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Black Forest gâteau
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50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
600ml tub double cream
4 British Blacktail Free Range Large Eggs, at room temperature
200g light brown soft sugar
100g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
6 tbsp kirsch
3 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
50g piece 72% dark chocolate, finely grated
For the cherry compote
600g cherries, 6 reserved, the rest whole but pitted (not halved)
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp kirsch
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Generously butter a 23cm round springform tin, then line the base with baking parchment. Melt the butter and add 2 tbsp cream. Put the eggs and sugar into a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and, using electric beaters, whisk for about 5 minutes, until thick, foamy and holding a trail.
2. Sift in the flour and cocoa, then fold in with a large metal spoon. Pour the butter mixture around the edge of the bowl, then fold this in. Scrape gently into the tin, then bake for 30 minutes, until risen and firm in the middle. Cool completely in the tin, then chill the cake in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. Cut it into 3 equal layers with a long knife.
3. For the compote, put the cherries, sugar and lemon juice in a large pan, bring to a boil, then cover and cook for 2 minutes. Mix the arrowroot with 1 tbsp cold water, add this to the pan and boil again, stirring throughout. Mix in the 1 tsp kirsch, then cool completely.
4. Put 1 sponge layer on a serving plate and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp kirsch. Add the icing sugar and another 1 tbsp kirsch to the rest of the double cream. Softly whip, then spread 1/3 onto the cake. Spoon over some of the compote and sprinkle generously with grated chocolate. Repeat the layers, finishing the top with piped cream, if liked, before topping with the remaining compote and grated chocolate. Decorate with the whole cherries, to serve, then chill. This cake is even better the next day, when the flavours have had time to mingle.
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