Seriously, this was a business trip. We HAD to find a quality slice of Black Forest Cake even though it was sought only by old-fashioned, German-language-less tourists like me. Most people seemed oblivious to the fact that this cake was born in Berlin. Where was its memorial? Where was its shrine?
We got distracted by the sights and curious fray of this haunting city. The Holocaust Memorial and the Berlin Wall smack you with emotion and the weariness of living with those traumas is palpable amongst the people. That, juxtaposed with the friendliness of our cafe-and-linden-laden neighborhood and the vigor of the gay pride parade, surprised us. Complexity is in the air. The philharmonic inspired, and off-beat boutiques and vintage shops electrified our afternoon. Who cares about cake when you can find boots with kick-ass attitude and a so-perfect bag for a reasonable (who’s counting?) number of Euros?
Then, of course, back to the work of cake-hunting. I met the Erdbeertorte. Welcome to my repertoire, you sticky strawberry something. But you are not the one I seek.
At long last: the Schwartzwalder Kirsch-torte (black forest cake) and the black cherries that made it possible. The cherries are soaked in kirsch, the clear cherry brandy from the region. The cream is frothy, the cake is delicate. How was it? Plenty good, and it pairs amazingly well with beer. Here’s a recipe.
Berlin is on the list of cities to revisit for cookbook research because too many hidden treasures lie along the riverbanks, in the markets, in the culture and deep in the Black Forest. I am beckoned by the business of rediscovering them.