The oldest memory of Black Forest gâteau, I can remember, was my sixth birthday when a piece of it was catapulted from Bruno's spoon into Sigi's ear.
But I must have known it before that, then I'm dead certain that I'd wished to have Black Forest gâteau as my birthday cake for when my school friends came over to celebrate with me.
With the exception of spinach, your mother's version of a dish is usually the benchmark that can hardly be met. So it is at least for me with Black Forest gâteau. All others are usually far over the top - that is, they have cherries added or far to much stuff on the top. My mother went for a simple yet unbeatably scrumptious approach.
My mother does not make it any more but luckily my sister adopted the recipe and recently shared it with me:
Make the biscuit at least one, better two days in advance.
Mix 3 egg and 150 g sugar and it is all bright and fluffy. Fold in 130 g flower and 20 g cacao powder. Pour in a greased springform pan and bake 20 minutes at 200°C/392°F. Let is cool at first in the pan so that the condense water is soaked up by the biscuit and it stays moist.
Make as late as possible prior to serving the cake.
Cut the biscuit carefully once or twice horizontally. Pour over each biscuit disc a tablespoon of cherry brandy. Beat 500 ml cream until stiff. Smear the cream over the bottom biscuit, add the next layer and continue until the top is cover with cream. Cream also the sides. Add chipped chocolate until the cake looks speckled.
This is not for the purists. In an Indian hotel I saw a White Forest gâteau. For this, substitute the cocoa powder with flower and the black chocolate chips with white chocolate chips. Don't forget to duck down, if a purist tried to throw it into your face.