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Traditional Black Forest gateau


This tasty traditional Black Forest gateau is a great way to show off your baking skills to friends and family

A Black Forest gateau cake

Serves 10



For the chocolate genoise sponge

30g dark cocoa powder

A pinch of salt

60g plain flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 large eggs

75g caster sugar

45g unsalted butter (melted and cooled)


For the syrup

100ml Kirsch

100g caster sugar


For the cake

800ml double cream

Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

100g icing sugar

800g cherries (use fresh cherries if available or Griottine for an extra kick, otherwise use defrosted frozen cherries)

½ pack of chocolate biscuits (Oreos, for example)

100g dark chocolate


1. Sieve the cocoa, salt and flour together onto a sheet of parchment paper and set aside for later.
2. Whisk the vanilla extract, eggs and sugar together until very thick, pale and fluffy.
3. Fold in the dry ingredients gradually using a whisk, followed by the melted butter.
4. Make sure it is mixed well and then pour into two greaseproof-lined sandwich tins.
5. Bake at 170°C for approx 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean and hot.
6. Rest for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
7. When cold, cut each sponge in half through the centre with a serrated knife to give you 4 rounds to sandwich together. 
8. To make the syrup, boil together the Kirsch and caster sugar for a few seconds. Then brush the sponge cakes with the syrup.

9. Next it’s time to put the masterpiece together. Whip the cream, vanilla pod seeds and icing sugar together until you get firm peaks.

10. Spread over the base layer all the way to the edge and then scatter with cherries.
11. Push the next cake on top firmly and press down to level.
12. Repeat the process until you have used all of the cakes.
13. Top the last sponge with cream only and mask the cake all over with the cream, using a palette knife.
14. Crush the biscuits to crumbs and place them onto the sides of the cake using the palm of your hand, with the cake tilted to one side.
15. Pipe rosettes of cream around the edge of the top of the cake.
16. Shave the chocolate using a potato peeler, or if you are confident, temper the chocolate, spread on the table and shave pieces using a knife/scraper. Fill the centre of the cake top with the shavings. Top with cherries.
17. You can then add extra chocolate pieces, or decorate using coloured sprays. Make it your own!