TIP OF THE DAY: Deconstruct Your Favorite Foods
For National Black Forest Cake Day, March 28th, we deconstructed the Black Forest Cake (photo #1), inspired by the dessert (photo #2) at Compère Lapin in New Orleans.
We had so much fun with it, that today’s tip is: Deconstruct one of your favorite recipes.
Here’s what we did with Black Forest Cake:
Instead of a chocolate layer cake with cherry filling, garnished with shaved chocolate and whipped cream, we followed Compère Lapin’s lead with:
If this seems like too much work, here’s a super-easy deconstructed Black Forest Cake:
Take a slice of chocolate pound cake, chocolate sour cream cake or even a brownie. Top with the Red Sour Cherry Topping from Chukar Cherries (or a quality cherry pie filling) cooked with kirschwasser, and a generous topping or side of whipped cream.
 A conventional Black Forest Cake (photo courtesy Sweet Street Desserts.  Black Forest Cake deconstructed, at Compère Lapin restaurant | New Orleans.
There’s more about Black Forest Cake below, including its origin and a link to traditional recipes.
WHAT ARE DECONSTRUCTED RECIPES
Deconstruction is an avant-garde culinary trend of the last 15 years or so, championed by the famed Catalan chef Ferran Adrià, who has referred to his cooking as “deconstructivist.”
Hervé This, the “father of molecular gastronomy,” reintroduced the concept in 2004 as “culinary constructivism.” Essentially, all of the components and flavors of a classic dish are taken apart and presented in a new shape or form.
The idea is art plus fun, and the deconstruction must taste as good as the original. For example:
All the flavors are there, and it’s also easier to eat: One often needs a steak knife to saw through those blanched cabbage leaves. We say: Our deconstructed version is better than the original.
SOME DECONSTRUCTED RECIPES
Study these for ideas. When you’ve created your own masterpiece of deconstruction, send us a photo.
The Black Forest region of southern Germany is known for its sour morello cherries and kirsch, or kirschwasser, a clear cherry brandy made from them.
It’s not surprising, then, that desserts made with both the cherries and the kirsch are part of the regional repertoire.
Black Forest Cherry Torte—torte is the German word for cake and Schwarzwälderkirschtorte is its name in German—is a chocolate layer cake filled with layers of whipped cream and Kirsch-soaked morello cherries.
The cake is garnished with more whipped cream, morello or maraschino cherries (the latter more readily available in the U.S.), and chocolate curls or shavings.
In the traditional German cake, the chocolate layers are soaked in kirsch syrup, although brandy or rum can substitute. American recipes tend to omit all spirits to make the cake family-friendly (and nowhere near as interesting).
The earliest version of the recipe possibly dates to the late 16th century, when cacao ground from costly New World beans was first integrated into cakes and cookies.