Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
This traditional German recipe is nothing like the commercial cakes on sale these days - the ones that are cloyingly sweet with that "slick" icing. This is the real thing (and note that the sponge contains no flour). While the ingredients and directions may look out of order, I've tried to arrange them to make better use of time. If you have a stand mixer, this would be a great time to pull it out!
- 1 (25 ounce) can cherries in syrup, drained with syrup reserved
- 3 tablespoons kirsch (a 50ml miniature bottle)
- 9 extra large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated
- Cherry Filling: Stir together the drained cherries, 1/4 cup reserved syrup and the kirsch. Set aside while preparing cakes.
- To make the sponge cakes: Preheat oven to 350ºF and butter (3) 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and then butter the paper also.
- Put yolks and sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium speed until the mixture has at least doubled in volume, is very thick and mousse-like and a wide ribbon trail slowly falls back into the bowl when beaters are lifted. This could take 5 minutes or more. Don't short the time here!
- Sift in the cocoa and gently fold with a large spoon.
- In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Carefully fold egg whites into chocolate mixture, 1/3 at a time.
- Divide the batter into the 3 prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cakes spring back when touched and have pulled away from sides of pans.
- Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack & peel off the paper.
- Now go back to your cherries - drain them but hold onto the syrup! Place the cherries on paper towels to dry. Set aside 12 or so for garnish.
- Cream Filling:.
- In the clean bowl of your stand mixer, or with an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the sugar and whip until slightly thicker.
- Assembly: Place 1 cake layer on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons reserved syrup.
- Spread with 1/4 of the cream filling. Press 1/2 of the cherries into the cream.
- Stack on the second cake layer. Sprinkle it with reserved kirsch syrup as before. Spread with 1/4 of the cream & the rest of the cherries (except for the ones reserved for garnish).
- Top with final cake layer & sprinkle with remaining syrup.
- Cover the top and sides with all the remaining whipped cream - you can either pipe it or spread it on - then garnish with the reserved cherries & grated chocolate.
- Refrigerate until serving time. Best eaten within 48 hours.
Excellent! I made this for my husband's birthday, as it is his favourite cake, yummy. It cut beautifully too.
This is great! I made it for my German grandfather's birthday dinner and he raved about it for weeks. I'm going to make the flourless sponge for a Celiac Disease-friendly birthday cake. It was so great, I don't think anyone will miss the flour. Thanks a ton for the recipe!!
Love this recipe. The cake is not over-sweet and the texture is nice and moist. I may have used more Kirsch than called for, but so what? Much easier to make that it would seem and the result is beautiful, even for a beginner, like me.