ‘authentic’ in one decade will not be the next, etc. Of course most of us at some stage go in search of ‘the real thing’, whether it’s Black Forest Cake, Vietnamese pho or spaghetti Bolognese – but go to Germany, Vietnam or Italy and you will find different versions of each of these in different regions. Now look for them in Australia, even made by ‘real’ Germans, Vietnamese or Italians, and they’ll vary again.

    The interesting question about authenticity, in my opinion, is what’s at stake for those who assert they ‘know’ what it is, and for those who feel compelled to provide ‘it’ – brings up a lot of issues around ethnic identity especially. I certainly hope that Delly and Bells haven’t had their sisterly fun in any way ‘spoiled’ by what I’m sure was a well meant offer of a version of Black Forest Cake with which you’re familiar. 🙂


  10. Paula
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 07:39:11

    what a delicious blog! here is so many uncanny inspirations!

    have a nice time,


  11. Yaya Farida
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 14:13:09

    that’s the real and fab “black forrest” cake, i really love it. i make my self at home with your recipe and turn out exactly like your cake, and i love baking at home, my family and friends love your recipes…… if you have more recipes and the video i will be so happy to see it, thank you sooo much, i am from Indonesia, and my job or you can say business is selling cake from home.


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