I have noticed that to a certain amount of people making a multi-layered cake is somehow overwhelming. They end up just liking a cake and moving on, never attempting to make one. Baking this cake is nothing to hold your breath for. Yes, it does take a bit of time and some simple kitchen accessories (a mixer and springform pans for example), but in the end, it is really made of 9 main ingredients (plus some spices). Still, the result is just majestic. The flavors are awesome, shortly put. The chocolate-cherry combination wins most of the hearts. Go for it.
The cake originated in Germany where you can find Black Forest mountain range. Its name hasn’t derived from there, though; but rather from a liquor distilled from cherries. This liquor is, originally, the special ingredient in the dessert which primarily consists of chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream, and cherries. You see, it is quite basic and straightforward.
Naturally, I’ve taken some of the recipes out there and created a low-carb, sugar-free version of Black Forest cake. Here in Europe we mostly put sour cherries inside. The sour taste combines super well with the sweetness of chocolate and cream. Using cherries, I can not call this cake keto-friendly, but to some of the ketonians, a piece could still fit inside your macros.
How to simplify the recipe
For the sake of the original cake having 3 sponge cake layers, I’ve made the same number of layers. But you don’t necessarily have to do the same. You can keep 2 thick layers or cut 2 thick layers in half to make 4. This depends on you, but take into consideration the size of baking pans. If wider than 9″, I’d see no problems in keeping 2 thick layers. 8″ or less, I’d use a cake slicer to make 4 layers. Besides, the smaller the cakes, the easier it is to cut them lengthwise.
Because you need to bake the sponge cakes immediately after mixing the butter in, but the two might not fit on the middle oven rack together (again, depending on the size of the pans), you might need to bake in upper and lower rack simultaneously. If this is the case, I recommend using the fan in the oven (if possible) and lowering the baking temperature for 20°F.
And do not forget: Keeping the ingredients for the sponge cake at room temperature is important information to follow. For the contrast, before mixing heavy whipping cream, it always helps to take the cream straight from the fridge and to place the mixing bowl in the freezer 15 minutes prior to mixing.
Yes, you can use whatever type of cherries you find. I buy frozen sour cherries and unfreeze them. That works work great. I would be extra careful buying canned cherries, though. They seem to contain lots of sugar.