Black Forest Cake is a German traditional cake that dates back officially from the early twentieth century, but variations on its design have been around for centuries. Surprisingly enough, it is not named after the Black Forest in Germany! But instead, it’s named after the regional liqueur that’s made in those parts, Schwarzwälder Kirsch (yeah, I had to copy and paste that from Wikipedia, that’s a mouthful!) which is made from distilled cherries. Appropriately, this liqueur plays an important role in a traditional Black Forest cake–so much that in Germany, it legally can’t be called a “Black Forest Cake” without it! In other parts of Europe they’re far more lax with what liquor you use, and in the United States we don’t bother at all with the alcohol (we prefer to drink ours, thank you). But the other ingredients are the same: layers of chocolate cake lined with whipped cream and cherries, and topped with more frosting, cherries, and chocolate flakes. It’s a decadent dish that’s perfect for a special occasion or just as a great dessert (to cap off a dinner that wasn’t all that filling!)
And one of the best places in New York City to find a delicious Black Forest Cake is out in Elmhurst, New York, at the cozy Du Bois Pastry bakery. They make a non-traditional black forest cake, forgoing the cherry filling in the middle of each chocolate cake layer and replacing it with even more chocolate (that’s definitely a decision I can get behind!) It’s such a popular cake here that people from all over the five boroughs flock to Elmhurst to pick up a cake. It’s Manhattan-level flavor for a Queens-level price–$18 for a whole cake, which will servei 6 to 8 people; if you got the same cake in the Upper East Side you’d pay that much just for a slice!
Du Bois Pastry
8408 Broadway, #A, Elmhurst
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“If you stop by this spot, do yourself a favor, get the Black Forest Cake!! Yes, it’s a whole 6″ cake you have to devour. It’s worth it. No questions about it!! I loved the fact that it’s one of the vintage bakeries in the area.”–Linda W.
“As for specific desserts: my favorite is the black forest cake. It’s not the stereotypical overly sweet cake slathered in cream and drowning in preserved cherry and goo. In fact, the cake has no cherries, the creme is light and the cake stays moist for days (if it lasts that long)! I daresay the cake gets better the next day as it seems to defy the laws of science-becoming just a bit more dense but somehow staying moist after being refrigerated.”–Amy C.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!