Years ago, when I lived in Germany, my host mothers used to make this dessert. I've prepared several variations of it myself over the years, including as a cheesecake, but I think I still like the traditional Schwarzwälderkirschtorte the best.
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup kirschwasser
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon strong brewed coffee
2 (14 ounce) cans pitted Bing cherries, drained
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon kirschwasser
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of two 8 inch round pans with parchment paper circles. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Pour into 2 round 8 inch pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove paper from the cakes. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup kirshwasser.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling. Top with 1/3 of the cherries. Repeat with the remaining layers.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon kirshwasser. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler on semisweet baking chocolate.