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Bringing it back…Black Forest Gateau

3 Nov

It seems to be that, generally speaking, Black Forest Gateau is regarded as being very 70’s and highly unfashionable. It’s one of those desserts that is always stocked in a supermarket freezer cabinet, all soggy cake and faux cream. Bleurgh.

But, when made properly and freshly, it is an absolute *dream* dessert (I know it’s a cake, but it’s very much a pudding cake) and so simple to make. It also happens to be my husband’s favourite cake (although every cake seems to be his favourite cake…) so he was pretty pleased when I told him that I would be making Black Forest Gateau a few weeks ago. Sadly for him, it was for our neighbour’s birthday, but I don’t think that he will need to wait long to have some – I absolutely adore the combination of cherries and chocolate, so now I just need a decent excuse to indulge so that I can make it again!

I tend to find that my first port of call when looking for classic recipes is the wonderful Delia Smith, in particular her Complete Cookery Course book, and this time was no exception. Her recipe contains no flour, which makes it great for anyone followng a gluten-free diet.

Black Forest Gateau

Ingredients

~ 6 large eggs
~ 5 oz/150g caster sugar
~ 2 oz/50g good quality cocoa powder, sifted (Green & Blacks cocoa powder is wonderful)

For the filling and topping

10 fl oz/275ml double cream
1 level tabespoon caster sugar
1lb/450g tin or jar morello cherries
1-2 tablespoons kirsch or rum
2 oz/50g plain chocolate

Method

~ Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4/180c and then oil and line two 8″ (20cm) sandwich tins.

~ Start by separating the eggs and placing the whites in a clean grease-free bowl. Put the yolks in another bowl and whisk them with the caster sugar until they just begin to pale and thicken. Be careful not to thicken them too much.

whisking eggs with sugar

thickened eggs & sugar

~ Now fold in the sifted cocoa powder

~ Next with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff but not too dry.  Stir a heaped tablespoon of the egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it up a bit.  Then, using  a metal spoon, carefully and gently fold in the rest of the egg white (trying not to lose any air).

~ Divide the mixture equally into the prepared sandwich tins and bake them near the centre of the oven for about 15-20 minutes.  They won’t appear to be cooked exactly, just set and slightly puffy.  When you take them out of the oven they will shrink, but that’s normal. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins, but turn them out while they’re still faintly warm and strip off the base papers.

~ Now whip the cream with the  tablespoon of caster sugar until it is a floppy, spreadable consistency.

whipping the cream

~ Next empty the tin of cherries into a sieve set over  bowl and combine 2 tablespoons of the juice with the Kirsch or rum.  Sprinkle this over the cake layers and, using a palette knife, spread about a third of the whipped cream over one cake.

halved cherries

~ Then slice the cherries in half.  Leave about a dozen whole cherries for the decoration.  Now arrange the sliced cherries all over the cake spread with cream.

~ Next, carefully place the other cake on top and cover the entire cake with the remaining cherries.  Carefully place the other cake on top and cover the entire cake with the remaining cream.

~ Finish off by arranging the whole cherries around the edge, then finely grate the chocolate and sprinkle it all over the cake.


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Easy peasy, lemon squeezy…

18 Oct

My wonderful mother-in-law has a recipe for the most delicious and easy lemon cheesecake you will ever make, and she very kindly gave it to me so that I could make a pudding to take to a dinner tomorrow night. You can throw it together in about 20 mins, and then you leave it to chill for a few hours, or preferably overnight, making it an incredibly fuss free dessert that’s perfect for making ahead of time. Be warned though, as it’s REALLY easy to eat a lot of this in an very short space of time…

Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients

4 large lemons
2 tins condensed milk, regular or light
1 pint double cream
6oz/170g ginger biscuits
2oz/55g butter

You will also need a 9″ springform tin

Method

~ Crush the ginger biscuits finely (I put the biscuits in a bag and then bashed them with a rolling pin, but you could use a food processor. Not as good for stress relief, but a bit less messy!)
~ Melt the butter and stir in the crushed biscuits. Transfer this mixture to the tin and spread evenly over the base, pressing gently.
~ Finely grate the zest of the lemons and squeeze the juice into a jug (about 7fl oz or so)
~ Pour the condensed milk into a large bowl and slowly whisk in the double cream, stirring constantly.
~ Continue to whisk, and add the lemon juice and zest to the bowl in a steady stream – the mixture will change dramatically when you do this, and will become really thick as you whisk.
~ Pour the lemon mixture over the biscuit base, and smooth the top. Refrigerate until set, preferably over night.

And that’s it! Impressive results for minimal effort.

P.S. I couldn’t resist showing off our latest kitchen gadget. It’s amazing.

Rach xxx

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