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Once while overseas, I had a cake with the following properties:

  1. It had a French name, if I recall, and the cake was bought in Italy, so I tend to think the cake has a name beyond a description of its ingredients (and I think I'd remember if it were just a description in French).

  2. It was a chocolate cake with either strawberries or cherries (my gut reaction is that it was strawberries; cherries may be a false association, see below)

  3. The whole thing was vaguely citrus-tasting, and the cake was moist and clearly alcoholic tasting (my gut says Grand Marnier, but it was a long time ago)

I have done some searching - English and French - and not seen anything. Does what I have described sound like any typical dessert?

Note that I am aware that this sounds a lot like Black Forest Cake, although I think I'd remember if that's what it was... for some reason this sticks out as something I got because it was different from that.

Any cake names or places for further reading are appreciated.

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Can you tell us what would the difference be with Black Forest Cake then? That contains chocolate, cherries (but perhaps also variants with strawberries) and alcohol (kirsch). It's also sold internationally. And the Northern part of Italy is close to France, so perhaps the labels are in two languages. –  Mien Feb 27 '12 at 19:12
    
@Mien The only difference I can think of is that this maybe had more of a citrus flavor to it than I associate with black forest cake... that and my initial inclination to think that it was strawberries instead of cherries, but as you point out, it could just be a variation. Otherwise, it's very similar to BFC. Regarding labeling, it was near Florence, and neither French nor German are particularly widely used there (compared to some other places, perhaps, or at least such is my understanding). –  Patrick87 Feb 27 '12 at 20:03
    
@Mien Perhaps it would be better to ask whether there are any recipes similar to BFC? Or do the French have another name entirely for BFC? Of course, this could have been just something the shop I got it from did. –  Patrick87 Feb 27 '12 at 20:05
    
In French it's Forêt noire. Does that ring a bell? –  Mien Feb 27 '12 at 20:09
    
@Mien I wouldn't say I'm fluent in French, but I think I'd remember if the name of the cake was a variation on the literal translation of "black forest" or "schwarzwald" into French. To reiterate, I do not believe the name for this was a variation on "black forest" or "chocolate cake with strawberries/cherries" / "gateau au chocolat et fraises/cerises" –  Patrick87 Feb 27 '12 at 20:16

2 Answers 2

It sounds like a black forest cake to me. The ones I've had always had a mild citrus edge; I think it's lemon zest.

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Wild guess-- A variation on a Sachertorte. A French bakery near me makes a delicious one with raspberry jam and fresh raspberries on top. A strawberry version would be quite good. (They also do a Strawberry Black Forest cake there...)

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1) I don't know how anybody could mistake the word Sachertorte /ˈzɑxər ˈtɔrtə/ for French 2) You can't taste any fruit in a Sachertorte, the jam glaze is very thin and almost tasteless, it is there to prevent sogginess 3) It doesn't have alcohol or citrus. About the only thing it has in common with what the OP describes is the chocolate, but this is true for hundreds of other cakes. –  rumtscho Feb 28 '12 at 10:43
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Firstly, I'd wager that if you ask any random person in the US the origin of the word "sacher," they're going to say "I don't know, French?" Secondly, the version of the Sachertorte made by the French bakery I mention in my post absolutely has the flavor of the fruit. That's why I said "a variation." –  Jacob G Feb 28 '12 at 14:52
    
I've had sachertorte, and I don't remember this being very much like that... it could be a variation, but it would be a pretty wild variation unless my memory is incorrect. Also @rumtscho JacobG, and I probably wasn't clear about this in my post, but I know enough English, German, Italian, and French to (usually) recognize whether a name's of English, Italian, German, or French derivation, and this one sticks out as being of French extraction. I just can't remember what the name was. –  Patrick87 Mar 6 '12 at 14:15

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