Black Forest Gâteau

serves 8-10

IngredientsA scrumptious black forest gateau

Directions

  1. Grease and flour a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. Drain the cherries and place in a bowl with 5 tablespoons of the Kirsch.
  3. Leave to macerate for about 2 hours.
  4. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.
  5. Place the bowl over a saucepan of barely-simmering water and whisk until very thick.
  6. Remove from the heat and whisk until cool.
  7. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and fold into the egg mixture.
  8. Using a metal spoon, fold in the melted butter, taking care not to lose too much air.
  9. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in a moderately hot oven (190°C) for about 40-60 minutes, or until well-risen and firm to touch.
  10. Allow to cool in the tin slightly then turn out to cool on a wire rack.
  11. When cool, split horizontally into three layers.
  12. Drain the cherries with a slotted spoon and sprinkle the cake layers with the Kirsch-flavoured juice.
  13. To make the filling, whip the cream with the icing sugar and remaining Kirsch until it stands in soft peaks.
  14. Fold the cherries into half of the cream and use to sandwich the remaining cream around the sides and on top of the cake.
  15. Decorate the sides of the cake with the grated chocolate, pressing gently to secure.
  16. Pipe or spoon the remaining cream into swirls on top of the cake and decorate with maraschino cherries.
  17. Fill the centre of the gâteau with the chocolate curls or extra grated chocolate. Chill lightly before serving.

Variation

Black Forest Gâteau with confectioner's custard:
Black Forest Gâteau is more delicious if filled with confectioner's custard.

  1. Mix 2 egg yolks with 20g sugar, 20g flour, 15g cornflour and a little milk from 300ml amount.
  2. Boil the remaining milk, pour onto the egg mixture and mix well.
  3. Return to the saucepan and cook until smooth and thickened. Allow to cool.
  4. Whisk 1 egg white until stiff with 40g castor sugar. Fold into the cooled mixture and use as required.

Origins

Black Forest gâteau is the British English term for the southern German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, literally "Black Forest cherry torte".

Traditionally, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is a mandatory ingredient, otherwise the cake is legally not allowed to be marketed in Germany as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. The cake is named not directly after the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany, but rather from the specialty liquor of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser) and distilled from tart cherries. Cherries, cream, and Kirschwasser were first combined in the form of a dessert in which cooked cherries were served with cream and Kirschwasser, while a cake combining cherries, biscuit and cream (but without Kirschwasser) probably originated in Germany.