When I first saw a recipe for Black Forest coffee and it was described as almost drinking a black forest cake, I wondered why the beverage recipe contained no liquor at all. Although American versions of the Black Forest cake are almost always alcohol-free, in traditional German recipes, Ergo, when I made two cups of Black Forest coffee for Speedy and myself, I included a splash of cherry brandy.
Was it good? Yes, very
Before I go into the recipe, a short trivia. In case you’re wondering whether the Black Forest cake was invented deep in the heart of a forest, well, it isn’t really clear. The cake, however, was named after a forest in a mountain range in Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany. The German name of the dessert is Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte or Black Forest cherry torte. The “torte” part somehow became “cake” when the dessert found its way into the English-speaking nations.
A case of loss in translation? It’s more than that. There is a distinction between a torte and a cake. A cake is made with flour; a torte is made with ground nuts. Since the Black Forest cake we know comes from America (probably via England), it is more likely that flour became an ingredient when the recipe crossed the borders of Germany. But don’t quote me on that I’m merely guessing.
And the syrup of the maraschino cherries. Add a splash of cherry brandy to each cup. Stir. If you’re not satisfied, add more chocolate syrup, maraschino cherry syrup, cherry brandy, or all of them. When the drink tastes great to you, add whipped cream on top. My daughter, Sam, piped the whipped cream and Speedy was exclaiming, “Enough!”
Finally, sprinkle the shaved chocolate on the whipped cream and top with a maraschino cherry. Stir, or not, before sipping your delicious Black Forest coffee. Perfect for chilly December evenings. Perfect for after-Christmas dinner coffee.