It was Tim’s birthday last Monday and his favourite cake is a Black Forrest Gateau. I have made this for him a few times but never properly. Really I just made a chocolate cake with cherries and cream. He was not satisfied! So I decided this year I was going to do it properly, but as usual I decided this the day before and had to get some ingredients at the last minute, but not your normal ingredients, no, no I had to find Kirsch. Now I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but in my neck of the woods there’s plenty of off licences and plenty of wine and beer to buy, but Kirsch was not so easy to find!
The hunt was on!
Tim’s birthday just so happened to co-inside with my car having a rather lengthy stay in the garage. So my quest to find kirsch, cherry brandy and make the cake, all within the school day was a bit of a challenge. I tried all the shops within walking distance and got hold of the brandy no problem but the Kirsch was going to have to be a bike ride.
Now might be a good time to mention that I live in between two hills. The kind that you don’t notice when you’re pootling around in your car, but that make you seriously out of breath when you’re peddling your little legs off! So, when I leaned inside my local off licence – still on my bike- helmet on and asked for the Kirsch he said that the store across town would probably have some. So off I went with my rucksack on my back full of bubble wrap and padded envelopes to protect it from bumps and mefrom any accident. Sucess! They had. So I zoomed off home just in time to collect the girls from school.
I baked the sponges first thing in the morning after school drop off then set off on my quest. When the girls got home that afternoon we put the cake together. At first when I couldn’t find the kirsch I was going to do without it, I mean wouldn’t the cherry brandy make a good enough substitute? In a word. No. The Kirsch (as you will see in the recipe below) is used with the jam filling and has a much more alcoholly taste than the sweetness of the brandy which is soaked into the sponges.
The finished cake was popped into the fridge and when Tim got home from work we had dinner together with the cake planned as a big surprise. When he went to get milk out of the fridge to make tea he was met with a “”Noooooooooo!”” buy the three main ladies in his life! Poor thing jumped out of his skin.
Anyway, he loved the cake as I did and with all that alcohol surprisingly so did Beau!
So here’s what I made…
Black Forrest Gateau recipe
225g butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
160g self-raising flour
65g cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
4 medium eggs
Decoration and fillings
340g jar of morello cherry jam (any cherry jam will work)
1 tin cherries- drained
2–3 tbsp Kirsch (Yep all that effort for 2-3 tablespoons! But it was worth it)
75 ml oz cherry brandy (morello cherry brandy is best but beggars can’t be choosers!))
600ml double cream
30g dark chocolate, grated
fresh cherries, to decorate the top
To make Black Forrest Gateau
- Preheat the oven to 190°CGas 5. Grease 3 x 8 inch round tins and line the base with baking paper. You can use two tins and cut the cake in half through the middle.
- Blend the butter and sugar together
- Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs and blend until smooth
- Divide the mix into the cake tins and smooth it flat.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes until the cakes start to come away from the sides.
- Leave them to cool for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Make sure you remove the baking paper so the cake doesn’t ‘sweat’
To make Black Forrest Gateau filling
- Place the jam in a saucepan with the Kirsch until it melts. Add in the Cherries and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool completely.
- Whisk the cream until is forms soft peaks and set it to one side. I over whisked my cream. It doesn’t effect the taste but it spoils the look a bit.
- Use a silicon pastry brush to soak the cakes with cherry brandy.
- To assemble – place one cake on a plate then spread it with the jam. Add cream to another cake. Sprinkle with grated chocolate then place them together.
- Repeat with the next two cakes ending with a cream topping on the top of the cake.
- I piped some cream onto the top and placed a fresh cherries all around the outside edge, but anything goes here! Sprinkle with the last of the chocolate and you’re ready to serve!
- We placed our cake in the fridge for a few hours and it tasted great.
- Although this cake will taste best on the day you make it we kept this one in the fridge and tried to pace ourselves and ate it for the next 4 days.
Well, when I say we ate it, I actually mean me. Benefits of working from home!