Black forest gâteau
- December 2019
- Serves 12-14
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 30 min, plus cooling and chilling
Layers of chocolate sponge, cream and boozy kirsch cherries provide the building blocks for this classic black forest gateau. We’ve decorated ours with chocolate shards, too, for a more striking aesthetic. Try serving it as an alternative Christmas dessert or as a dinner party show-stopper.
- 36.1g (22g saturated)
- 67.4g (55.4g sugars)
For the chocolate sponge
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 100g dark chocolate, melted
- 200g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra to dust
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150g soured cream
For the buttercream icing
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- 50g soured cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the shards and filling
- 300g dark chocolate, melted
- 150ml double cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 370g jar cherries in kirsch, drained, kirsch reserved (we used Opies)
You’ll also need…
- 2 x 18cm loose-bottomed cake tins, lined with compostable baking paper liner and sides greased; compostable baking paper to make the chocolate shards
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. With an electric mixer, beat the 175g butter with the caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, 100g melted chocolate, flour, cocoa powder and bicarb until combined. Finally, beat in the 150g soured cream. Divide between the
2 prepared tins, level the tops and bake for 30 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch. Cool the cakes in the tins for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely (see Make Ahead).
- To make the chocolate shards, lay out the baking paper on a work top, then spread thickly with 300g melted chocolate. Roll up the paper straightaway, then put in the freezer to set.
- Make the buttercream by beating the butter with the icing sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy (put a clean damp tea towel over the bowl when you start mixing to stop a cloud of icing sugar from escaping). Once the mixture is fluffy, beat in the soured cream and vanilla.
- For the filling, put the double cream in a large mixing bowl, add the icing sugar and 1-2 tbsp of the kirsch, then whisk to soft peaks using an electric mixer.
- Put one of the sponges on a cake stand or plate and drizzle with 2 tbsp of the kirsch from the cherry jar. Spread over the cream, then scatter with half
the drained cherries. Sandwich the second sponge on top and use a palette knife to cover the top and sides of the cake with the buttercream icing.
- Meanwhile, put the remaining kirsch in a small pan and simmer over a medium heat until the liquid is reduced and thick and syrupy. Set aside to cool.
- To decorate the cake, take the rolled chocolate paper out of the freezer and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes. Carefully unfold and separate into long shards. Dust with cocoa, then stick the shards around the side of the cake. Arrange the reserved cherries on top, then drizzle with the reduced kirsch.
Make the sponges up to 24 hours ahead and wrap well, or freeze for up to
1 month. Leftovers will keep in an airtight tin for up to 4 days.
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