Black Forest gâteau

Black Forest gâteau

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(33 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Cook: 40 mins Prep 1 hr plus cooling

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 8 - 10

Impress your guests with this chocolate cherry layered cream cake - a revamped version of a retro classic

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving (10)

kcalories
859
protein
7.2g
carbs
93.7g
fat
48.9g
saturates
29.9g
fibre
2.6g
sugar
73.6g
salt
0.7g
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Ingredients

  • 175g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g bar dark chocolate
  • 300g plain flour
  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200g buttermilk or natural yoghurt

To assemble

  • 425g can pitted cherries, 2 tbsp juice reserved, rest drained
  • 100g morello cherry jam
  • 4 tbsp kirsch (or more juice from a can if you want it to be non-alcoholic)
  • 500ml tub double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 small punnet fresh cherries (optional)

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of 3 x 20cm cake tins. Boil the kettle. Put the butter and 75g chocolate broken into chunks in a small pan and gently heat, stirring, until completely melted.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk or yogurt together. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, add 100ml boiling water and whizz briefly with an electric whisk until the cake batter is lump free.
  3. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25 mins, swapping the tins round after 20 mins if they’re on different shelves. To test they're done, push in a skewer and check that it comes out clean.
  4. Prick the cakes a few times with a skewer. Mix together the 2 tbsp reserved cherry juice and the kirsch (or more juice) and drizzle over the cakes. Cool the cakes.
  5. Mix together the remaining drained cherries and jam. Tip 200ml of the cream into a small pan and heat until just below simmering point. Chop the remaining chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl, pour over the hot cream and stir until melted. Set aside until spreadable.
  6. When the cakes are cool whisk the remaining cream and the icing sugar together until softly whipped. Spread over two of the cakes, then spoon over the jammy cherries. Stack the cakes together. Spread the chocolate cream over the third cake and sit on top of the other cakes. Pile the fresh cherries in and around the cake and serve

Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com, June 2012

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Comments

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pinkunicorn81's picture
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Really good recipe. I only substituted a third of the dark chocolate for milk chocolate as we are not huge fans of dark chocolate.
I turned the cakes out onto plates and they stuck slightly, so next time I will use a cooling rack or grease proof paper.
I made the chocolate topping and left it in the fridge for a couple of hours as I was transporting the gateau and decided it would be easier to put on when I got there, although quite runny at first it was perfectly set by the time I applied it.
I got compliments all around and will definitely make again.

Liena's picture

This cake is officially award winning - got the 1st prize for it in work's bake-off.

The only deviations my cake had were: large eggs, Ready made Princess cherry filling to substitute for the jam, kirsch and pitted cherries and I used about 225g of dark chocolate for the ganache as with the suggested amount it was too pale and runny (my chocolate had 50% cocoa solids).

The cakes were a bit fragile as the other comment suggested, but leave to cool them in the cake tins and you should be fine.

Betty123456789's picture

This took me four hours and forty eight minutes, not the one hour as specified.

My "ganache" turned out like chocolate whipped cream which is an incredibly annoying thing.

The cake is too heavy or something because the cream runs down the sides with the cherries, forming a creamy mess at the bottom of the plate and making the cake look horrendous.

Tinned cherries impossible to find, had to use fresh cherries instead.

Today is my mothers birthday so I made this for her & it looks terrible because of the running cream. I'm very embarrassed but unfortunately I have no choice but to serve it because of how long it took me.

All in all, for me, it was a complete nightmare.

goosegirl123's picture

I made this some time ago. It turned out really well. I didn't add Kirsch as children were eating it too but still very good

sophiep82's picture
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I've made this cake several times. The cakes need careful handling but do firm up when they've cooled. I leave them to cool in the tin and tend to make only 2 layers of sponge. I agree with others - you only need about half of the chocolate topping, although I add a thin coat of the chocolate to all layers as it stops the whipped cream seeping into the cake. I stabilise the cream with agar agar and it lasts for a good couple of days in the fridge.

sophiep82's picture
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Love this cake!

sophiep82's picture
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I have made this recipe several times and it's a firm favourite with my family. The cakes are very delicate when hot/warm but if you leave them to cool in the tin they do firm up (but still need gentle handling). I have started to make these with 2 instead of 3 layers of sponge which gives a slightly more manageable cake, though 3 layers looks more impressive. I agree with previous posts, you only need about half of the ganache, although I also add a thin layer of the ganache to the lower sponge layer(s) which helps to stop the whipped cream seeping into the cake below. I also stabilise the whipped cream with agar agar powder and find the cake keeps much better, not that I have to worry about leftovers very often! For anyone struggling with the cakes falling apart, make sure you let them cool fully before you try and move them anywhere, and when getting them out of the tin use clean greaseproof paper to protect to top which can get a bit sticky.

Chrisandnas's picture
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Unfortunately I ignored previous comments about the cake being too soft, well, all my three cakes fell apart not only in the middle but the sides too. It was really tricky to layer with several bits falling off. I think the recipe lacks a combiner? Maybe adding more egg? I wouldn't use this recipe for a sponge again . We're calling ours a 'deconstructed Black Forest Gateau'. There was enough chocolate ganache to cover 3 cakes, recipe totally wrong, what a waste of good quality chocolate and cream however It did taste good. My son thought it was hilarious when it started to fall part once assembled.

Nw21's picture
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5 stars for taste!

smc6781's picture
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Made this for my boyfriends birthday and it was a big hit! I had no problem with the cakes rising, as other reviewers have mentioned. I recommend whisking the egg/buttermilk mixture well, check you your oven isn't too hot, and resist the temptation to swap the tins around on the shelves too early. Seeing the issues some people have had with making the chocolate topping, I used extra-thick double cream. I made the topping whilst the cakes were in the oven and then left it to cool with the cakes, so by the time I was ready to assemble it was a good spreadable consistency and not runny at all. Hope this helps others!

Titian39's picture
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This recipe makes a really delicious cake! I followed the recipe exactly, and the sponges turned out perfect - they rose fine. A word of warning though- the cake is very large! It cuts cuts very well, though it is quite hard to cut a "small" piece! The cream and cherry filling offset the richness of the chocolate topping and the chocolate sponge very well. The cake was easier to make than I anticipated. I highly recommend this recipe.

mouse38's picture
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Lovely cake - looks fantasic! I didn't use the kirsh as was serving it to family including two toddlers. The juice from the tin of cherries wasn't very cherry tasting though - so next time I will probably use the juice from some sieved frozen cherries or some cordial for extra flavour! (or just make it for adults and use the kirsh!).
I had no problem with the cakes rising and the sponge was light, though I reduced the sugar to 300g - not sure if that made a difference.
Only made half the topping and that was the perfect amount!
Got loads of compliments and the whole cake was finshed by the end of the day!

fran000's picture
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The cake was very soft and fell apart. I still attempted to assemble it and although it looks nothing like the picture it is delicious!

e888888's picture
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If you look through the older comments several people have had problems with this cake failing to rise and so did I. I just wish I had heeded the negative reviews instead of ignoring them. I have been cooking for thirty years and this has never happened to me before. This is a crumbly, dense brownie recipe and not a sponge recipe.

Apart from the recipe for the sponge being wrong, other ideas in the recipe are good.

Also, those cherries in kirsch in a glass jar are nice to use for this. I also used Lidl cherry brandy for its cherry flavour.

susan-h's picture
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Made this for my Mums birthday, followed instructions exactly and it was fab, cakes did rise, perfect amount of cream. I agree with others, didn't use all the chocolate topping, next time might dribble it down the sides more.

AbiJW's picture

I thought this recipe sounded quite complex but found it very easy. I have just made this cake for my dads birthday. I bought cherries in kirsch to use which gave the cake a sweet but alcoholic kick (adding a handful of canned black cherries so it wasn't too strong with alcohol). I agree that there is way too much chocolate for the top of the cake, saying that I just poured the entire mixture over the cake so it ran down the sides of the cake too. This made the cake look quite messy and gooey but made it extra delicious :) after all it is all about the taste.

I love this recipe you can alter it to make it sweeter or boozier :) And everyone loves it.

L4ur3n92's picture

Made this cake at the weekend for the family - they all absolutely loved it - I was begged to make it again! I must say, when building the layers, I thought there was too much cream so I left 1/2 ... however when eating it, it could have done with a bit more cream - so don't scrimp like I did!

Lovely cake, will definitely make again

ailiejan's picture
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I've made this cake twice now and both times it turned out perfectly and was very well received by my guests. The cake does have a few stages, but all are very easy. I couldn't find kirsch so substituted with cherry brandy which was perfect, the second time I made the cake I only used cherry juice and it just wasn't quite as tasty! I agree that there is too much chocolate/cream for the topping. Perhaps 2/3 or even 1/2 of the quantity would be plenty. The cake is VERY big - I served it to nine people and still had over a third of a cake left.

Claireosborne's picture

I made this cake like a victoria sponge with only the two cakes. I used 225g of both butter and caster sugar, 4 med eggs then add 175g of self raising flour and 50g of cocoa sifted. With a dash of milk. Then add to two lined 8inch cake tins. Bake as per this recipe. Then i used normal tinned cherries. I pricked the sponges and just dotted some of the juice from the tin around. Next mix the cherries with the jam. I used half the amount of jam recommended by this recipe but still used almost all the cherries. I used a 100g bar of dark chocolate with 160ml of cream. That gives you more than enough (actually still too much)... I then used a fair amount of the cream that was left to whip up and add to the bottom sponge. Add the cherry mix on top.. Then add the top sponge and when the cream/choc mixture is fairly thick and spreadable spread that on top. We really enjoyed it made this way. The sponges came out nice and thick and it was really delicious. X

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