Recent Posts

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

Also known as Black Forest Cherry Cake.  A cake I've always enjoyed and admired.  One I might never have tried to make on my own (seems like a high degree of difficulty, no?).  Well, the stars aligned a few weeks ago and it became apparent that I needed to get on it.

You see, we had planned an Oktoberfest celebration (in honour of both the season and our recent adventures in Germany).  It happened to be scheduled on the same date as the birthday of a dear friend of mine.  It didn't take a master of deductive reasoning to identify Black Forest cake as the most appropriate gâteau d'anniversaire for the occasion.

It took a few grocery store trips to gather all the ingredients.  I decided to short-cut with the chocolate cake part (thank you Duncan Hines), but wanted to create the cherry filling from scratch.  Luckily a local grocery store had some imported sour cherries in juice.  Add a bit of sugar and corn starch, stir for an eternity, and you get delicious cherry filling:

Cherry filling

I know you know what comes next:

Whipping cream

Oh yeah.  Full-fat.

Add some icing sugar to get, well, icing:

Whipped cream

(Not going to tell you how many spoonfuls I sampled to make sure it was "just right".)

Another special ingredient was Kirsch, a strong alcohol made from cherry distillate.  Tastes nothing like cherries, more like whiskey.  So I diluted it with a syrup made from the sour cherry juice and more sugar.


Cake (and pretzels)

These are the cakes, left out overnight to cool and dry slightly.  (See the husband's homemade soft pretzels in the background?  Yum!)  You may know that this cake has several layers, more than your average b-day cake.  I thought cutting it would be a horrible mess, until I found a tip on the interwebs.



Cake-slicing trick

Wrap the thread around the middle of the cake, pull, and voila!  Two layers!  I was sure I had discovered the world's best-kept secret, but a quick poll later on at the party assured me this was essentially bakers' common sense.  Martha was probably born knowing this one.

Anyway, it was then time for assembly:

Ready to assemble

In this order: cake layer, baster-full of boozy-cherry-juice, dollop of whipped cream, cup of cherry filling.


...and so on, until a final layer of chocolate cake is on top.  Then you let your inner Cake Boss out, and decorate the crap out of this towering calorie-fest.

Black Forest cake

Final product!

With the birthday boy:

Birthday boy

(Now, just to keep it real, I need to show you the cake from another angle.  Has a bit of a list to it.  Next time I will try a bit harder to make the layers flush.)


For any of you viewers at home interested in tackling the Leaning Tower of Bavaria that you see above,  here are two links to helpful online recipes.  I used a hybrid of the two.  Check out the comments below the recipe on the first link too - it's a gold mine down there.

One last thing.  When Mike and I get into something, we get waaaay into it.  So trust me, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte tastes best when you are wearing traditional Bavarian lederhosen.

Hosts in 'hosen

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The last of summer

Last weekend was just beautiful on Prince Edward Island.  Although it was late September, Sunday was like a summer's day.  

Beach sunset

We headed to Cavendish Beach.  A first for me, despite being an Islander for almost thirty years.  It was worth the wait, especially since at this time of year the beach was nearly deserted.


There were some great photo opportunities.  It was a majestic sight as dozens of Canada geese departed the nearby pond for points south.

migrating geese

Canada geese

The sand was soft as powder.  Shadows were starting to fall and the sand had a lovely cooling effect on hot feet.  I took this shot with a desktop background in mind.  Feel free to download it from my Flickr account if you like it (just click through).

rippled sand

Can you tell we're enjoying being back on PEI?