How To Make Black Forest Gateau

How to make Black Forest Gateau

Layers of chocolate sponge cake, stuffed with whipped cream and cherries, the Black Forest Gateaux is a much-maligned dessert. It is, however, a tasty dessert and one that it becoming popular again. With minimal effort, you can create a sponge cake full of decadence and flavor. Throwing off the shackles of the 1970s, this gateau can be easily made at home with this simple recipe.

For the sponges

• 175 grams butter (salted), and a little extra for greasing
• 200 grams of dark good quality chocolate
• 300 grams of flour, plain and sieved
• 375 grams of caster sugar
• 25 grams of cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon of baking powder
• 2 free range medium eggs
• 200 grams buttermilk – you can use natural yogurt too
You will also need;
• 425 grams tined cherries in juice – save 2 tablespoons of the juice but drain the rest
• 100 grams good quality cherry jam, Morello cherry is best
• 4 tablespoons of kirsch (a fruit brandy) – or use a good quality brandy or some juice from the canned cherries for a non-alcoholic alternative
• 500 milliliters of cream (double)
• 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
• A small punnet of fresh cherries


1. Heat the oven 180°/gas mark 4
2. Take 3 x 20cm round cake tins and line and grease them
3. Put the 75g chocolate and butter in a pan. Heat gently until melted
4. In a mixing bowl, put together the dry cake ingredients –cocoa, sugar, flour and baking powder along with a small touch of salt
5. Whisk up the buttermilk or yogurt and eggs
6. Now add the egg and buttermilk mixture, along with the melted chocolate to the bowl containing the dry mix and combine well
7. Add 100 milliliters of boiling water, then whisk the mixture – a handheld electric whisk is best – until it is smooth
8. Share the mixture out equally between the three, greased cake tins
9. Put into the oven for around 25 mins, but remember to swap the tins around after 15-20 minutes to ensure even baking. You know when the cakes are cooked because when a skewer inserted in the middle and removed it should be clean of any sticky dough.
10. Remove the cakes from the oven and prick all over – you can use a skewer for this
11. Mix the 2 tablespoons of cherry juice with the kirsch (or brandy/more juice) and pour over the cakes
12. While the cakes are cooling, mix the rest of the canned cherries with the jam
13. Put 200 milliliters double cream into a pan, then heat until it is simmering
14. Chop the rest of the chocolate, pop it in a glass or heatproof bowl – and then tip over the simmering cream, stirring until all the chocolate is melted and you have a paste like consistency
15. Once the cakes have cooled down, use your whisk to mix the rest of the cream and icing sugar together and then spread the mixture on 2 cakes
16. Next, add a layer of jam and cherry, drizzling it over the top of the cream
17. Put the cakes in a stack
18. Spread the third cake with the creamy chocolate mix and sit this on the top
19. Pipe double cream around the edge of the top layer of sponge and add the fresh cherries.
Go on, spoil yourself – put your feet up and enjoy a slice (or two!)

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