For those who have never seen the real thing before, Black Forest cake is just a piece of cake with lots of chocolate flakes all over, decorated on the top with a piece of cherry taken from a can. No matter where I go - the US, Asia, or Africa - this over-simplified version seems to be everybody's answer to what constitutes a 'Black Forest cake'.
As a result, it is now absolutely impossible to have a piece of authentic, original Black Forest cake, unless you are at one of the Black Forest towns, of course - but even then, you never know if you are getting the real deal. Also, don't think that you will be able to enjoy a real piece of Schwarzwalderkirschtorte anywhere in Germany - because most German chefs do not know how to make a good Black Forest cake.
To make a good piece of Black Forest cake, you need to know how a good piece should look and taste like. I have been trying out Black Forest cakes in the past 15 years all over the world, and I can honestly say, the best ones are made by traditional cake masters in the city of Freiburg and nearby Black Forest spa towns (such as Staufen). The further away from Freiburg and the Black Forest, the worse the quality of the cakes become, so beware: this is how a real perfect Black Forest cake should look like: