RECIPE: Black Forest Gateau

This simple to make cake belies its sumptuousness – there are three simple steps to making it.

LIGHT CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE

INGREDIENTS
6 eggs
6ozs/150g sugar
3ozs/75g flour
3ozs/75g cocoa – sift these together
pinch of salt

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 400oF/190oC
2. Break the whole eggs into a large bowl.


3. Add the sugar and beat the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy. This process is easier if one is able to use an electric beater or food processor as it will be very lengthy if done by hand. This is ready to use when the beater is lifted and moved around, it leaves a clear trail on the top of the thick mousse-like mixture.
4. Carefully fold the sifted flour, cocoa and salt into the very thick, white egg mixture.
5. Pour into 2 8″ tins that have been papered on the base but not greased on the sides.
6. Bake in the preheated over for about 20 minutes or until the top is firm when pressed, springs back. A skewer inserted into the cake will also come out clean.
7. Allow to cool before removing from tins and filling.

CHERRY FILLING

14ozs/350g sweet red cherries
6ozs/150ml kirsch

METHOD
1. Using a cherry pitter, remove all the pips from the cherries.
2. Place the cherries in a small saucepan and cover scantily with water.
3. Bring the mixture to the boil then turn down and allow to cook until the cherries are just tender.
4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cherries from the poaching liquid and place in a bowl and generously sprinkle with kirsch. All them to stand for as long as possible. This procedure can be done a few days in advance but, in this case, refrigerate the mixture until ready to use.
5. Reduce any remaining poaching liquid in the saucepan until it is well thickened and sweet. Pour over the bowl of cherries marinating in the kirsch. Leave to cool very well.

WHIPPED CREAM

36ozs/900g double cream
2 tablespoons kirsch
4ozs/100g grated dark chocolate for putting on side of cake

METHOD
1. Using a hand whisk, whip the cream just until it holds it shape. Be very careful not to over whip it so that it is stiff and en route to turning into butter. If you have over beaten your cream, remedy this by gently folding in either a quantity of cream or milk until a dropping consistency is achieved.
2. Fold in the kirsch to flavour the cream.

ASSEMBLING THE BLACK FOREST GATEAU

1. Place the bottom layer of the sponge cake on a serving dish.


2. Place a couple of generous dollops of whipped cream on the cake and spread it onto the cake. Do not go all the way to the edge of the cake as the filling will spread once the top cake is in place.
3. Using a slotted spoon, lift all of the cherries out of the kirsch and juice marinade and carefully place them (without any juice) on top of the cream.
4. Follow this with another dollop of whipped cream. If you omit this step, the two sponge cakes will not stick together. Spread the cream all over all of the cherries.
5. Place the second sponge on the filled bottom later and gently push together.
6. Put another very hefty dollop or two of whipped cream on top of the cake. Using a spatula,
gently spread this down the sides of the cake so that they are well covered.
7. Put further cream on the top of the cake and spread it around well. Neaten the cake by
spreading the cream smoothly on the top.
8. If you have a lot of whipped cream left, you can put that into a piping bag and pipe cream
around the top edges of the cake in large swirls.
9. If by any chance, you have any cherries left over, they can be dried on a paper towel and placed around the circumference of the cake.
10. Using your hands, gently pat grated chocolate around the sides of the cake.
11. Cut and eat whilst fresh. If there is much cherry marinading liquid left, this can be drizzled over the cake when serving it.

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