If you are looking for a different take on a black forest gateau, I have you covered. This recipe is perfect for sharing with your friends and family.
This cake was for a family members birthday and whenever I ask them which cake they’d like, its always a black forest gateau. However, I thought I’d play around with the idea and see what I could do. Instead of the cake being the traditional round shape, I chose a rectangle. You may not like the idea of a rectangle cake but it works surprisingly well, plus you can cut the cake to make generous portions regardless of how big or small you cut it.
Anyway, less about that and more about the cake itself. The cake is made up of 3 layers of chocolate sponge cake (that can be brushed with simple syrup, I did one layer with simple syrup but forgot to do the rest… Oops!) which are layered with sweetened whipped cream and home made cherry jam, then coated in the same sweetened whipped cream, which is the crumb coat. Then its given a generous coating of the whipped cream and coated with the chocolate (I used grated but feel free to use your preference), I then normally set it in the fridge to firm up a bit before I finish it off. Once the cake has been in the fridge or around 30-45 minutes, I remove it from the fridge and pipe some rosettes on top and top each rosette with a maraschino cherry (feel free to use whichever cherries you can get your hands on).
Making this cake isn’t that hard, the hardest part is probably making and baking the cake, let me be honest with you. To start the cake you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all of your ingredients weighed up in advance, your oven is preheated and your tray prepared (you can do this 2 ways, either lining the bases with greaseproof/parchement paper or generously buttering and flouring your tins, just make sure you’ve tapped out a majority of the excess flour). Once you’ve done all of your prep work you can start on your cake batter. Start by placing your butter and sugar into your mixing bowl of choice and beating the two together until they are well combined, they’ll be lighter and fluffier in consistency and colour. Once you’ve got your butter and sugar well combined, you can then start adding the egg. You’ll want to do this gradually so you don’t curdle the mixture, a little at a time will help you from doing this.
In a separate bowl, add in your dry ingredients and give them a good mix before adding into your mixture. Add all of your flour into your mixture but pass it through a sieve first to remove any lumps. Mix the dry ingredients in over a low/medium speed, to loosen the mixture slightly I added slightly cooled down boiled water and add it in a tablespoon at a time but feel free to use milk if that what you’d prefer (I will leave all weights and measurements down below). Mix in all your water and make sure there are no traces of any single ingredients.
Once you’ve got your cake batter made, you’ll want to place it all into your prepared tray and spread it until its one consistent level. I used a small cranked/offset spatula to do this but feel free to use whichever utensil you like, a large cranked/offset spatula or silicon spatula will work very well also. Place the baking tray into your preheated oven and allow to bake for around 30-35 minutes (time will vary depending on your oven). Once fully baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the tray and cutting it up for the three slices that you’ll need.
Once the cake is cooled, you can cut it up into 3 layers and set aside. It’s at this point you’ll want to simple syrup the layers if you’re deciding to do it. In your mixing bowl, pour your double cream, icing sugar and vanilla and whip them together until they have reached a stiff peaks stage, be-careful not to over whip at this point. If you decide to make your own cherry jam, it’s really simple to make, place the cherries, sugar and water into a saucepan and place over a medium heat and leave it for 12-15 minutes until thicker in consistency, if the fruit is still quite large, quickly blitz it in a food processor to break it down a bit, allow to cool before using.
To assemble the cake, get your board or plate of choice, I went with a placemat I’ve never used as it was the perfect size for my cake, but use whatever you have and works well. Spread a small amount of the whipped cream on the base and place your first layer of cake on top of it and press it down a little just to secure it in place, then you’ll want to spread a generous amount of the whipped cream on top of the cake layer, followed by the cherry jam and repeat the process with the next layer of cake. leave the top clear for now, as you’ll want to do a thin layer of the cream to act as a crumb coat and chill in the fridge for 30-45 minutes. Once its firmed up after about 30-45 minutes, you’ll then want to spread a generous amount of the whipped cream onto the top and sides, then coat with a copious amount of chocolate, I used grated as that’s what I prefer but use whatever you can get or prefer. Then you can finish the cake.
Place some of the whipped cream into a piping bag which has a open star tip nozzle at the end and pipe on your rosettes, I went for 8 but feel free to add more if you’d like, its completely up to yourself. To finish the cake completely, add a maraschino cherry on top of each rosette you’ve piped out.
360g Granulated sugar.
360g Plain flour.
50g Cocoa powder.
3 tsp Baking powder.
4-5 tbsp Boiling water/milk (whichever you prefer, either works well).
500ml Double cream, whipped.
- Start by weighing up all your ingredients, preheating your oven to 180˚c/350˚f, preparing your tray and making your cherry jam if you’re making it.
- To make the cherry jam, place the cherries, water and sugar into a medium saucepan over a medium heat and leave for 12-15 minutes until thicker in consistency. If it’s still quite chunky, blitz it in the food processor. Set aside and allow to cool completely before using.
- To start on the cake batter, place your butter and sugar into your mixing bowl of choice and beat them together until they are lighter and fluffier in consistency and colour. This normally takes about 7-10 minutes depending on the speed you’re using.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl and start adding your egg. Add a little at a time, this is the best way as it prevents scrambling of the mixture. Beat your eggs all together before you intend on adding them, this will allow you to add smaller amounts, rather than a whole egg each time. Repeat this step until all of your eggs have been added.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl, the sis just to incorporate any bits from earlier on that may not have been from earlier on.
- Place all your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix them together, then pass the through a sieve just to make sure there aren’t any lumps. I sieve my dry ingredients directly into the mixture bowl, feel free to do the same.
- Mix the dry ingredients in over a low-medium speed. While the flour is incorporating, you’ll want to gradually add the water/milk, make sure it incorporates fully before adding more liquid. Once you can see the flour and liquid are fully incorporated, you can then turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Transfer the cake batter into your prepare tin and spread it out as evenly as possible. I used a small cranked/offset spatula to get it as level and smooth as possible but use whichever utensil may work best for you.
- Place the tray into your preheated oven and bake for around 30-35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. The time will depend on your oven, so the time may need to be adjusted.
- Once fully baked, allow to cool completely then slice up into your equal layers, you’l want to make 3 equal layers. Set aside until needed.
- Whip up a batch of the whipped cream, placing the whipped cream, icing sugar and vanilla into your mixing bowl and whip until it reaches a stiff peak. Try not to over mix at this stage as it will ruin the cream. If you’re making a batch of the cherry jam, place the cherries, sugar and water into a spacepan and place it over a medium heat and leave for 12-15 minutes until its thicker in consistency, you may need to pulse this in a food processor if its still quite chunky. Allow to cool completely before using.
- Take your board/plate and spread a small amount of the whipped cream onto it and gently press a layer of the cake on top of it. Repeat this stage with the next layer of cake but for the final layer keep it plain.
- Next you’ll want to do a crumb coat using a small amount of the whipped cream. This is to lock in those pesky crumbs that now won’t ruin your final coat of whipped cream. Once coated, place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes until firm.
- Once it’s firmed slightly, apply a generous final coat, here is the perfect time to use a majority of the whipped cream.
- You’ll want to coat the outside of the cake with the grated chocolate (use whatever you have or prefer). Make sure you use a good amount of the chocolate on the finishing. Once fully coated, place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
- To finish the cake you’ll want to pipe out rosettes on top, I did 8 but you could pipe more on there easily. Top each of the rosettes with a maraschino cherry and enjoy.
This cake is best enjoyed on the day its made but can also be enjoyed the day after.