A trip to the Black Forest and clichés like cuckoo clocks and Black Forest cake immediately come to mind. I really wanted to take a closer look at one of the clichés during our stay in Freudenstadt. What luck that the Black Forest Cake Seminar exists!
Interesting facts about the Black Forest Cake
The recipe for Black Forest Cake was first mentioned in writing in 1934. It is not clear where the cake originally came from.
There are a few theories; the origin of the cake does not necessarily have to be in the Black Forest either. Perhaps the name of the cake comes from the kirsch that is produced in the Black Forest? Perhaps the name also comes from the certain similarity with the Bollen hat of the women’s costume in the Black Forest … it is not possible to say exactly today. What is certain is that the cake is one of the most popular cakes in Germany today and is now known all over the world.
I am also sure that it tastes better fresh and handmade than the frozen cake.
Black Forest Cake Seminar
During our visit to Freudenstadt, we had the opportunity to attend the Black Forest Cake Seminar. Master confectioner Claus-Dieter Wetzel was waiting for us at Café Pause. He regularly holds these seminars, which owners of the Black Forest Plus Card can even attend for free after registering. There was an extra appointment for us, so I was able to get a taste of the practical side of baking.
But first we had to clarify what ingredients a Black Forest cake is made of. The “Guidelines for Fine Baked Goods” state when the cake may be called Black Forest Cake:
“20. Black Forest Cake.
Black Forest cake are kirsch cream gateaux or kirsch buttercream gateaux, or a combination thereof. The filling is butter cream and/or cream, sometimes canache as well as cherries, also as pieces in bound preparation. The added cherry brandy is clearly perceptible in the taste.
Dark and/or light Viennese or sponge cake bases are used for the crumb. The mixture for the dark bases contains at least 3 percent cocoa powder or heavily de-oiled cocoa. Shortcrust pastry is also used for the base.
The cake is spread with buttercream or cream, garnished with chocolate chips.”
All clear? Well then, let’s get started!
Pattycake, pattycake …
The finished biscuit base was ready. First we had to cut through this base twice. The bottom part was allowed to be a little thicker, the other two layers should be as equally thick as possible. I admit, although I tried really hard, it didn’t quite work out that way.
The cream was already whipped and so I could save the muscle power for the next step. I was supposed to mix cherry brandy with some icing sugar and cream. As lump-free as possible!
Then the remaining cream was slowly melted in.
Now we could start layering the cake. We spread a layer of cream on the bottom layer. On top of that were lots of sour cherries, which had already been soaking in cherry brandy overnight. Mmmh, it smelled so good that I would have loved to taste it!
Before we spread the cream over the cherries, we first pushed the cherries apart so that there was a hole in the middle. We thought about the reason for this for a moment… Of course, when you cut the cake later, there is no cherry in the middle that has to be laboriously divided into pieces.
After the cream had been spread and the next layer had been added, the cherry brandy was used. It was spread evenly over the base. Not too much that it becomes soggy but enough that you can taste it.
Another layer of cream, this time with a small mountain towards the middle, and the last biscuit base was placed on top. Once again, the cherry brandy was used. And finally, spread the rest of the cream on top and on the sides until there was no bottom left.
Well, our Black Forest cake already looks good.
But the chocolate shavings were still missing. Here I was allowed to lend a hand and I discovered that it’s not so easy to get the chocolate to stick to the edges. Good that the professional could help.
I was handed a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle. I know it more as a piping bag, but this one had a star-shaped opening. I was allowed to use it to pipe the little cream dots/cream rosettes onto the cake. The boss distributed the heart-shaped cherries on top of the cream and “my” first Black Forest cake was ready.
Actually, the cake is put in the fridge before being eaten, but we got our piece of cake right away and could enjoy it with a cup of coffee.
So, was it fun?
Make your own Black Forest cake – I think the event was great!
We made the cake at Café Pause with master confectioner Claus-Dieter Wetzel, the owner of the café. In addition to really great tips about cake making, we learned a lot about the history of Freudenstadt. Time flew by and I was almost a little sad when the cake was finished. Luckily we were able to taste “our” cake right away!
I have definitely resolved to bake the recipe at home. I hope I can do it without the expert help.
Oh yes, at the end of the event we received a certificate for successful participation. I discovered the complete baking instructions on the back. Now nothing should go wrong!
Participation in the Black Forest Cake Seminar in Freudenstadt was part of our blogger trip to the Black Forest. This article was written independently of the event and reflects our impressions.