Black Forest gateau

Galton Blackiston gets retro with this cherry and cream smothered cake which he builds up in 3 mouth-watering layers
By Galton Blackiston
Black Forest gateau
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the filling

  • 175 g black cherries, stones removed
  • 6 tbsp kirsch

For the sponges

  • melted butter
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 25 g cocoa powder, sifted

For the icing

  • 300 ml double cream
  • 100 g best quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces


1. For the filling: marinate the cherries in the kirsch for a minimum of 2 hours.

2. For the sponges: lightly brush the base and sides of 3 sandwich tins with melted butter and line the bases with greaseproof paper.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

4. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar with an electric whisk on high speed for about 5 minutes until pale and doubled in volume. Then carefully whisk in the cocoa powder.

5. In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold in the egg and cocoa mixture.

6. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes (by which time the sponges should he just coming away from the sides of the tins and be springy to the touch). Turn them out on to a wire rack until cool.

7. Drain the cherries in a sieve suspended over a bowl, reserving the marinating liquor.

8. Put each sponge on an individual plate and spoon the reserved liquor evenly over the 3 and leave to soak in.

9. For the icing: heat the 100 ml of double cream until it is about to simmer then add the chocolate. Remove from the heat and stir gently until melted and very smooth. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool in the fridge while you assemble the cake.

10. Whip the remaining double cream until thick. Spread one of the discs with half of it, cover with half the cherries, pressing them in lightly, cover with the second disc and repeat the process.

11. Have a look at the chocolate cream mixture in the fridge, which should be stiffening. Give it a stir: it needs to be thick enough to spread, like icing.

12. With a palette knife, cover the top and sides of the cake, spreading thickly until all the chocolate cream is used up. Leave to set in a cool place - preferably not the fridge as this can cause the icing to weep slightly.

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