Black Forest Gateau

Presented by Mark Allison
Johnson & Wales University

Schwarzwalder Kirchtorte or what we like to call Black forest Gateau was a very popular dessert when I was a child growing up in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the North East of England. The earliest form of the black forest cake was probably in the form of cooked cherries with whipped cream. Our typical Cake now consists of several layers of chocolate cake, brushed with Kirsch (which is optional), whipped cream and cherries. Decorated with more helpings of whipped cream, maraschino cherries and chocolate shaving. Get the kids in the kitchen, roll-up their shelves and whip up this delicious dessert  from the 70's, remember one of the best parts of making any cake is to finger lick the bowl afterwards.

Black Forest Gateau

Makes (1) 9 inch cake

Serves 8-12


For the cake

6 whole eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup unsalted melted butter


1.            Preheat the oven to 350'F

2.            Lightly butter (1) 9 inch in diameter cake tins.

3.            Line the bottom of each cake tin with buttered wax paper.

4.            Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.

5.            Sift the flour and cocoa powder together onto a piece of parchment paper, then gently fold the flour into the egg and sugar mixture with a spatula.

6.            Pour in the melted butter and fold in. Then divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins.

7.            Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cakes have risen and are springy to the touch.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly in the tins first. Then after five minutes turn them out of the tins and allow to completely cool.

8.            Remove the lining paper from each cake.

For the filling, sides, topping and decoration

2x 8oz cans of black cherries

4 cups heavy cream

4 tablespoons confectionary sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

8-12 maraschino cherries


1.            Drain the syrup from the black cherries and brush the syrup over two of the cake bases.

2.            Whip the cream until it starts to thicken, then add the sugar and vanilla, continue to whip the cream until it holds its shape.

3.            Place one of the cakes with the syrup brushed on to it on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the cream over the cake, add a third of the cherries. Top with the second cake with syrup, repeat with the cream and cherries.

4.            Place the final cake on top; use a quarter of the cream to coat the cake all over.

5.            Place the remaining quarter of cream into a disposable piping bag with a star tip and pipe 8-12 rosettes on to top of the cake. Press grated chocolate over the sides and top of the cake. Place a maraschino cherry on each rosette.

Now the way I like to finish off my black forest gateau is to pipe out chocolate pine trees. It's not that difficult so why not give it a go or get the kids to try. If they don't turn out looking like trees so what, at least the kids will have had fun making a mess and their finished attempts can still decorate the cake.

You will need:

½ cup melted Cadbury's milk chocolate

1 tablespoon of confectionary sugar

1 disposable piping bag


Break the chocolate into pieces and place into a small metal bowl, place the bowl over some hot water so the chocolate will melt without burning. Once melted, pour the chocolate into the opened piping bag. Take a piece of wax paper and place on a flat surface. Snip off the end of the piping bag. Be very careful and pipe out the outline of 3-4 pine trees onto the wax paper. Once piped fill in the tress with the remaining chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set then remove from the paper and stick into the top of the cake one at a time. Then with the confectionary sugar sprinkle over the chocolate trees and cake to give a snow effect. Enjoy!