Chocolate Drizzle in the Black Forest

The hills were alive with the sound of cattle bells and gradual butterflies in my stomach as we ascended to the top of the Belchen mountain by cable car. Somehow I can’t get over my fear of heights but the views from the top made the ride worthwhile. The Belchen is the third highest mountain in the Black Forest (1414m) just south of Freiburg, its Capital.

Belchen mountains Black Forest Germany

The hills are alive with the sound of cattle bells and butterflies

Couldn’t you just imagine Julie Andrews running towards you in her pinafore, beckoning you to join in song? Are you ready? If you’re a fan of The Sound of Music like myself, you’ll love this page of trivia about the film.

Black Forest Mountains Germany

Climb Ev’ry Mountain…

Back down to ground level, the girls were dying to go boating on the Titisee lake, which is about 850m above sea level.  Thank Goodness they’re not quite Sixteen Going on Seventeen yet. A pedalo for four did us quite nicely, thank you, as the rain drizzled on us. Pity it wasn’t chocolate drizzle.

Boating on Lake Titisee Black Forest Germany - great for family holidays

A trip to Furtwangen was a must on this short trip, as it’s famous for its cuckoo clocks. At the Deutsches Uhrenmuseum (German Clock Museum), I’ve never seen so many of them in one place, from the traditional to more contemporary designs. Schönwald, a tiny town next door, is said to be the birthplace of the cuckoo clock, where Franz Anton Ketterer thought of combining a clock with bellows at the beginning of the 18th Century.

German cuckoo clocks museum Black Forest

Time to say, Oh, cuckoo!

Our girls thought the highlight of the trip was the nature walk at Triberg, up to the Gutach waterfall – the highest waterfall in Germany – which cascades over 160m through the forest. Many royal and celebrity guests have visited the falls, including Ernest Hemingway in August 1922. Our favourite celebrities were the swooping nutcracker birds and the cheeky squirrels, as they fought over the allocated bags of monkey nuts.

Triberg waterfalls Black Forest Germany

Triberg Waterfalls, Black Forest

On our return home, my petite Lucie turned 11 years old and another couple of shoe sizes bigger in the last month. You think I’m joking? At this rate, she’s going to tower above me in no time.  The request for her birthday cake was simple: chocolate cake!  I’d already made a wickedly rich chocolate cake by Patrick Roger this Easter but Lucielocks quite rightly asked to try something different.

It didn’t take long to find a perfect chocolate bundt cake recipe from Jamie Schler’s blog, Life’s A Feast.  I loved the shape of this Bundt cake and simply drizzled it with plenty of chocolate ganache (recipe below) and melted white chocolate, one of Lucie’s favourite sweet things.  With chocolate macarons on the side, bien sûr.  Which reminds me of another of Maria’s songs, “I Have Confidence” – which is basically the main ingredient needed for macaron-making, n’est-ce pas?

As this cake was made for a children’s party, I omitted the cinnamon but if you’re including it, I would also suggest adding a good pinch of cinnamon to the chocolate drizzle, as well as a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Lucie doesn’t like cherries (I know, I know – scream!) so there’s not a cherry in sight, but to make a Black Forest version, I suggest adding 100g of dried cherries (even better, soaked in Kirsch) to the dough before baking and serve with plenty of cherries and whipped cream on the side.

Chocolate Ganache Drizzle

100g dark chocolate (at least 64% cacao), especially for pâtisserie
100g good quality milk chocolate
300g single cream
1 sachet (7g) vanilla sugar

Break the chocolate into pieces. Gently heat the cream in a saucepan, adding the vanilla sugar and chocolate pieces.  Heat over low heat until the chocolate has melted, then stir with a wooden spoon to make a beautifully glossy, even sauce to drizzle over your cakes and ice cream.

So Long, Farewell, auf wiedersehen to you, the holidays. The French schools return next week for la rentrée so, before we’re back to routine, I’ll try to upload the latest photos. I forgot to post this before leaving for Italy last week.  If anyone follows me on TwitterInstagram or Facebook, you may know that I can’t sit down for long before my back seizes up, so my computer and travel visits are kind of short these days. So, here’s the second part of our Black Forest jaunt before I turned into a chair!

Holidays: one of My Favourite Things – along with chocolate, macarons, strawberries, bubbly and brown paper packages tied up with string. What’s yours?

Prost! Cheers!

16 replies
  1. Fern @ To Food with Love
    Fern @ To Food with Love says:

    I’m a fan of the sound of music too! watched it since I was a kid about a million times until I’ve memorized all the lines 🙂 That first picture did remind me of the scene from the movie.
    I was drawn in my the picture of your cake, looks amazing. Now I can try this out with my Bundt tin (which is kinda underutilised). Thanks for posting! 🙂

  2. The Ninja Baker
    The Ninja Baker says:

    Love all the references to the Sound of Music…My very musical brother and his family lived in Hungary for a bit and loved visiting Germany. By your photos and descriptions I can see why.

    I trust your daughter was singing your praises with the exquisite chocolate Bundt birthday cake. Love the suggestions of dried cherries and Kirsch =)

  3. Kim Beaulieu
    Kim Beaulieu says:

    Happy Birthday to the young one. Great cake to celebrate with. I love Jamie and her site, she’s such a sweetheart. I love looking at your photos. It makes me want to run away from my boring life.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Isn’t it funny, Kim, that we all want to run away at times? That’s just what we were doing here for 6 days and we’ve promised ourselves to return. Btw, your site and life is full of energy and humour. Love it!

  4. June S
    June S says:

    I love how you always come up with different ideas for birthday cakes Jill and this one is no exception. Wish I could have shared it with you all. AND I love how you describe aspects of your holidays along with interesting photos. Julie and Lucie will always have these happy memories even without the pictures.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Don’t worry – you’ll get to share in the next one for Dad’s birthday. I keep meaning to post your birthday red fruit and rose tart. Life keeps getting in the way!

  5. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    I’ve never been there! I have visited Salzburg several times and stood at the lake looking at the mansion used in the film. I loved that movie even though it’s old now.

    I love what you did with Jamie’s cake! Happy Birthday to the nearly grown up one!

  6. Vicki Bensinger
    Vicki Bensinger says:

    It looks like you spent a lovely time with your daughter visiting the countryside.

    Happy Birthday to your daughter. Your chocolate bundt cake looks so moist. I know it’s delicious. I’m with your daughter on cherries but dried cherries I love especially when they’re covered in chocolate.



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