Black Forest Gateau. The classic seventies dessert is a personal favourite of Craig’s, so when his 25th Birthday rolled around I knew what was gonna be on the menu!
This is a boozy cake. There’s no getting around it, so if alcohol isn’t for you you might want to skip this one! It also makes the cake a little on the pricey side, so save it for a celebration.
Anyway, onto the actual cake! This is choc-a-block with filling, and packed with flavour! You’ve got the cherry brandy soaked sponges, kirsch plumped cherries and a lot of whipped cream. Surprisingly though its not too rich, mainly because the whipped cream cuts through it all!
So the trickiest parts to the Black Forest Gateau are as follows:
Cutting the sponges into four! The batter doesn’t yield huge cakes so cutting each into two was a little tense at times. But use a serrated knife, keep a steady but slow hand and turn the cake as you go.
Stacking the filling covered cakes! As you have to spread the cherry mixture onto the soaked sponges before stacking, when you do come to stack them its tricky! In hindsight, I definitely shouldn’t have stacked them on the opposite side of the kitchen to where they were cooling… But you live and learn!
Assembling! So as you can see from the slightly ‘rustic’ appearance of the gateau I didn’t exactly assemble the cake to perfection. But rustic = cute and handmade right? Tips I learnt from this was to really make sure the cherry filling is evenly spread so the cake doesn’t fall down at the sides. Otherwise the cakes like to split, just like mine did
All in all the Black Forest Gateau went down a treat, and I definitely urge you to make it next time you want to celebrate!
Firstly, preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
Put the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and thick. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins ensuring the batter is level. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until cakes are beginning to shrink away from the sides. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, until turning them out onto a cooling rack.
Once the cakes are completely cool, cut each in half with a serrated knife and then place onto a board cut sides up.
For the filling, place the jam in a saucepan with the cherries and kirsch and place over a low heat. Bring the pan to a gentle simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring, until the jam has melted and the cherries begin to swell. Then leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle the cherry brandy over the chocolate sponges, then spread three of them with the cherry mixture and leave to cool. Making sure that the sponge without the cherry topping is from the top half of one of the cakes.
Then whip 300ml of the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Transfer one of the sponges with the cherry topping to a cake stand or plate, and dollop a third of the whipped cream gently on top of the cherry mixture. Sprinkle with a little of the grated chocolate.
Top with another cherry covered sponge, and repeat the cream and chocolate layer. Do this again wth the remaining cherry covered sponge. Place the final sponge on top, with the top surface facing upwards.
Whip the remaining 200ml of the cream until soft peaks form, then spread the cream on top of the cake. Place a few fresh cherries on top, and then cover with the remaining chocolate.
Keep the cake chilled until ready to serve. Best served on the same day it's made.