GLOCESTER – If you’re out for some last-minute shopping and could use extra holiday treats, you may want to consider a stop at Black Forest Café for a taste of German traditional sweets.
The Christmas markets in Germany are popular, and the holiday in the country is celebrated from December 24 through the 26, but in much of the nation, the markets are canceled again this year, said Susanne Haubrich, owner of the cafe.
She opened Black Forest Café in May of 2020, when the state was all but shutdown.
Glocester gave a, “very welcoming feeling, from the Town Hall, and from everyone around here,” she says.
Some of the German specialties offered at Haubrich’s shop are: black forest cake made with heavy cream, black cherries, and “kirsthwaser,” which is German schnapps. She also has, “kirsch streusel,” meaning cherry streusel; “knuss ecke,” also known as nutty corners – a hardy mixed nut pastry triangle dipped in chocolate; and, “Christ stollen,” a German version of a fruitcake made with marzipan or raisins, and other fruits.
Haubrich’s baking and cooking skills are largely self taught.
The entrepreneur, who came to America in the 1990s, was born in the Rheneland Pfalz area, in the region of Hunsruech, located in the center of Germany about an hour from Frankfurt. She remembers cooking with her grandmother and mom.
“I just enjoy doing it,” she said.
Haubrich jokes that she and the other children in the family were more often eating the dough than making the desserts.
There’s also other foods cooking at Black Forest Café, such as apple cake Florentine, which Haubrich says is a pie that consists of, “lots of apples, almonds, and whipped cream.”
The menu also includes hot soups, including some German favorites made with lentils or peas, as well as popular local foods such as paninis, sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and, “a lot of offerings in ice cream, and milk shakes, which I learned are [called] “cabinets,” Haubrich said with a laugh. Dairy-free ice cream is an option and gluten-free cones are available.
She explains spaghetti ice cream has a vanilla base that’s put through a spaghetti press, with raspberry or strawberry sauce is poured on top to represent the tomato, white chocolate flakes to resemble cheese, and other chocolate added to look like a meatball and a garlic stick.
German coffee, says Haubrich, whether in the form of espresso, cappuccino, or latte, is, “totally different,” from the brew Americans are accustomed to.
The aroma, “is really good,” and, “doesn’t smell burnt,” according to the popular shop owner.
Haubrich says what she does is her job, but also a hobby.
“I really love the trial and error,” she said.
Customers at Black Forest Café taste test the results.
On the company’s Facebook page she thanked the community for the award, noting, “Customers like you always inspire us to do our best. Your support and loyalty has really helped us in coming a long way. Thanks for making us what we’ve become.”