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Improvising on two continents…

“Two girls cooking on two continents”? This week it’s more like “Two stressed moms improvising on two continents.” The plan was to make black forest cake, a traditional German cake. My mom Anne provided her a super simple and popular recipe. Anne is not much of traditional mom in the kitchen. Everything has to be quickquickquick, so for sure she is not going to go through the trouble of making a 5 layered black forest cake with 12 perfectly distanced whipped cream towers on top, crowned by cherries. No, Anne’s recipe only calls for one layer of chocolate dough, one layer of cherries and one layer of whipped cream. German efficiency… As you guys know, Liz is a full time working mom with 12 projects on the side, one of them being her daughter Selma. So she skipped the dough making and used pre-made Tortenboden (baked pastry case) and then tried to make up for this cheap shortcut by giving the cake layers. Fine… She assured me that the cake tasted good either way and no one would ever know (I guess she didn’t realize I would mention this to our 12+ million blog followers)!

I on the other hand had other problems to deal with. Of course I followed my mom’s recipe for the dough to the T, like a good daughter is supposed to. But then finding cherries in a glass in the US?? Can somebody please leave a comment and tell me why I can’t find cherries over here? I am not talking about those pink super sweet ones that you put on top of a milkshake. I am talking normal cherries, in their own juice, in a glass. Please help.

So I had to replace them with an all American favorite and very seasonal substitute: cranberries. How convenient that Thanksgiving is coming up and I see cranberries EVERYWHERE – while looking for cherries. They are really sour and make a great counterpart to the sweet dough and the sweet cream. So good. Ok, enough talking now, here is Anne’s black forest cake:

Recipe

Dough:

3 eggs

200g sugar

200g hazelnut flour or almond flour

100g melted semi sweet chocolate

1 teaspoon of flour

Mix all dry ingredients together, then add the liquid ones. Pour dough into a spring form and bake at 160° Celsius (320° Fahrenheit) for 40-45 mins. Let it cool down completely before adding the other layers.

For the cherry (cranberry) layer:

1,5 glass of sour cherries in a glass (I used two handful of fresh cranberries)

1 box of red jello (Tortenguss)

Bring the cherries with their juice to a boil, add the jello and let it cool down. The liquid should be kinda thick at this point. Pour it on top of the baked and chilled dough. Let it cool down completely before adding the cream.

For the cream top:

Whisk heavy cream with 2 teaspoons of sugar until stiff. Add to the layer of cherries (cranberries). Add chopped up chocolate in any creative way that you feel like.

- Jewels

4 Comments

  1. Katharina

    Hi Jewel, you can find the original Sauerkirschen in a jar at Trader Joe’s! At least I discovered them once and bought like 10 jars, enough for a year of baking.

    I also found them at Whole Foods in the international section, BUT $7.99 for a jar is just hiliarious in comparision to 0.99 EUR in Germany.

    Have you tried ALDI?

    Love your free-style Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte decoration!!!

    • Hallo Katharina,

      Thanks for the tips! I did try Whole Foods, but they didn’t have any at their Union Square location. I will definitely try Trader Joe’s next time. Although I must say that it was super delicious with cranberries, and they are so easy to get right now!

      Julia

  2. With cranberries or cherries – I love the idea of a fast made Black forest cake either way. Because the traditional one has always sounded like too much work. Thank you:)

  3. Hi Jewel,
    I like the way you improvise! I am coming from south-Germany, but now live in Amsterdam. From time to time I am also struggling, trying to cook with local ingredients or tools. Once I wanted to make “Spätzle”, but I couldn’t find the right kitchen tools – stirring spoon with a hole in it; also the flower they have over here is so different! Improvisation is everything! Greetings from Amsterdam. Stefan

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