black forest cake consists of chocolate cake, cherries, whipped cream & shaved chocolate.
most typically, a recipe for 1 chocolate cake would be baked off in 2 or perhaps 3 layers. i use a chocolate genoise, but a baking powder-raised cake will also do. the cakes are moistened with kirsch and then layered with cherries and whipped cream. it's a lot of work to destone them, but fresh cherries are much nicer than canned. finally, the top and sides are covered with whipped cream and shaved chocolate is applied.
if you have a large block of chocolate you can get nice looking curled shavings of chocolate by scraping the chocolate with a chef's knife or perhaps by using a peeler on the edge of a regular-sized chocolate bar. it takes a little practice so if you don't get good results you can use a grater for small shavings.
beyond using fresh cherries, i'd recommend toning down the sugar in the whipped cream and using a nice dark chocolate for the shavings. as
justplainbill mentioned, giving the cake a few hours to sit will make it better, by letting the moisture of the kirsch and whipped cream better permeate the cake.
it's usually built as a regular layer cake, there's no reason you couldn't put it together any way you want. baking it off in a sheet pan and making a roll cake might make a nice presentation, also. and of course, you should feel free to adapt it to your (or your husband's) personal tastes. sweet whipped cream, milk chocolate, etc. make it yours.