Obviously inspired by the infamous Black Forest Gateau, (layers of chocolate cake, sour cherries and whipped cream, with a good dose of kirsch) this uses those flavours for a rather different kind of dessert.
I substituted the traditional whipped cream for the fluffiness of a meringue topping, and gave it the chocolate hit from bottom and top, with cocoa in the pastry and chocolate in the meringue. For a true black forest feel the curd should be made using sour cherries, liquored up with kirschwasser (a legal requirement for the German Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte). As I had neither of those to hand I tarted up my cherries with lemon juice, added a slug of rum in Austrian style, and sneaked in a little maraschino syrup to give some depth to the flavour.
This whole thing does take some time, but the rich flavour of a (small) slice of this pie is definitely worth spending half a day off in the kitchen.
Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment
- 140 g plain flour
- 30 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 15 g caster sugar
- 85 g butter (cold)
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp cold water
For the cherry curd:
- Approx. 400 g cherries, fresh or frozen
- Juice of 1-2 lemons, depending on the sweetness of your cherries
- Couple of tbsp of kirsch/rum (optional)
- Couple of tbsp of maraschino cherry syrup (optional)
- Up to 175 g caster sugar, depending on the sweetness of your cherries
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 75 cup sugar
- tsp vanilla extract
- 50 g dark chocolate
- Pie dish
- Spoons, knives, spatulas etc.
- Scales or measuring cups
- Electric mixer, stand or hand held (or the arm muscle to whip up a meringue by hand)
- Rolling pin
- Baking beans (or equivalent, dried beans, rice etc.)
- Baking parchment