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Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake)
Serves 12

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup boiling water
8 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup superfine (caster) sugar
1-1/2 cups sifted cake flour

2 1-pound cans morello cherries (or red sour cherries)
3/4 cup superfine (caster) sugar
1 cup cherry liquid
1/2 cup Kirsch

2 cups confectioner's (icing sugar, sifted)
2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup Kirsch

9 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup superfine (caster) sugar
3 tablespoons water
3 egg yolks
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (optional)

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons superfine (caster) sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Kirsch

12 maraschino cherries w/stems
1/3 cup Kirsch
1 bar semisweet chocolate (for chocolate curls)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare two 9-inch by 2-inch pans (or two 9-inch springform pans),
greased, bottoms lined with parchment, and then greased again and

In a heavy saucepan bring the chocolate and water to a boil over
low heat, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes or
until the chocolate thickens to a pudding-like consistency. (It
will fall from the spoon and pool slightly before disappearing.)
Cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla extract and sugar
with the whisk beater on high speed for 10 minutes or until triple
in volume.

Sift half the flour over the egg mixture and fold it in gently but
rapidly with a slotted skimmer or large rubber spatula until some
of the flour has disappeared. Repeat with the remaining flour
until all flour has disappeared. Fold in the chocolate mixture
until incorporated. Pour immediately into the prepared pans (they
will be about 2/3 full) and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a tester
inserted in the centers enters as easily as it does when inserted
closer to the sides.

Loosen the sides of the cakes with a small metal spatula and unmold
at once onto lightly greased racks. Reinvert to cool. The firm
upper crusts prevent falling. Trim the bottom and top crusts and
split each layer in half horizontally to make (4) 1/2" layers, when
ready to complete the cake.

Drain the cherries for 30 minutes, reserving 1 cup cherry liquid.
In a medium saucepan combine the cherry liquid and sugar and bring
to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Boil briskly,
uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the cherries and simmer, covered,
1 minute. Remove from the heat. Transfer the cherries with a
slotted spoon to a jar with tight-fitting lid and add the Kirsch.
Boil the remaining syrup until reduced to 2/3 cup and pour over
the cherries. Cover tightly and swirl to mix. Cool completely
and refrigerate until ready to complete cake. *Note: May be
prepared well in advance and stored.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the confectioner's sugar and butter
with the whisk beater on low speed until well-blended. Add egg
yolks, beating on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and
fluffy. Gently fold in Kirsch.

Chop the chocolate into small bits and put in a large mixing bowl.
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, and boil
for 1 minute. Pour the boiling sugar mixture over the chocolate
and stir until smooth. If the mixture becomes granular and begins
to stiffen, beat in 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening to smooth
it out. Cover and set aside to cool to room temperature.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whisk beater
until well blended. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat
well. Continue to beat on high speed, adding small bits of butter
(about 2 tablespoons) at a time, and beating well until all the
butter is incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy.

Whip cream in a small chilled mixing bowl until frothy. Add sugar,
vanilla and Kirsch. Continue beating until very stiff (almost to

Macerate maraschino cherries in Kirsch for at least 24 h ours prior
to assembling cake.

Warm chocolate bar to approximately 80F., or just warm enough to
prevent splintering. Form chocolate curls by using a potato peeler
drawn against the length of the bar. Chill until ready to complete

Drain cherries, reserving syrup. There should be about 1 cup, 2
tablespoons of syrup. Add additional Kirsch, if necessary.

Transfer the cakes to a long strip of waxed paper and prick each
layer lightly in several places with the tines of a long fork.
Sprinkle the layers evenly with the syrup and let them rest for at
least 5 minutes. Cut out a cardboard round to fit the diameter of
the cake layer. Place bottom layer on cardboard and spread with
1/3 of the filling. Distribute an even layer of cherries (so that
they are touching) on top of filling. Place 2nd and 3rd cake
layers, repeating with layers of filling and cherries. Top with
4th cake layer.

Wrap cake gently in plastic film and refrigerate for at least 1
hour for filling to become firm. Remove cake from refrigerator
and discard plastic film. Frost sides only with chocolate buttercream,
using an icing comb to finish and decorate the sides. Pile the
entire amount of cream topping on top of cake. Use an icing comb
or swirl decoratively into an even layer. Place 12 maraschino
cherries evenly spaced around perimeter of top and pile chocolate
curls decoratively in center.

Cover cake closely and refrigerate at least 24 hours (48 hours is
better), to allow moisture to equalize and flavors to mellow.
Serve chilled.


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