As soon as I heard my Austrian friend and colleague was going back to Vienna for the weekend I jumped at the chance to get a bottle of authentic kirschwasser, a clear cherry brandy. Kirschwasser is an important ingredient in a traditional Black forest cake and here is my vegan version. This cake is just too good and I don’t think you would be able to tell that it is vegan at all. Although the cake is maybe a little more dense than a traditional black forest cake, it really soaks up the alcohol well and has a great dark chocolatey taste. Luckily kirschwasser is available at Alko here in finland, although it is a little expensive. If you want, you can leave the alcohol out and simply add a little more cherry juice.
Black Forest Cake – makes 18 cm 3 layer cake
330 g plain flour
170 g sugar
25 g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
75 ml oil
4 dl water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cider vinegar
5 dl plant based cream
425g / 750 ml jar of sour cherries with juice reserved
4 tbsp Kirschwasser mixed with 2 tbsp of the cherry juice
100 g vegan friendly dark chocolate, grated
1 jar of sour cherry jam
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and line an 18 cm round cake tin. Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Pour the oil, water, vanilla and vinegar into a jug and give it a good mix. Now pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, stir thoroughly until smooth and pour into your prepared tin. Bake for 40 – 45 mins until firm. Set aside to cool
Once cool slice the cake into three layers and sprinkle with the kirschwasser juice mixture. Whip the cream and mix the jar of cherries with 3 tbsp of the cherry jam. Now spread 2 tbsp of cherry jam on 2 of the cake layers. Top with a few of the sour cherries and top again with a dollop of whipped cream. Now place one of the layers on top of the other and finally top with the final reserved layer.
Spread cream around the edges of the cake and press the grated chocolate to the sides, until the cake is covered. don’t worry if it seems to be falling off, be patient and keep pressing and you will get a good finish. Pipe small roses around the edges of the top of the cake and finally fill the centre with the remaining sour cherries as pictured above.