Tag Archives: chocolate

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


~ 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


~ 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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