Friday, March 26, 2010

Desserts – Black Forest Cake honors traditional Bollenhut German hat

Bollenhuts, these wildly outrageous traditional hats and costumes pictured here are the inspiration for the Black Forest Cake.

The Black Forest region is known for much more than the dark loneliness of its forest.  It is also famous for its cuckoo clocks, dark chocolate, Morello cherries, and Kirsch, the double-distilled clear alcohol they produce from those cherries.
The many traditional costumes and hats of each town and village worn for holidays and special celebrations have brought visiting crowds for centuries.
The dress and hat of unmarried ladies is what master pastry chef, Josef Keller so beautifully recreated in cake form, possibly in 1915, although there is some controversy about the exact date.

The black dress are the 3-4 layers of dark chocolate cake, 
the white shirt with poofy sleeves are the layers and swirls of whipped cream, the 8-11 red pompoms are the cherries, and the black undulating lace veil shielding the young women’s eyes are represented by the chocolate curls.

The hats weight about 2 kilos or about 4 pounds, which is also about what a large traditional Black Forest cake will weight.  The giant wool pompoms signal marital status – red for maidens, black for married ladies.

In the United States, the Black Forest cake has its own national day on March 28!

May 3, 2010: 
Just discovered Rednesday, a meme at It's a Very Cherry World!  Since this particular post is so red, and so very cherry, it seems perfectly suited for that group.  I'm linking this post there on Wednesday for my first entry to Rednesday.  Just like me, many of the participants also love vintage.  :-)

A big warm "welcome to my blog" goes to all the Rednesday participants, and Sue, the kind hostess.  If you want to find out more about me, be sure to read my About/Welcome page.  Thanks for stopping by, and wishing you a great Rednesday!


  1. Hello,
    Lovely schwarzwalder kirch torte. Just like them make here in Germany. Hmm, does that mean that I have to bake one on March 28th?
    Nice site.

  2. Awesome information Joy! Thanks for sharing with us. What a beautiful cake too! Black Forest cake is one of my hubby's favorites! :)

  3. Gorgeous torte, I mean the colors capture the spirit dolls perfectly.

  4. one of my favorite torte in Germany...ganz lecker! I love it! me and my blogs are following you now.
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  5. Love your reds and who knew a chapeau had inspired a cake? The things you learn on blogs - wonderful!

  6. that dessert looks so yummy. My hubby's favorite.

  7. That cake is so beautiful!Gimme a fork and back away slowly...

    Nice to meet you:)

  8. Ooh! Right up my alley! I briefly lived in Germany many years ago. A 4-lb. hat? I'd be paying the chiropractor's salary with that! I'll take a big fat slice of cake please!

  9. That torte looks so good but almost too pretty to eat. Thanks for sharing.

  10. How fascinating. I love the cake and had no idea it was a celebration. The things I learn while blogging. Thanks.

  11. Oh my, you have certainly made me hungry and craving that cake!! How delicious looking.
    Thanks so much for sharing the great pictures~
    The Tattered Tassel

  12. Joy, that's so interesting that the costumes represent the cake. Neat info! Thanks for visiting me and you sweet compliments on my red chairs.

  13. Thanks for this very interesting post. And what a beautiful looking Black Forest cake, it looks like a flower and I'm sure it's delicious!

    Happy Rednesday to you (even though it's Thursday already)!

  14. Thank you for such an informative post....Black forest has been my favorite cake for as long as I can remember...good to know some history of it.


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