See the recipe for Black Forest Cake »

Klumpp begins by piling sour cherries onto a layer of chocolate cake brushed with kirsch (cherry brandy) syrup and smeared with whipped cream frosting, and then drizzles more kirsch syrup on top. Placing the heavy cherries on the bottom layer ensures that they won’t crush the middle layers. Todd Coleman
He spreads a thick layer of whipped cream frosting over and around the cherries to secure them between the cake’s layers. The whipped cream frosting is reinforced with gelatin so that it will stay firm and act as a sort of creamy mortar, for an architecturally sound structure. Todd Coleman
Klumpp stacks on another cake layer and spreads it with more syrup and more whipped cream frosting. Then he adds the final cake layer and brushes it with more syrup. He spreads a thin layer of whipped cream frosting over the top of the cake and scores it into 12 wedges with a long knife. Todd Coleman
The rest of the whipped cream frosting goes into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and Klumpp pipes whipped cream frosting on top of each wedge in a zigzag pattern, beginning at the edge of the cake and working his way toward the center, to form a starburst. Todd Coleman
He spreads whipped cream frosting on the outside of the cake and drags a decorating comb over it. He pipes 2″ rosettes around the perimeter of the top of the cake–one per wedge–and nestles a cherry in each one. Then he sprinkles chocolate shavings over the center of the cake. Todd Coleman
Klumpp finishes the cake by moistening the chocolate shavings with a few tablespoons of kirsch. The boozy cherries, chocolate cake, and whipped cream balance each other wonderfully; he slices the cake between the rosettes to make 12 uniform pieces. Todd Coleman