Black Forest Gateau – The King of Cakes
from Emily (who loves food)
So, it’s my 20th birthday tomorrow.
AND I hit 20,000 views.
AND it’s my dad’s birthday today.
So some celebration is in order.
And some consolation, considering I have the flu for the first time since that dreaded swiney did the rounds. Trust me to get sick not only for my birthday, but for the week that all my assignments are due in.
But forget that bad business - the real star here is mine ‘n dad’s birthday cake.
Black Forest Gateauis, without a doubt, my number one most favorite cake, and possibly tied favorite dessert, next to Tiramisu. However, I’ve only made it once before – mainly because I’m not actually a big cake maker. I prefer muffins and cupcakes and cookies and slices and other portable things. And I hate slicing.
But for this baby, the effort was worth it.
Layers of moist, chcolately sponge cake riddled with Kirsch (cherry liquor), topped with cream, topped with cherries then repeat. Wrap it all up in more cream, dark chocolate shavings and glace cherries (I’m a sucker for those babies anyday).
Sometimes we just need to be wee bit sinful.
Black Forest Gateau - Serves 8-10
Prep time: 30-45mins Cook time: 50mins
Adapted slightly from Chocolate, Coffee, Caramel: A cook’s book of decadence.
- 125g unsalted butter
- 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup self-raising flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup Kirsch (cherry liquor)
- 3 cups whipped cream
- 1 cup pitted cherries (fresh or canned, morello or black is fine)
- Grated dark chocolate
- Glace cherries
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 20cm high-walled cake tin with baking paper, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for at least three minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, and beat until combined.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and by hand, fold in a third of the sifted dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, cocoa) followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat, then fold in the remaining third of the dry ingredients.
Scoop the mix into the prepared pan, and level the top. Bake for 50-60mins, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Whip the pan out of the oven, but leave the cake in it for 30 mins before taking it out to cool.
Once cooled, cut the cake into three layers. It’s a bit tricky, but the best way to do it is to lay one palm lightly on top of the cake while cutting into it. Turn the cake every few strokes to ensure you’re cutting evenly. Once you’ve cut the whole way round, cut through into the middle and remove the layer to do the last two.
To assemble, first reserve the layer that had previously been the bottom of the cake – this will be your nice flat top. Use the thickest of your three layers as a base, and brush liberally with Kirsch, then top with 1/5 of the whipped cream, then 1/2 of the cherries. Repeat with the next layer. Top with the final flat layer, and finish with cream on top. Spread the rest of the cream evenly around the outside of the cake. Sprinkle your grated chocolate thick and even over the top of the cake, then pipe rosettes of cream around the edge of the cake, and decorate with glace cherries.
And that’s how a king cake is born.