Why is Black Forest Cake called Black Forest Cake? I had always wondered this. The cake is more brown from the chocolate shavings and there certainly is not a forest on top of the cake, unless you are supposed to imagine the cherries and chocolate shavings as a forest. Hmmm.... still does not make sense.
The cake's German name is Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, and some people say that it got its name from the Schwarzwälde (or Black Forest), a wooded mountain range in Germany. Some other people say that the cake resembles the traditional costume of unmarried women in the Black Forest region: a black skirt and bodice (the chocolate) and puffy-sleeved white blouse (the whipped cream) topped off with a wide flat hat covered with red pompoms (the cherries). Wikipedia insists that the cake is named not directly after the Black Forest mountain range, but rather from the sour cherry brandy of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser.
Whatever the story behind Black Forest Cake, this cake is is one of my mother's favourite cakes, and I remember eating a lot of it when I was young. Nowadays, being health conscious, my mother indulges in cakes less often. But if there is a Black Forest she cannot resist, it is that from Da Paolo.
A typical black forest cake is made of maybe two layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and Kirch-soaked cherries in between and on top, and is drizzled with dark chocolate shavings. From the side, it seems as if the Black Forest in Da Paolo's plastic container has no structure - all I see is the whipped cream, a few patches of the cake, and the cherries.
But when I divide the cake into two, there the structure is.
Da Paolo makes the best black forest I have ever tasted, and it is worth the $7.50 it costs. The layers of chocolate cake are thin and moist, and melt in your mouth together with the thick luscious cream. You get a slight chocolatey hit from the chocolate shavings. But the stars are the plump cherries appearing with almost every other spoonful of cake. Those cherries turn the cake from chocolate-cake-with-whipped-cream to the Black Forest.
There are a couple of cakes from Da Paolo that are a must-try, and the Black Forest is one of them.
Da Paolo Gastronomia
Six Battery Road #K1-01
Tel: 6535 4339
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 8am – 9pm