Monday, April 2, 2012

Black Forest Gateau

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I know I'm trying to cut down on sweets but when a fellow blogger used my recipe for Black Forest Cake, she informed me that March 28 is National Black Forest Cake day. She also gave me the idea that this cake is the best way to put stamp on my blog which will be on hiatus for some time. This cake is the first posting of cakes for my blog and so it does seem fitting that I'm making this for my last posts before taking off from Montana. 

One thing I want to make sure though is to present a variation of the cake so I looked around until I found this recipe from the BBC Food Recipes website. The author is chef Antony Worrall Thompson. Being a recipe from Britain, I had to modify it into metric measurements for the American and Filipino bakers (and any other nationality for that matter) who have been using my recipes. I initially baked the cake in an 8-inch baking pan but it rose like a souffle and after taking the cake out of the oven, the middle part deflated into a large crater with raw batter underneath the caved in center. I had to tweak it some more and baked the cake using a 9-inch round pan and extending the baking time until the middle part was firm when I took it out of the oven. I thus present to you a highly modified version of Chef Worrall's Black Forest Gateau. 

Black Forest Gateau - Adapted*    

2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
6 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and grease an 9-inch round cake pan 
    and dust with flour. Tap excess flour. Line the bottom with a parchment 

2. Sift the cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. In a mixer bowl, beat the butter with the sugar at high speed using the 
    whisk attachment until and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes. 

4. Gradually add the sugar and beat for another 2-3 minutes. 

5. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. 

6. Lower the speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients. Once 
    added, increase the speed to medium and beat until just mixed. Do not 

7. Fold in the vanilla and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in 
    the oven for 60 minutes or until the middle is set. Cool in the pan on a 
    wire rack. 

The cake had two filling components, the sour cherries in a sugar glaze and the whipped cream. The cake is also frosted with a ganache giving it the appearance of a regular chocolate cake. It is only when you slice into the cake that the real cake is revealed.

Cherry Filling:
2 15-oz sour or tart or black cherries, canned + 200mL (1 cup) of the syrup
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp vanilla

1. Heat the syrup in a small pot with the sugar over low heat. Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch. Break the lumps and stir until thickened.

2. Cool the syrup to room temperature and add the vanilla and brandy. Mix well. Add the cherries and chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. 

Chocolate Ganache:
14 oz semisweet or dark chocolate
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp brandy

Heat the cream in a small pot over low heat until almost boiling. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit until softened. Whisk the ganache until smooth and glossy. Add the brandy and mix to stir. Cool until thickened but still workable.

Cream Filling:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Store the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Add the cream and beat at high speed until thick and stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and the sugar just to combine. 

To assemble the cake, slice the cake horizontally into three equal layers. Take the lowest layer and lay on a serving plate. Spoon half the cherries and spread evenly. Top with half the whipped cream. 

Top with the second cake layer and spread the cherry filling and the whipped cream. Top with the last layer. Clean up the cake by removing any crumbs with a pastry brush and even out the cake using a metal spatula to smooth out the cream frosting. Set the cake aside in the fridge.

When the ganache is of the right consistency, frost the whole cake and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld. 

*BBC Foods recipe: Black Forest Gateau.


  1. Hi Dan, do you think this is similar to Red Ribbon's Black Forest Cake or is your other recipe more like it? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie, this gateau version of Black Forest is based on the European version which is a bit sour due to the use of sour cherries. The chocolate balances the sour taste beautifully. So yes, my other recipe is closer to the Red Ribbon Black Forest cake the way I remembered it 20 years ago.

    2. Hi. I didn't see cocoa powder in the list of ingredients for the gateau. How much cocoa powder do I use?

      Thanks for the recipes. Much appreciated.

    3. Anon,

      Thanks for letting me know of my omission. It should be 3/4 cup of cocoa powder.