Wednesday 22 July 2015

Black Forest Gâteau

Black Forest Gateau cake baking chocolate cherries cream
If you were to serve me up a meal of Prawn Cocktail, Duck à l'Orange and a big slice of Black Forest Gâteau I would be a happy chappy. With a menu like that though you could think I've stepped back in time to the 1970s. I've never been one for fashions and fads in food and cooking. If something tastes good and it's relatively simple to make I'm happy to give it a try whether it's the latest trend or a foodie throwback.

Despite its naff reputation Black Forest Gâteau remains a favourite with me. Of course the fact it is essentially chocolate cake smothered in cream with a generous amount of cherries added helps a lot. For some reason in England the name has become a mash-up of an English translation of German and the addition of a French term which simply means cake. I guess it was added to make it sound slightly more sophisticated. This cake was indeed invented in Germany but the Black Forest relates to the cherry schnapps liqueur, Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser), that was used in the recipe rather than where it was first made. This liqueur is made through distilling the tart cherries that are found in the Schwarzwälder or Black Forest region of south-west Germany. Skip 500km to the north of Germany in the outskirts of Bonn a confectioner named Josef Keller claimed he made first made a version of Black Forest Gâteau. However rivals claims have also come to light over the years so the true creator may never be known.

In Germany in order for it to be called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cherry Torte it must by law contain Kirschwasser. Shockingly my version contains no alcohol at all but then I don't drink alcohol and the I know the Junior JibberJabbers would not be impressed if alcohol had been added to a chocolate cake! Instead I went for the more sanitized version favoured in the US which is alcohol free. Such is the love for this cake in the US they have even designated 28th March as National Black Forest Cake Day.

Equipment: 2 x 8in (20cm) sandwich tins greased and lined, small bowl, large bowl, electric whisk/beaters


5½oz (160g) self-raising flour
1 tsp (5ml) Baking powder
1oz (28g) Cocoa
6oz (170)g Unsalted butter soften or baking spread
6oz (170)g Caster Sugar
½ tsp (2.5ml) Vanilla extract
3 Large eggs
Morello Cherry conserve (must contain whole cherries)
½ pint (280ml) Double cream
1oz (28g) Dark chocolate, finely grated


1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 4.
2. Weigh out the flour, baking powder and cocoa together and set to one side.
3. In a large bowl cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract.
4. Add the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of the flour mixture and beat well.
5. Fold in the remaining flour mixture until it is all combined.
6. Spoon the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for 30 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch.
7. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on wire racks until cold.
8. Whip the cream until it has a stiff consistency.
9. Take one of the layers and spread with the morello cherry conserve. Top with half of the whipped cream and place the other layer on top.
10. Finish off by spreading with the remaining cream. Pick out some of the cherries from the conserve and dot them around. Sprinkle over the grated chocolate.

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  1. oooh my favourite cake - I've never made one though :)

    1. It's the first time I've made it! I think you can buy so many versions in the shops still that we don't think about actually making it.

  2. Oh, that looks sooooo good!

  3. Your Black Forest Gateau looks delicious! Very on topic with the GBBO themes for this week as well. Thanks for linking with #bakeoftheweek!


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