This recipe features extra cream for extra luxury. Big in the '70s and now making a comeback, the Black Forest gateau is the perfect mix of cream, sponge and fruit. What a revival!
45ml (3tbsp) cocoa powder
225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
5ml (1tsp) baking powder
4 large eggs
For the filling and decoration:
411g can morello cherries in syrup
5ml (1tsp) cornflour
45ml (3tbsp) cherry brandy
450ml (3/4pt) double cream
100g (4oz) plain chocolate, grated
You'll also need:
2 x 20cm (8in) round sandwich tins
Preheat the oven to 180ºC, 350ºF or gas 4. Grease and base line the two sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.
Blend the cocoa powder to a paste with 75ml (5tbsp) boiling water. Place the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a large bowl and beat well with an electric whisk until thoroughly blended. Beat in the cocoa paste.
Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 20-25 mins until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. Leave in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out on to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
Drain the cherries and reserve 90ml (6tbsp) of the syrup. Pour the reserved syrup into a small pan and heat gently. Blend the cornflour with 15ml (1tbsp) water and add to the pan. Boil for 1-2 mins until thickened. Add 15ml (1tbsp) of the cherry brandy and leave to cool.
Slice each sponge cake in half horizontally. Sprinkle each sponge round with some of the remaining cherry brandy.
Whip the cream until softly peaking. Reserve 8 whole cherries for the top of the cake and halve the rest. Spread cream over one sponge round and top with a few cherries and a little of the syrup. Top with another sponge round, more cream, cherries and syrup. Repeat once more and then top with the remaining sponge round.
Spread the rest of the cream around the sides and over the top of the cake. Use a palette knife to press the grated chocolate into the cream around the side of the cake. Decorate the top with the reserved cherries and a little more grated chocolate.
Nutritional information per portion
This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.
Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.