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Unlike the confusingly named German Chocolate Cake, this Black Forest cake actually does hail from Germany. Start this impressive dessert by baking moist devil’s food cakes; while they cool, toss canned or jarred cherries with a cherry syrup reduction mixed with kirsch. Brush the cake layers with the syrup, and spread the cherries and some whipped cream between the layers. Frost the outside with more of the billowy whipped cream and decorate with chocolate shavings and cherries. Serve this dessert for a special birthday or holiday celebration.
What to buy: Make sure you get dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup, not cherries packed in light syrup or water. If you can find them, these Bada Bing Cherries from Tillen Farms have great texture, and you can use a single 13.5-ounce jar for the filling instead—just make sure you remove the stems first.
Special equipment: You’ll need a pastry brush for this recipe.
Game plan: You can prepare the cake layers up to 1 day in advance—just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Alternatively, you can prepare the entire cake up to 1 day in advance, refrigerate it, and then let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
For the cherries and syrup:
For the whipped cream: