Thursday, 11 December 2008

Retro Black Forest Gateau

I love retro food and it doesn't get much more retro than Black Forest Gateau! This cake seems to have gone a bit out of fashion, probably thanks to the cheap frozen version that always made an appearance at parties and on cheap pub menus.

There is no reason why it shouldn't be a fantastic cake, made with decent ingredients it has a lot of potential, we all know how well chocolate and cherries go together. So, with that in mind I set out to make my own, from scratch, using quality ingredients. I wanted to see just how good this cake could be.
I'm pleased to report that it was delicious, though there was never really any doubt that it would be. Chocolate sponge soaked in cherry brandy syrup, layered with cream, cherries and chocolate. How could that be anything but delicious!I'll admit this cake is completely over the top, there was no birthday, no anniversary and it's nothing to do with Christmas. I just felt like making it, and I don't regret it, not one bit!


For the chocolate sponge:
  • In a large bowl or mixer beat 150g/6oz butter with 150g/6oz of granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add three eggs to the mix and beat well.
  • Gently mix in 150g/6oz self raising flour, replacing two tablespoons of the flour with cocoa powder.
  • Pour into a greased and lined round baking tin (approx 25cm), bake at gas 4/350f/180c for around an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool completely before slicing into three layers.
For the filling:
  • Whip 1 pint of whipping or double cream until it holds stiff peaks, be careful not to over-whip.
  • Drain three 400g cans of cherries in juice reserving the juice.
  • Mix two thirds of the reserved juice with a heaped tablespoon of cornflour and a splash of brandy. Heat gently in a saucepan until the liquid has clarified and thickened. Cool completely.
  • To make the syrup bring the remaining juice to the boil in a small pan, adding sugar to taste and a splash of brandy. Reduce by half.
For the chocolate edging:
  • Line a baking tray with cling film then melt 250g of good dark chocolate.
  • Spread the molten chocolate over the cling film to form a thin layer.
  • Leave to set the break into shards.
To construct the cake:
  • Place the first layer of the cake on the plate or stand you intend to serve it from (it will be impossible to move later).
  • Drizzle with one third of the syrup.
  • Add one third of the cream.
  • Then add one third of the cherries.
  • Finally spoon over one third of the thickened juice.
  • Repeat with the remaining layers.
  • Place the chocolate shards around the edge for decoration.
  • Admire your cake!


Christina said...

Sometimes you just feel like making a cake just because, and that's OKAY! I'd never have an excuse to make anything fancy if I solely went by holidays. =p

Awesome cake! I love the pieces of chocolate along the sides. I make a black forest cake for my dad every year for his birthday.

Amanda said...

Fabulous presentation! I love the chocolate mountains around the sides--spectacular!

I've never had a cake soaked with cherry brandy. It sounds delicious.

Joanna said...

Great - just celebrating winter in style ... love those chocolate shards


Hopie said...

That cake looks fantastic. Is that for those unexpected Christmas visitors again?! Boy, they're the lucky ones. I should have been doing my unexpected Christmas visiting in Leicestershire ;-)

Anne said...

Mmm looks delicious! Love black forest gateau!

Beth said...

I haven't had black forest gateau for years. Looks amazing

nicisme said...

This takes me back a few years! You have done a fantastic job, it looks spectacular!!

kat said...

Beautiful job!

Pam said...

Wow Sam - I am impressed. This black forest gateau looks AMAZING! I love all the cherries on top and the big chocolate bark on the sides. A perfect dessert.

Katie said...

that looks immense! nice job!

anudivya said...

For me most of my best recipes get created just like you did this out-of-the-world cake!
No rhyme or reason, it just happens.
It looks fantabulous (if that is even a word!) :)

We Are Never Full said...

oh my LORD! that almost looks too good to eat! sinful... perfect timing to be sinful during the holidays! yum.

Andrea said...

Good for you! I wouldn't regret bringing such a beauty into the world for no reason, either. Packing the whole thing away myself, as I know I'm capable of doing, now that I might regret.

Foodycat said...

Beautiful! And definitely time for a revival. The only thing I could suggest is maybe a dark chocolate ganache on top to go even more OTT on the chocolate. But yours is so pretty with the chocolate around the edge - I admire you so much as a baker!

Margaret said...

I was brought up during the Black Forest Gateau years - and have seen the good, bad and the downright ugly!!!
I have never seen it presented so beautifully as this though.

maggie said...

Wow. Spectacular is totally the right word. No reason to regret a gorgeous cake.

The Caked Crusader said...

Nice job! Looks great.
If you check my site in an hour or so you'll see you've been tagged!

Sam said...

Christina:Yur cakes are amazing, your dad's a lucky man!

Amanda: Cherry brandy is amazing!

Joanna: Thanks Joanna!

Hopie: I ate this one before they got the chance!

Anne and Beth: Thanks!

Nic: I do like to go retro from time to time!

Kat, Pam, Katie and Anudivya: Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!

We Are Never Full: That's what holidays are for!

Andrea: Yeah eating the whole thing isn't beyond me either!

Foodycat: That would be good, ganache is always good!

Margaret: I've had my fair share of nasty black forest gateaus, it's a shame because it's such a great cake made well.

Maggie and the Caked Crusader: Thanks!

Mookomatic said...

Wow! This cake look amazing! It's one of my favourites too - my German side of the family come from the black forest and this cake is big over there. I can't wait to try making it.

Cooking and the City said...

Sam your cake looks amazing! I love the chocolate sides, WOW :-)

Kevin said...

Black forest cake is one of my favorites and this one looks great!!

Laura said...

This looks incredible! I love the shards of chocolate; it really adds a nice touch. Happy to have found this!

Laura said...

Sam, I made this cake yesterday for my boyfriend's birthday. It was (still is) truly delicious. Thank you for sharing. I've added a link to it on my blog.

Anonymous said...

im 13 and i made this cake for my german class the other day and my whole class loved it defininite make!