“Ever had Schwarzwald torte?” I asked a friend. He furrowed his brow at the unfamiliar phrase. Based on our history, he was wary of what sort of foreign deviltry I sought to set loose on his fragile palate.

“Chocolate cake, whipped cream, cherries and chocolate curls on top,” I explained, and his face lit up. Sight unseen, another Schwarzwald torte fan was born.

There are a few places in Western New York where you can buy a Black Forest cake, as it’s known in English. Few are as authentic as the one at Black Forest Adler (2447 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst).

Owner Laura Braun has eaten plenty of the original, over in Germany, where she traveled with husband and chef Gerhard Braun, a native of Germany. Back home, she worked out the recipe with Lindsey Wilczynski, of Wheatberry Bake Shop in Snyder, who makes it for the restaurant.

“The main ingredient that sets us apart is the kirschwasser, German cherry liqueur, that goes into it,” Braun said. “It’s not only mixed in with the cherries, it’s mixed into the whipped cream, so you get that flavor of the kirschwasser throughout the cake.”

Cherry cordial soaked into the cake layers helps offset the cake being slightly drier. “The chocolate is not as fudgy as a lot of chocolate cakes here in America,” she said. “It’s lighter in flavor and texture.”

So it stacks up like this: cake, sour cherry filling, whipped cream, cake, whipped cream, cake, whipped cream, chocolate curls. For $5.40.

Customers of the family-style German restaurant have been pleased with the results, Braun said. Folks sometimes call ahead to order a whole cake for birthday celebrations.

“We find that when people are coming to our restaurant, they want the whole German experience,” she said. “They are willing to splurge on dessert.”

For more information, call 564-2447 or visit