The Black Forest

After our morning exploring medieval Colmar, France we spent the afternoon journeying into the Black Forest in Breisach, Germany. Not only is the Black Forest the backdrop for fairy tales such as Hanzel and Gretel and Little Red Ridinghood, it is also where Black Forest Ham, Black Forest Cake and many other local delicacies come from! Oh and lets not forget the most known icon of the Black Forest, the cuckoo clock!

IMG_8889 IMG_9286We drove two hours, through the winding dark countryside roads into the forest. The forest is mostly made up of evergreens such as pine and fir trees but in Germany is known as Schwarzwald (“black woods”). The forest is situated on a mountain range in Baden-Wurttemberg in southwest Germany. The forest is also home to the Danube river and major mines that were used during medieval times.

IMG_9282I was surprised to realize that the “forest” is not as vast and dense as I had imagined. Instead, it is spread over a large area with different spurts of evergreens alongside many little towns, that have developed and use the forest for all of its resources. IMG_9293We finally came across a small, touristy town where we were able to stretch our legs. The town had a very crowded Christmas market and some fun demonstrations for visitors. We attended cuckoo clock presentation to learn about how the clocks work and why they were origionally created. We also learned how to make Black Forest cake, and got to have a taste! We were even there to see the large cuckoo clock, located in the center of the town, strike on the hour.IMG_8908

Black Forest Cake Recipe:

1 dark sponge cake

1 cup (8.8 oz.) of cherries

3 tablespoons of cherry jam

3 cups (26 fl. oz.) of whipped cream

3 leaves of gelatin to stiffen the cream

5 teaspoons of Black Forest Cherry “Kirschhwasser” (40% vol.)

1/4 cup (1.8 oz.) chocolate shavings (from a milk chocolate bar)


Slice the cake sandwich through the middle into three even layers.

Prepare the gelatin and add to the whipped cream.

Spread jam onto the bottom cake layer, then cover this layer with whipped cream and cherries (approx. 3/4 inch thick).

Cover with another layer of sandwich. Sprinkle the cherry “Kirschwasser” evenly over this layer, cover with 3/4 inch of whipped cream and place the last layer on top.

Cover the whole cake with the remaining cream and decorate with chocolate bar shavings and cherries.


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