Black Forest Gateau

The German Black Forest region is not just the home of the cuckoo clock, but the namesake of one of the most popular of all chocolate cakes.

Recipe courtesy of "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.

Black Forest Gateau

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    6 large eggs two 15 oz (420 g) cans pitted black cherries
    scant 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup Kirsch
    1 cup all-purpose flour 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
    1/2 cup cocoa powder 5 oz (150 g) bittersweet chocolate, grated on a box grater
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted


    Prep: 55 min Total: More than 60 min
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    • 1

      Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter a 9in (23cm) springform pan and line the bottom with wax paper. Combine the eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk just until the mixture is hot and the sugar is melted. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed, about 5 minutes, or until pale and tripled in volume.

    • 2

      Sift the flour and cocoa together. In two additions, sift over the egg mixture and fold in. Mix together the melted butter and vanilla. Stir about 1 cup of the batter into the butter mixture, then fold back into the batter. Spread in the pan. Bake about 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed in the center. Let cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan, invert, and remove the bottom of the pan and wax paper. Let cool.

    • 3

      Using a long serrated knife, carefully cut the cake into three layers. Drain one can of cherries and mix 6 tbsp of the juice with the Kirsch. Roughly chop the drained cherries. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.

    • 4

      Place one cake layer onto a serving platter. Drizzle with one third of the Kirsch syrup. Spread with a thin layer of whipped cream and half the chopped cherries. Repeat with another cake layer. Top with the final layer and remaining syrup. Using a metal spatula, spread the whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake. Transfer the remaining cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star-shaped tip.

    • 5

      Using a large spoon, press the grated chocolate on the sides of the cake. Pipe swirls of cream around the top edge of the cake. Drain the second can of cherries and fill the center of the cake with the cherries. Serve chilled.

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