Wednesday, July 24, 2013

German Black Forest Cherry Cake

Today, I'm going to show you how to make a German Black Forest Cherry Cake (Schwarzwälder kirschtorte). This is a rather involved recipe, so plan on taking several hours to make this your first time.  Please note that this is neither GAPS or PALEO. This is simply a delicious gluten free variation of a traditional German cake.

For the cake:
140g Dark Chocolate
75g  Butter
6  Eggs
180g  Sugar
100g  Gluten Free Flour of your choice (I used Bette Hagman's Featherlight Mix)
1 teaspoon guar gum, xanthan gum or 10g pixie dust
50g  Corn or Tapioca Starch (really you can use either)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.

 Melt the chocolate with the butter in a water bath. Set aside.  Separate your eggs, and whip the egg whites into a stiff marshmallow-like consistency and set it aside.  Mix the egg yolks with sugar until they are foamy. Carefully mix in the chocolate with the yolk mixture. Add in the flour, starch, gum/dust and baking powder in with the egg yolk mixture. Carefully mix the egg white mixture in until it is just coming together. Be careful or the whites will fall!

Take out your springform of choice and line it with baking paper. (Alternatively, you could butter and flour the pan, but you have to take extra care that every bit has been equally covered and floured or it will stick terribly!)

Carefully pour the cake mix into the springform and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Cool the cake in the form on a cooling rack.  Once it is cooled, carefully run a knife along the edges before turning out on the rack. Slice in half carefully (you may use dental floss, a knife or another cake cutting method) and set each side on a rack until you are ready to use it.

Personally? This is where I would say "eh, no." and use my 10" cake tins. This will require very quick thinking to get this in a European oven this way.  As you can see in the photos below, I chose that option and halved these cake layers in half. Directions below will follow that.

800g  Sour Cherries (Cherry pie filling - homemade or store bought) Reserve 500 ml of the juice.
4 level tablespoons of corn or tapioca starch (again, keep in mind your allergies!)
2 tablespoons of Sugar
100 ml  Kirschwasser (This is a specialty liqueur - if you want, you could use cherry juice instead)
800 ml Whipping Cream
3TBS Vanilla flavoring
Candied Cherries or Maraschino Cherries
Chocolate chips, flakes or sprinkles (really, this is your choice more than what everyone else does)

Separate the cherries from their juice. Set aside. Mix your starch, sugar and around 50ml of the reserved juice together.

Take the rest of the juice and bring it to a light boil. Add in the sugar/starch mixture. Allow to cook for a few minutes before removing from heat and re-adding the cherries. Add in half of the kirschwasser and mix well.

Take the cake halves and use a brush to paint the rest of the kirschwasser on them.

Place the bottom cake layer on a plate and put half of the cherry mixture on it evenly. Take another layer and do the same with the other half, this will be placed on another layer in a bit.

Take your whipping cream, sugar, vanilla and whip this like crazy until it is really thick. You can add in some tapioca or cornstarch to keep this staying "high" for several hours or overnight.

Place some of this whipped cream on top of the bottom layer prior to putting another cake layer over it. place whipped topping on this layer and place the already dressed layer on top of this. Add some more whipping cream. Place the top layer over it and add more whipping cream. Decorate as you wish at this point, and cover the sides as best as you can.

This is how the inside of the cake will look:

Tradition is to divide this up into 14 or 16 slices, adding a spritz of whipped cream on each and then decorating that with a cherry and chocolate on top.

As you can probably see, I divided mine into 10 since I used a set of smaller cake tins than my springform.

This will need to go into the fridge (very carefully!!) for several hours before you can serve it.

End product:

I do suppose that if you were in a rush and you did not really wish to follow the directions for the chocolate cake, you could use Betty Crocker's GF Devil's food cake or a similar GF boxed cake recipe in a hurry. I have done that before, though not with a boxed mix. I just used my handy-dandy chocolate cake recipe and went "Booyah! Lookit! I did it all on my own without having to cook anything or separate eggs! YAY!" - but, it's not really Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte ... it's close though!

You need to do what is best for your allergy issues, rather than what is best to = the traditional dish though. So if the kirschwasser is a no-go for you, use cherry juice. No worries!

This will last in the fridge overnight or so, but the whipped cream will start to go flat. So, really, plan on serving this in the evening for a party. And whatever you do, by all that is holy and sacred - do not skimp and use cool whip instead! That will just be plain nasty.

Let me know if you get a chance to make this. I would love to hear how you enjoyed it.  We've been able to pass this off to unsuspecting friends and family and they were certain it could not be gluten free. 

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