German Black Forest Cake
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup kirsch (for drizzling)
- 6 cups canned or bottled pitted sour cherries, drained
- 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar (or to taste)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- reserved cherry syrup
- ¼ to 1/3 cup rum, brandy or kirsch
- 4-½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- semisweet chocolate shavings (for decoration)
- glace or fresh cherries (for decoration)
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Generously butter three 12-inch springform pans and dust with additional cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Combine together flour and cocoa. Sift together at least three times until color is as uniform as possible. Set aside.
- Whisk together eggs and sugar over medium speed for at least 10 minutes or until really fluffy and aerated. Whisk in vanilla.
- Divide flour mixture into three equal portions. Sift one portion over egg mixture and fold until fully incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, one portion at a time.
- Pour batter equally among prepared pans and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back when lightly touched and tester inserted comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around sides of cake and remove pan sides. Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Place drained cherries in a bowl and lightly sprinkle with sugar. Set aside.
- Dissolve cornstarch in about ½ cup reserved cherry syrup. Pour the remainder in a pan and cook over medium-low heat until boiling. Adjust heat to low and stir in dissolved cornstarch. Remove from heat. Stir in rum, brandy or kirsch. Add sugar-sprinkled cherries and stir until completely coated. Allow to cool completely.
- Whip together cream and vanilla over medium speed until mixture reaches soft peak stage. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until well-blended. Adjust speed to medium-high and continue whipping until stiff.
- Reserve about 2/3 to 1 cup whipped cream for decoration.
- Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons kirsch. Spread 1/3 of cherry filling mixture over cake. Top with 2/3 to ¾ cup whipped cream. Repeat with the next 2 layer cakes. Frost sides of cake with more whipped cream.
- Spoon reserved whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip. Pipe a ring of rosettes along the rim of frosted cake. Place a cherry on each cream rosette. Pile chocolate shavings inside the ring of rosettes and press additional shavings onto the sides of cake. Chill for at least 4 hour, or overnight, before serving. Cut cake into wedges to serve.
- If desired, double quantity of the cherry filling and cream topping. Split each cake layer horizontally into two and make two 3-layer cakes.
- For an alcohol-free version, use cherry syrup in place of rum, brandy or kirsch. You may also use cherry flavoring or extract.
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