Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gâteau forêt noire

Yes, this is only the humble Black Forest Cake. I refuse to partially translate to “Black Forest Gâteau”, as in Linda Collister’s book, and the full French just sounds so much better than Black Forest Cake... Before this, I had not eaten its kind before. The involvement of cherries, however, did make it a tempting prospect. According to Ms. Collister, her recipe is nothing like that used in commercial cakes, i.e. it’s the real thing. It also, unlike the commercial kind, does not contain flour.

Unfortunately, the cherries I used were sour, not sweet. I had no way of telling until it was time to use them, as the entirety of the bottle’s label was in German and I had no translator to hand. The end result was therefore not exactly the sweet cake I expected, but the contrast with the ultra sweetened cream made for an interesting taste.

Gâteau forêt noire
Chocolate Sponge
  • 9 Large Eggs (separated)
  • 200g of Castor Sugar
  • 90g of Cocoa Powder (sifted)
Cherry Filling
  • 720g of Morello Cherries in (Kirsch) Syrup
  • 425ml of Double of Whipping Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons of Castor Sugar
  • Milk Chocolate (grated, to decorate)

I LOVE grated chocolate. and cherries. and sweetened cream.

Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and mix with an electric whisk until very thick and mousse-like (when the whisk is lifted, it leaves a ribbon that falls slowly back). Sift the cocoa onto the mixture and fold gently in with a large spoon.

Put the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until stiff. Carefully fold into the yolk mixture in three batches. Divide the mixture between three greased and lined tins, then bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when gently pressed and have shrunk from the sides of the tins. Let them cool in the pans before turning them out onto a wire rack and removing the lining paper.


Drain the cherries in a sieve and save the syrup; you will need about 7 tablespoons. When the cherries have been well drained, place them on kitchen paper. Reserve about twelve to decorate.

Set one of the cooled sponge on a serving plate, then sprinkle two tablespoons of syrup over the sponge.

My way to equally divide the batter. Notice the fine bubbles in the mixture.

Put the cream into a bowl and, using an electric whisk, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Sprinkle the sugar over the cream and whip until slightly thicker. Set aside half the cream to cover the cakes. Spread half of the remaining cream onto the bottom layer of sponge. Press half the cherries into the cream. Gently set the second sponge on top of the cherries and sprinkle with syrup as before. Spread the cream and press in the cherries as before. Top with the final sponge and sprinkle with the remaining syrup. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the cream, and then decorate with the reserved cherries and grated chocolate. Chill until ready to serve. Best eaten within 48 hours.

Mail & Guardian