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, it appears that kirsch (also called Kirschwasser), a “dry, colourless brandy distilled from the fermented juice of the black morello cherry”, is the dessert’s distinguishing factor. 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 Schwarzwälder 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 lost 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.
Okay, now… the black forest coffee.
There is no cooking involved here unless you consider brewing coffee as “cooking”.
So, brew your coffee and add chocolate syrup.
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.
Black Forest Coffee With Cherry Brandy
- 2 cups very hot freshly-made coffee
- 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup (I used Hershey’s)
- 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry syrup
- 2 generous splashes cherry brandy
- whipped cream
- shaved chocolate
- 2 maraschino cherries
- Pour the coffee to about three-fourths of the mug.
- Drizzle in some chocolate syrup, maraschino cherry syrup and cherry brandy. Stir. Taste and add more chocolate, syrup or brandy, or all three.
- Pipe whipped cream on top of the coffee.
- Sprinkle with shaved chocolate and top with a maraschino cherry.