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Black Forest Gateau recipe

Black Forest Gateau recipe

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  • Cake
  • Celebration cakes
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  • Chocolate torte

A brilliant Black Forest chocolate torte cake which is soaked in Kirsch liqueur, with cherry filling.

192 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g best quality cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100g butter or margarine
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 350ml buttermilk
  • 120ml kirschwasser
  • 125g butter
  • 425g icing sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon strong filter coffee
  • 2 (350g) jars morello cherries, drained
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon kirschwasser
  • 30g plain chocolate

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:40min ›Extra time:1hr › Ready in:2hr10min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / gas 4. Line the bottoms of two 20cm sandwich tins with parchment circles. Sieve together flour, cocoa, bicarb and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Pour into prepared tins.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove parchment from the cakes. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total. Sprinkle layers with the 125ml kirschwasser.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar, pinch of salt and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling. Top with 1/3 of the cherries. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon kirschwasser. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a vegetable peeler on plain chocolate.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(187)

Reviews in English (146)

by mamacookie

This recipe is very good...HOWEVER, here are my moderations: I made this in a hurry, so I had to use a dark chocolate cake mix, which was wonderful.-Soak the cherries in the kirsch overnight.-Because other's have said that it's too strong I used only 14c. kirsch and 14c. leftover cherry juice to brush onto the cake. It was potent enough.-Set aside 12 whole cherries for decoration and chop the rest for the filling.-Double the buttercream icing recipe to ice the layers, top & sides of the cake, and also reserve about 1c. of icing to use as rosettes later. (If you don't have an icing pipe, simply put icing in a plastic baggie and snip one of the corners. Press the icing out.) Press out 12 icing rosettes and use them as a base on which to put the 12 reserved whole bing cherries. It looks really pretty! Delicious cake!-28 Oct 2004

by AnnaG

I made this for my husband's birthday. Since he loves Black Forest Cake, and until now has only had the grocery store bakery version, this was a special treat. The chocolate cake part is pretty basic but the Kirschwasser lifts it up and the rich buttercream is a nice contrast to the outside coating of whipped cream. Notes: I used 9 inch cake pans so the cake was not too tall. Also, I added 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to the whipped cream frosting. Even with the added sugar, the cake was not overly sweet -- it was just right. Finally, this is not a cake for kids -- the kirschwasser is pretty strong and the alcohol taste will probably turn them off.-16 Dec 2002

by Baybee Caix

This cake stole the show at a pre-Valentine Party and not a crumb was left afterwards. I recommend allowing a day for the syrup to soak through the cake in the fridge (covered of course, cakes pick up odors and flavors and dry out). The high alcohol content mellows out over time. I assembled the cake(with the cherry buttercream filling minus the whipped cream frosting) on a tin pizza platter - you know the disposable type. I was glad I did because the cake is quite fragile after soaking. I chose not to sweeten the whipped cream because I had an ample amount of shaved semi-sweet chocolate on hand to sprinkle over the entire cake which sweetened the whipped cream. I used 1/4 cup of Kirshwasser for the syrup and brushed it generously over the cake and opted to use maraschino cherries for garnish on top- just for appeal. I might use more Kirsh next time. I could hardly taste it. To those of you who had trouble finding Kirshwasser-I thought I was running into the same problen at my local liquor store. The vendor told me I was mistakingly looking in the Cordials section when I should have looked in the Brandy section of the store. Next to the cherry brandys were Hiram Walker™ Kirshwasser. Oh and another modification: Try using 1 stick (8 TBS) butter to 4 cups powdered sugar. It should take about 2-3 tbs. liquid to get to the right consistency. I find the original recipe is wayyy too sweet and doesn't produce enough buttercream.-12 Feb 2007


Black Forest Gateau

A rich chocolate sponge soaked in Cherry liqueur topped with cherries, thick whipped cream and grated dark chocolate. A dessert to die for.

Ingredients

350 g golden caster sugar

1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

30 oz pitted black cherries 2x15oz cans

150 g dark chocolate grated

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
  • Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins. see notes
  • Place all the ingredients, (except the boiling water), into a large mixing bowl.
  • Using a plastic spatula combine the ingredients until almost mixed
  • Gradually add the boiling water a little at a time, until the batter is smooth.
  • Pour the cake batter evenly between the sandwich tins and place in the oven to bake for 25–35 minutes.
  • The sponges will be ready when the top is firm to the touch and springs back when gently pushed. Use a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge to make sure it comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins, before turning out and using as so desired.
  • Making up The Gateau
  • Grate the chocolate onto a shallow oblong baking tray and place in the refrigerator
  • Carefully cut each sponge cake through the middle in half,
  • Keep one of the bottom layers separate for the top layer
  • Drain the juice of 1 can of cherries into a bowl and add the kirsch to the juice.
  • Drain the 2nd can of cherries and keep 12 cherries aside for decoration, save the juice in case you don’t have enough Kirsch syrup.
  • Roughly chop the drained cherries.
  • Using a pastry brush generously soak all but the top layer of sponge with the cherry and Kirsch syrup
  • Whip the cream until it thickens and just holds its shape.
  • Take a bottom layer of the soaked cake and spread a thin layer of cream over the sponge, and scatter with ⅓ of the chopped cherries. Do this on your work surface, not on a plate.
  • Repeat with the second and third layer and top with the final layer of sponge turned upside down so as you end up with a flat surface on top
  • Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of cream around the edges of the gateau
  • Remove the grated chocolate from the fridge and holding the gateau gently on its side roll the edge through the chocolate so as to cover the edges.
  • Carefully place the gateau back on a serving plate using a palette knife to help you place the gateaux down
  • Spoon the remaining cream into a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle and pipe 12 rosettes around the top.
  • Fill the middle of the Gateau with piped cream
  • Place a reserved cherry on each rosette of cream and scatter any remaining chocolate over the top of the Gateau.
  • Serve and enjoy

Recipe Video


Origins of the German Black Forest Cake

1934 was the year when the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte was mentioned in a written form for the first time. By 1949 it had already become one of the best-know German cakes and nowadays it holds the crown: the most popular and widely known German cake.

However, the history of the black forest gateau goes way back. There are quite a few theories regarding its origins, and none of them can be proven beyond any doubt nowadays. All theories agree though that it was created in Schwarzwald, a German region where the cherries needed to make Kirschwasser grow.

Other unofficial theories claim that the gateau got its name from the chocolate shavings on the sides which resemble a black forest. Or from the traditional costumes worn by the women in the Black Forest region: black rocks like the chocolate streusel, white blouses like the whipped cream and red pom-poms resembling cherries on their hats.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 ⅛ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch, round, cake pans cover bottoms with waxed paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.

Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool before using.

Combine whipping cream and confectioner's sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.

With long serrated knife, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Tear one split layer into crumbs set aside. Reserve 1 1/2 cups Frosting for decorating cake set aside. Gently brush loose crumbs off top and side of each cake layer with pasty brush or hands. To assemble, place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting top with 3/4 cup cherry topping. Top with second cake layer repeat layers of frosting and cherry topping. Top with third cake layer. Frost side of cake. Pat reserved crumbs onto frosting on side of cake. Spoon reserved frosting into pastry bag fitted with star decorator tip. Pipe around top and bottom edges of cake. Spoon remaining cherry topping onto top of cake.


It Takes Time

A Black Forest Cake can be made in one day if you start early in the morning. However, it might be a better idea to start the day before and let it soak in the fridge for one day before decorating it. On the other hand: If you take too much time, the alcohol in the cake might evaporate. You can avoid it if you cover the cake but due to its large size (especially height), it is often difficult to find something to cover it.

My advice is: Bake it in the afternoon the day before you need it. Assemble it to the point where it is not decorated yet. Leave a cake ring around and cover the cake with a large lid from a pot or so. The next day, finish the cake with the decoration and serve it the same day. This is also how I did it in the video.

Pin the Black Forest Cake to Pinterest


Yes, you can freeze this dark forest cake. Make sure the moist cake is completely cooled before freezing, or it will become mushy. It's important to wrap it tightly with 1-2 layers of plastic wrap or foil.

Then add one more layer of protection by placing it in an airtight container with a lid. It will age much better as long as it's protected. You can freeze the easy cake for up to 4 months. To serve, simply place in the refrigerator the night before.

If you try this Authentic Black Forest Cake recipe leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #alsothecrumbsplease on Instagram! Would love to see your snap!


Black Forest Cake from Jamie Oliver Comfort Food

When it comes to baking showstopper cakes I turn to Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food cookbook. Do you remember the Hummingbird Cake I made for my birthday in January? It was just as beautiful as it was delicious to eat! A few weeks ago I was looking for summer cake ideas for my baking club (Band of Bakers) for which I wanted to use cherries which are ripe and lovely at this time of the year.

The Black Forest Gâteau was exactly what I was looking for to create a beautiful cake that would stands out on a dessert table.

A Black Forest Gâteau is a German layered cake (its original name is Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) made with chocolate, rich cream, cherries and kirsch – a clear brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morello cherries.

What I love about Jamie Oliver’s recipe is the soft and rich chocolate sponge, so good that I will use the same recipe to make a simple chocolate cake in the future.

The traditional way of preparing a Black Forest Cake is to stack up two or three sponge cakes with layers of whipped cream and sweet black cherries (or sour cherries) . This cake is meant to have rich flavours and an alcohol punch, but it shouldn’t be too sweet. In Jamie’s recipe there is an extra layer of chocolate ganache with roasted hazelnuts scattered over it, though they are not required in a traditional Black Forest cake.

I didn’t use kirsch at all, but I later found a recipe that substitutes liquor with cherry juice, so that’s an idea if you want to keep your cake alcohol-free. Also, Jamie’s recipe listed “cherry pie filling” as one of the ingredients, but I replaced it with a few tablespoons of Morello Cherry Conserve.

Here is my adaptation of Jamie Oliver’s black forest cake recipe:

Ingredients

  • 185g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 140g dark chocolate
  • 120ml milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 80g Greek yoghurt

For the filling and topping

  • 240 double cream
  • 2-3 tsp of Kirsch de Cuisine Liquor (or cherry juice)
  • 40g dark chocolate (plus extra to shave on top)
  • 240ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp black cherry jam
  • 1 small punnet of fresh cherries

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 150 °C . Grease and line two 23cm round cake tins.

Break the chocolate into a small pan over low heat, add the butter, milk and a pinch of salt. Stir the ingredients until they are melted, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl, then beat in the eggs one by one. Add the yoghurt to the chocolate mixture, then stir that into the egg mixture.

Divide the cake batter into the cake tins and bake for about 60-70 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave the cake to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool down completely.

To make the ganache, mix 240ml of cream and kirsch in a small pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the chocolate and whisk until you get a smooth cream.

In the large bowl of a food processor, mix the remaining cream (240ml) with sifted icing sugar. Whisk to soft peaks and leave in the fridge until needed.

To build the cake, brush the base sponge with a few tablespoons of jam, then spread over the chocolate ganache and half of the whipped cream using a spatula. Place the remaining sponge on top, then pipe on the rest of the cream. Decorate with fresh cherries and chocolate shavings.


How to make Black Forest Gateau:

Preheat the oven to 170 °C fanbake. Grease and line two 23cm round baking tins. Warm milk and butter together in a glass bowl until butter has melted. Add to a larger bowl and pour in the oil, vanilla and eggs. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into the bowl then add the sugar and salt and mix everything together.

Dissolve the instant coffee in boiling water then add to the bowl and combine. Whisk out any lumps before pouring evenly into the two prepared tins. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool.

To make the berry sauce, add the halved frozen cherries and frozen berries to a small saucepan with sugar and water. Bring to the boil while stirring then simmer until it thickens. Let it cool to room temperature before using. In a glass bowl, melt the dark chocolate and cream together in the microwave and whisk until smooth. Leave to cool slightly before using.

Once you have made all the components and whipped the cream, cut the cooled cakes in half horizontally.

Place one of the four cake layers on a serving plate then drizzle over 1/3 of the berry sauce and 1/3 of the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining layers until all of the sauce and cream has been used.

Spread the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake and grate over the extra dark chocolate. Chill for 3 hours or longer before serving. This will help the flavours to sink into the cake.

If you love a decadent cake for a special occasion (or you just want to impress your friends and family!), be sure to check out my recipes for Banana Caramel Cake and Lumberjack Cake. These are both epic cakes to feed a crowd


Lottie’s Black Forest Gateau

This gâteau is a retro family favourite in our house. It is an intensely chocolatey cherry combo that seems to please all demographics, from the ‘I-remember-these-from-the-70s’ types to the ‘I-hate-cherries-but-this-is-all-right’ types. Just make sure to serve with a fork to hand it tends to be too messy for fingers.

Ingredients

For the soured-cream sponge:

100g light muscovado sugar

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the whisked sponge:
For the filling and sides:

390g jar of cherries in kirsch

200g 54% dark chocolate, very finely grated

To decorate:

Equipment

You will need:

20cm round cake tins x 2, greased, then base-lined with baking paper

1 large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle

1 baking sheet, lined with baking paper

2 small paper piping bags

Buy the book

This is a recipe is taken from The Great British Bake Off: Love to Bake.

Method

Step 1
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4. First, make the soured-cream sponge. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, both types of sugar, and the cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined.

Step 2
Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the eggs, soured cream and vanilla in another bowl until fluffy. Using the same hand whisk, mix the sunflower oil into the cooled butter, then whisk in 300ml water to form an emulsion. Gradually pour in the egg and soured-cream mixture, whisking until smooth.

Step 3
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and whisk again until smooth. Divide the mixture equally between the lined cake tins and level with a palette knife. Bake for 40-45 minutes until risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.

Step 4
Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Make the whisked sponge. Grease and re-line the cake tins. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, on high speed for about 10 minutes, until thick and mousse-like and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk.

Step 5
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold this into the egg mixture, taking care not to knock out the air. Gently pour the cooled melted butter down the inside of the bowl and carefully fold in.

Step 6
Divide the mixture equally between the lined tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until springy to the touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the jam in a small pan until melted. Drain the cherries (reserving the juice), chop them a little and stir into the jam. Set aside to cool completely.

Step 7
Pour the juice into a small pan and bring to the boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, or until the syrup is reduced to about 4tbsp. Brush 1tbsp of the syrup over the top of each cake. Whip 550ml of the cream with the icing sugar to soft peaks. Place 1 soured-cream sponge on a plate, spread with jam and a little cream, then top with a whisked sponge and repeat the jam and cream. Place the second soured-cream sponge on top and repeat, finishing with the last whisked sponge (use the most attractive, flattest cake for the top).

Step 8
Using a palette knife, spread the remaining whipped cream around the sides, but not the top of the cake. Place the finely grated chocolate on a dinner plate. Carefully, holding the top and bottom of the cake, lift it and roll the sides in the grated chocolate until coated. Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks. Spread a little on top of the cake to cover and spoon the remainder into the piping bag with the star nozzle. Pipe rosettes of cream around the top edge.

Step 9
To decorate, melt the white and dark chocolates separately in small heatproof bowls set over small pans of barely simmering water. Dip half the cherries in white chocolate and half in dark. Place on the lined baking sheet and chill for 5 minutes, until set. Pour the remaining melted white and dark chocolate into separate paper piping bags and snip off the ends. Drizzle the white chocolate cherries with the dark chocolate and the dark chocolate cherries with white chocolate. Chill for 10 minutes, until set, then arrange on top of the cake.


The perfect black forest gateau

(Serves 8-10)
For the pastry layer (if using)
60g plain flour
5g cocoa powder
25g caster sugar
40g butter, softened
2 tsp kirsch
For the sponge
6 large eggs
140g soft light brown sugar
60g cocoa powder
For the filling
700g morello cherries in syrup
3 tbsp kirsch
500ml double cream
50g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
300g morello cherry jam
Plus
25g dark chocolate, to decorate

If you're making the pastry layer, sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Whisk together, then mix in the remaining ingredients to make a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and grease the base of a 20cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin. Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick and use to line the base of the tin. Prick all over with a fork, then bake for 15 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the tin and set aside on a wire rack to cool. Grease and line the tin.

Meanwhile, make the sponge. Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until they begin to thicken. Sieve over the cocoa powder and a pinch of salt and fold in.

Whisk the whites in a separate clean bowl, until stiff but not dry. Fold a little of these into the yolk mixture to loosen it, then fold in the rest very gently, so you knock as little air out as possible. Carefully spoon into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 35-40 minutes, until puffed up and set on top. Leave to cool in the tin it will sink slightly, but don't worry.

Drain the cherries, retaining the syrup. Mix 100ml of it with the kirsch (the rest is pretty good for trifles and cocktails). Cut the cooled cake into three horizontal slices and put on separate plates. Spoon half the syrup over the slices and leave to sink in you can add more if it is all absorbed, but don't overload it.

Whip the cream until thick, then sift in the icing sugar and add the vanilla extract. Whisk until voluminous, but not too stiff to spread.

When you're ready to assemble the cake, set aside 12 cherries, then put the pastry layer on a cake stand or board. Spread with a quarter of the jam, a fifth of the cream and a quarter of the remaining cherries. Put a sponge layer on top (be gentle as you lift it) and repeat the jam, cherry and cream layer. Repeat again with the other two layers, and press down gently.

Use a palette knife to spread the remaining cream on top in big, puffy waves. Grate chocolate curls generously over them, and arrange the remaining cherries around the edge. Chill for an hour before serving.

Black forest gateau: a much maligned work of Germanic genius, or a dish best left with steak diane back in 1976? Do you prefer yours rich and gooey or light and creamy – and which other retro recipes would you like to see reincarnated?