Black Forest Gateau – Kick-Back Indulgence
Why, I’m now wondering, have I never made Black Forest gateau before? It’s a fabulous bake; not only is it very tasty but it’s also naturally gluten-free and relatively simple to make.
Chocolate and cherries are a bit of a classic and it’s a cake I’ve been meaning to try for many years, but the 70’s image and the recollections of super sweet, artificial gateaux from that era, meant it never quite made it to the top of my must-bake list. Until, that is, last week’s episode of the Great British Bake Off. Pretty much everyone I know, including CT, was glued to the start of the new series. The showstopper round, which always completes the episode, happened to be re-inventing the classic 1970s Black Forest gateau. Well, that was the kick I needed, so I decided my version would bring a kick of its own.
What could bring it more up to date than a touch of chilli? Chocolate and chilli has been one of the most popular flavour combinations of the decade, so why not add cherries to the mix? Cherries, chocolate and chilli – a nice bit of alliteration, but how would they combine? As CT is fond of saying, there’s only one way to find out. I have some chilli vodka sitting in the cupboard awaiting such occasions as these and I also had a bar of sour cherry-chilli chocolate with 85% cocoa content. What could be more à la mode than that?
Using Eat Your Books to see what Black Forest gateau recipes I had in my cookbook collection, I found I had a surprising number. I also found that every single one of them was different. In the end, I based my sponge on a Delia Smith one from the 1970s. Not only did this have the appropriate retro vintage, but Delia described it as “squidgy” – when talking about cake, squidgy gets me every time. It’s also gluten free and light on ingredients, using only three: eggs, sugar and cocoa. I added a fourth. As for the filling and topping, I made it up. With English cherries still in season, I was not going to used tinned or jarred ones.
The result was an utter delight that made CTs day. The sponge was really light, which offset the cream nicely and as Delia had promised it was good and squidgy. There was just a soupçon of chilli coming through, both in the cake and cream, that built up to a pleasing and non-fiery warmth. And the cherries were both delicious and indulgent – just what you want from a cake.
Black Forest Gateau – The Recipe
- 6 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 150 g (5oz) golden caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- 50 g (2oz) cocoa powder
- 150 g sour-cherry-chilli chocolate (85%) - chopped
- 300 ml double cream
- 3 tbsp chilli vodka (or kirsch if preferred)
- 200 g fresh cherries - stoned and halved , plus extra for decoration if liked
- Separate the eggs placing the yolks in a large bowl and the whites in a smaller one.
- Whisk the yolks and sugar for a good few minutes until the mixture has tripled in size, is thick and pale in colour.
- Sieve in the cocoa powder and fold gently into the mixture until just incorporated.
- Fold in 75g of the chocolate.
- With a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold a ⅓ of them into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then carefully fold in the remaining whites.
- Divide the batter between two 8" (20cm) round silicone cake moulds or lined tins and bake at 180℃ for about 20 minutes when the cakes should be well risen and firm to the touch.
- Allow to cool a little, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. They will sink slightly.
- Whip the cream and chilli vodka until soft peaks form, then divide into two.
- Fold the cherries and 40g of the chocolate into one lot of cream. Spread this over one of the cakes.
- Place the other cake on top and spread over the remaining cream. Scatter the remaining chocolate over the top and decorate with more cherries if liked.
I am sending this to Mummy Mishaps for the Great Bloggers Bake Off
With so many eggs in this cake, it has to join Dom over at Belleau Kitchen for Simply Eggcellent.
It also goes to the 2nd Cake Club event over at Kerry Cooks