Sunday, 6 October 2013

Black forest gateau

 I have a theory (actually I have a few, but we’ll save those for other times) that thin chocolate always tastes better than thick chocolate.  I’m sure this is why we all pay large amounts of money for small amounts of chocolate come Easter time – thin chocolate tastes too good to resist!  It is why I have always been a fan of buttons – they are like portable versions of Easter eggs.  When one of my favourite chocolate companies, Lily O’Brien started making buttons, I obviously got excited!

My discovery of Lily O’Brien buttons coincided most fortuitously with Mr CC noting that I never made gateaux.  He is a big fan of gateaux and can put creamy cakes away in a far greater capacity than a non-creamy cake.  I think it might have been The Hairy Bikers we saw making a black forest gateau and we both got nostalgic for the time when, being children of the 1970s, a Sara Lee defrosted black forest gateau was a Sunday highlight.

I decided to use the dark chocolate buttons melted and added to the cake batter, and milk chocolate buttons for decoration.  Normally I find dark chocolate too bitter to eat on its own but these buttons had the dark richness without a bitter edge.  Solves the problem of what to do with the kilo bags.....! (Don’t you just love it when the only option is to buy a kilo bag!)

For an impressive dessert this is actually pretty simple – the only baking requirement is the sponge and that is a very straightforward recipe.  I piped the cream for decoration around the edge,  in an attempt to look neat, but if you are handy with a palette knife it would look just as good.

I know the black forest gateau is derided as naff but I cannot fathom why when it tastes sooooo good.  The chocolate sponge moistened with kirsch, the cherries, cream and more chocolate...if that’s naff then bring me my metallic shell suit cos I don’t want to be cool!


For the sponge:
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
100ml milk (whole or semi skimmed)
200g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g dark chocolate (I used Lily O’Briens buttons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To assemble:
900ml double cream
1 jar of cherries in kirsch – mine were Opies, and I found them in Waitrose
Chocolate buttons or curls (I used Lily O’Briens milk chocolate buttons


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together until they are pale and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage – give the mixture a good beating.

Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and milk to the bowl and beat until thoroughly combined. The mix will look deliciously creamy.

Melt the dark chocolate either in the microwave (it will require approximately a 1 minute 30 seconds, in 30 second bursts) or in a bowl above a pan of simmering water on the hob.

Stir the melted chocolate into the batter.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took roughly 50 minutes.
Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before removing and leaving to cool totally on a wire rack. Once cool, the cake can be stored in an airtight container for a day or so before assembling the cake.

When you wish to assemble the gateau cut the sponge into three even layers.  It’s important the layers are flat, so you might need to sacrifice any dome on the top of the sponge. (NB. ‘sacrifice’ means cut off and eat!)

Whip the cream until it is almost at stiff peak stage, but not quite.
Take a disc of cake and place on a plate.   Brush over some of the kirsch from the cherry jar – how much depends on you and how boozy you want it to taste.

Pipe a scant ¼ of the cream over the disc and dot with some cherries.

Place the second disc of sponge on top and repeat the kirsch, cream and cherries.

Place the final disc of sponge on the top.

Pipe the remaining cream over the top and sides of the gateau.

Decorate with chocolate around the sides and some more cherries on the top.

Refrigerate so the cream firms up and you will be able to cut nice slices.  Take out of the fridge about 10 minutes before serving.

Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.



Stuart Vettese said...

That is sheer decadence CC - it looks so inviting!

Sally Sellwood said...

It looks so good. Really. And so much better than a Sara Lee...

Kezia said...

I'm not normally a fan of gateau as I've only tried a shop-brought version, but like all things I'm sure it tastes 10 times better homemade - yours looks so delicious I'm practically salivating! Those chocolate buttons look incredibly more-ish too, I don't think they would last long with me around!

cupcake girl said...

I huge fan black forest anything!As I'm obsessed with cherries+cream+chocolate. This is totally my kind of thing it looks really yum!!
My Cupcake Habit

Baking Addict said...

I don't actually like cherries but I do like black forest gateau which I've not eaten in a long time. Seeing your cake makes me want a slice now! Love the chocolate button decorations.

Choclette said...

It's retro and it's cool to be retro. I've never made a BFG, but it's been on my list for ages. Not sure I could top yours though. AND what's this about 1 kilo bags of chocolate???

Cakelaw said...

Who could resist a slice of this beauty? Yum!

Katie said...

Wow what a cake. I've yet to try making my own black forest. I agree that thin chocolate often takes better than thick, unless its melted into cookie or something. What are you going to do with the rest of your kilo bags?

Izzy said...

'Dont you just love it when the only option is to buy a kilogram bag?' Yes! It looks great, chocolate and cherries would be my favourite gateau flavours!

Maggie said...

I love Black Forest Gateau (for obvious reasons) and home made is always best - not very keen on those out of the freezer cabinet in supermarkets though.

Nickki said...

I have a lifelong love of BFG so this is my idea of heaven! Sadly though I've never made one because my husband hates cherries...crazy!

Gloria Baker said...

I think black forest is one of my favorites cakes ! look amazing!

Jo said...

Chocolate buttons by the kilo? Yes please!!

It's a shame chocolate gateau has a naff reputation. My dad requested one for his birthday a few years ago (pre blog) and I think everybody was surprised how tasty it was!

The KitchenMaid said...

I must disagree with your thin vs fat judgment - I am convinced that a big, fat slice of this cake would be much better than a thin one!

snowy said...

This looks so good - I love BFG, but haven't had any for years. You've inspired me to make one!