Save to your scrapbook

    Black forest gateau

    This will be saved to your scrapbook

    You can also add it to one of your existing cookbooks


    Black forest gateau

    Forget glacé cherries and over-whipped cream: a proper Black Forest gateau is devilishly rich and elegantly boozy. Ubiquitous in the 1970s, it is thought to have been named after Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser, a cherry liqueur made in Germany's Black Forest. 

    • Preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Serves: 8-10


    unsalted butter, for greasing
    6 large eggs, separated
    150g golden caster sugar
    60g cocoa powder
    90g self-raising flour
    handful cherries, to garnish
    4 x 25g packs Cooks’ Ingredients dark chocolate curls

    385g cherry compote
    4 tbsp kirsch *
    800ml double cream
    80g icing sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    250g morello cherry preserve

    (*Available in selected stores)


    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Grease 3 x 20cm loose- bottomed cake tins and line the bases. For the sponge, use electric beaters to beat the yolks with the sugar for 3-4 minutes until pale and thick. Sift over the cocoa and fl our; carefully fold in until almost combined.

    2. Using clean electric beaters, beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks, then carefully fold into the cake mixture. Gently spoon the mixture into the tins and bake for 15-20 minutes until the sponges spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.

    3. While the cakes bake, tip the cherry compote into a sieve over a bowl and leave for 10-15 minutes. In a small pan, simmer the cherry liquid from the bowl, keeping an eye on it, until thickened, then stir in the kirsch and leave to cool. Whip together the cream, icing sugar and vanilla using a balloon whisk to form soft peaks. Transfer ½ to another bowl; set aside. Whisk the rest a little more so it will hold its own between the sponges.

    4. To assemble, put one sponge on a cake stand and spoon over ½ the kirsch liquid, spread over ½ the preserve then ½ of the thicker cream and top with ½ the drained compote. Repeat, then top with the third sponge, upside down. Spread a layer of the reserved (less thick) cream over the whole cake then scrape the remaining cream into a piping bag. Cover the side of the cake with the chocolate curls. Pipe swirls of cream around the edge of the top then add a cherry to each one. Finally sprinkle the centre with chocolate curls. Enjoy straight away!

    Your recipe note

    Edit your recipe note

    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, June 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


    Average user rating

    3 stars