Cherry season is here again so this was definitely in order. I like words to sound grandiose so instead of the plain-sounding “Black Forest” in English, let’s use Schwarzwalder Kirsch Oatmeal instead. Sch-warz-wal-der Kir-sch. The way the words rolls of your tongue, doesn’t it remind you of a nifty spell right from the books of Harry Potter?
Well, if you trace the birthplace of Schwarzwalder Kirsch, it isn’t too far off from being Harry Potter-esque, at least in the sense of mystery that it evokes.
Like the Whomping Willow, the fir and pine trees of the Black Forest of Germany stand dense and impenetrable, their branches deeply intertwined and tower skyward unrestrained and fearless. Clouds hang low, and it is in this wizard land that Morello cherries grow (the Rhine plains) and Kirsch derived.
As most stories go, pastry chef Josef Keller is credited with the invention of Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte back in 1915. Working in Café “Ahrend” in Bonn (today called Agner), he merged two predecessors of the cake to form a reinvented version. These two prior versions were the Black Forest version – stewed cherries served with whipped cream and laced with cherry brandy, i.e. without the cake – and the Switzerland version – sponge cake base topped with cherries and whipped cream, but without the brandy. He later introduced his version at his own bakery, Lake Constance, in 1928.
What makes a Black Forest cake authentic? The traditional cake per Keller’s version consists of dark chocolate sponge layers, heaps of cream, calls, chocolate shavings, cherries and cherry brandy, the latter being the most critical ingredient. According to the German “Guidelines for Fine Bakery Products” that determine the ingredients of select German tarts and pastries, the Kirschwasser, or cherry brandy, flavor in a Black Forest Cake has to be “clearly distinguishable” (whatever that means).
My idea was to create the flavours of Black Forest in oatmeal, without veering to far from the original. So here’s the replacements I did:
Chocolate sponge layers > chocolate oat layers
Cream > vanilla chia pudding
Cherries & cherry brandy > wine-soaked cherries (I used rose wine)
Chocolate shavings > cacao nibs
That wasn’t too difficult was it? And Now you can enjoy Black Forest every day too! If you think wine in the morning isn’t suitable, try it and it really sets you on a high mood for the rest of the day.
- ¼ cup rolled or Scottish oats
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 6 tablespoon non-dairy milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and quartered
- ¼ cup wine (I used Jacob's Creek sparkling rosé which had fantastic bubbles)
- ¼ cup water
- Cacao nibs
- Cook oats in water for 15-20 minutes until most of the water is absorbed and oats are thick and creamy.
- Add in ¼ cup non-dairy milk and give it a good stir.
- Place into a bowl and store overnight in refrigerator.
- In a small bowl, stir together chia seeds with non-dairy milk and vanilla extract. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator to form a thick gel.
- In another small bowl, soak the pitted cherries in wine and water mixture.
- The next morning, layer oats, chia pudding and cherries to form a parfait. Garnish with additional cacao nibs and cherries.