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If there’s one thing that we are absolute suckers for at National Today, it is a black forest cake, and you bet we are super excited for the day March 28 rolls around and we get to celebrate National Black Forest Day. First of all, the absolute beauty of the cake itself deserves its own accolades — like those chocolate shavings accompanied with maraschino cherries and white cream! Don’t even get us started on the taste because then we are going to be here the whole day. Did you know that the cake was originally a simple dessert consisting of cream, cherries, chocolate, and alcohol? That still sounds tasty, if you ask us.
History of National Black Forest Cake Day
There are many conflicting historical reports about the exact origins of the black forest cake, but all attest to its delectability. Some historical scholars believe that the cake was invented in the 16th century in a German town called Baden-Wurttemberg. Not only was the time and place famous for its Romantic era, but it’s also known as one of the first places where chocolate started to be added into cakes and other dessert recipes. Baden-Wurttemberg was also famous for its sour cherries and kirschwasser, which is a cherry brandy. It is believed that the black forest cake gets its name from the alcohol. ‘Schwarzwald’ is the German name for the Black Forest, and a black forest cake is called ‘Schwarzwälder Kirsch’ in German.
Another story points to the cake being invented in 1915 by Josef Keller, a pastry chef at Caf Arend in Bad Godesberg. But it only started becoming popular around the 1930s. Interestingly, another historian claims that the master patissier, Erwin Hildenbrand, was the one who came up with the recipe in 1930. Hildenbrand had been working in different areas of the German Black Forest.
Today, the cake is enjoyed in many parts of the world with slight variations. The American version does not have any alcohol in it but, in places like Austria and Germany, a true black forest cake must have alcohol in it for it to even be considered a black forest cake in the first place.
National Black Forest Cake Day timeline
Famous for its sour cherries, black forest cake originates in the German town, Bad Godesberg.
Josef Keller, a pastry chef, begins making the black forest cake after years of experience.
Locals of Tübingen claim they began making their own black forest cake in their town, 15 years after Keller’s version.
Black forest cake celebrates 100 years of existence — Keller’s story is believed to be the most authentic one.
National Black Forest Cake Day FAQs
What’s another interesting fact about the black forest cake?
Did you know that the black forest cake likely gets its ingredients from an outfit worn by women in the Black Forest? The whole dress was black (chocolate), the top half was creamy white (whipped cream), and the hat was wrapped with red poms-poms (cherries).
How long can I store a black forest cake for?
Like any other cake, a black forest cake will last about 2–3 days in the refrigerator. But it is still best to eat it on the day it’s been made because the flavor will be the best.
Is it necessary to use maraschino cherries for a black forest cake?
Not really. You can use fresh cherries or canned ones or even cherry jam. Of course, the authentic recipe calls for maraschino cherries but, at the end of the day, if you like other types of cherries, that’s fine too.
National Black Forest Cake Day Activities
Dig into that sweet, sweet delicacy
First and foremost, if you are not going to be indulging in a black forest cake on National Black Forest Cake Day, then you need to sort out your priorities. It’s okay if you don’t want to consume alcohol or are vegan, you can still get a cake with all your dietary restrictions. But please, have that cake and make a day out of it.
Make a black forest cake
Put on your chef hat and apron, and get those hands dirty! Make the cake however you like but, of course, keep its authentic flavors with whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate. And the best part? You can adjust the proportions according to your liking — so if you want more chocolate, you do you.
Try a white forest cake
Since we are on the topic of the black forest cake, why should the white forest cake be left behind? Try one, make one, or make a combination of the two. See which of these two siblings come out on top. Or perhaps both are equally good in their own way.
5 Facts About Maraschino Cherries That Will Blow Your Mind
Maraschino cherries are not healthy
Maraschino cherries lose a lot of their nutrients during the bleaching and brine processes, not to mention the fact that they are high in sugar.
These cherries can cause cancer
The bright red dye used for maraschino cherries contains a carcinogen called benzidine and this can cause bladder cancer.
Maraschino cherries were luxurious
These cherries were considered luxurious in the early 1900s as they were intended for fine dining.
Oregon State University used brine for cherries
Dr. E. H. Weigand, in 1919, further developed the maraschino cherries’ recipe by using a brining process instead of the usual alcohol technique.
Maraschino cherries in a variety of colors
While red is one of the most common colors used, maraschino cherries also come in other shades like gold, green, blue, yellow, etc.
Why We Love National Black Forest Cake Day
It’s a celebration of the deep cultural history of Germany
It is said that one way to appreciate another country’s culture and history is to explore their food items. The black forest cake has a lot of history attached to it, from its ingredients and the places they are sourced from to how it is sold.
It’s a celebration of the cake’s different evolutions
While the essence of a black forest cake has remained the same throughout the years, there have been slight variations in the recipe as it has traveled across countries and continents. Most of America and countries like the UAE enjoy the sweet treat without the addition of alcohol in it. Vegans have also adjusted the dessert with their own preferences. But one fact remains and that is the absolute heavenly joy the cake brings to its eaters.
It’s a celebration of cake.
That is it. Everyone loves cake. No more explanations are needed.
National Black Forest Cake Day dates