A black forest cake is made with layers of kirsch-spiked chocolate cake, cherries and wehipped cream. It’s a delicious flavor combination, and pops up in desserts besides cake from time to time. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf chain, based in Southern California, has long had a Black Forest Ice Blended drink on their menu and it is one of their best sellers. Their version is made with a mocha base, maraschino cherries and chocolate-covered espresso beans. It’s easy to recreate this favorite at home if you have a jar of cherries and a blender, and I often do when I want to treat myself!
I usually have a jar of maraschino cherries in my fridge for garnishing cocktails, but if you don’t have any you can substitute sweet black cherries, either jarred, fresh or frozen. The flavor is a little bit more natural when you use them, although the maraschinos are “traditional” in this type of drink. I recommend leaving out the chocolate covered espresso beans unless you have a powerful blender, like a Blendtec (which is what I use). A low-power blender will probably just leave chunks of the beans in your drink that won’t fit easily through a straw. That said, if you feel like your blender is up to the challenge, go for it because they add a nice bit of texture to the drink.
Homemade Black Forest Ice Blended
6 oz strong, cold coffee
6 oz milk
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6-8 maraschino, or black cherries
2 tbsp chocolate-covered espresso beans (optional)
approx 2 cups ice cubes
In a blender, combine coffee, milk, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, cherries, chocolate-covered espresso beans (if using) and ice. Process at low speed until ice is crushed, then turn speed up to high and blend until very smooth.
Pour into a large glass and garnish with whipped cream.
Makes 2 servings
*If desired, substitute 1/4 cup hot cocoa mix for cocoa powder and sugar.