Classic Black Forest gateau

(45 ratings)

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Black Forest gateau
Black Forest gateau
  • Serves: 10

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

This soft concoction of warm chocolate and mouth-watering cherries is the perfect dessert for special occasions. Get your Black Forest perfect with this classic recipe


  • Butter, for greasing
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 50g good-quality cocoa powder, sifted
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 1 x 425g tin pitted black cherries in fruit juice
  • 2tbsp kirsch or cassis
  • 2tbsp good-quality black cherry jam
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • Handful fresh cherries to decorate, if available

Kirsch is a German cherry water - its used in lots of baking recipes so if you buy a bottle you'll definitely use it up


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly butter 2 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, whisk for 3–4 minutes, until pale and slightly thickened. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the cocoa powder and 25g chocolate, roughly chopped.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add 1 spoonful to the chocolate mixture to loosen slightly, then carefully fold in the rest using a large metal spoon. Divide the chocolate mix between the cake tins and bake in the middle of the oven for 18 minutes, until the sponges are no longer wobbly in the middle when you shake the tins gently. They will be puffed up when you take them out of the oven and will sink a little during cooling.
  4. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins, then slide a palette knife around the outside of each to ease from the tins. Discard the baking parchment and place 1 cake on a serving plate.
  5. Drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Mix 2 tablespoons cherry juice with the kirsch or cassis and drizzle over the cake on the plate. Evenly spread the jam on top. Softly whip the cream and spread half of it over the jam. Cut two-thirds of the cherries in half and place on the cream. Finely grate the remaining 25g chocolate and sprinkle half over the cherries.
  6. Top with the second cake and spread the rest of the cream on top. Place the reserved whole cherries around the top edge. Scatter the remaining chocolate in the middle and arrange the fresh cherries in the centre.

Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 287(kcal)
  • Fat 14.6g
  • Saturates 7.5g
  • Sugars 29.4g
  • Salt 0.3g

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.

Your rating

Average rating

  • 4
(45 ratings)

Your comments


This makes an incredible luxurious but light gateaux. A real no fuss retro pud !!!!


Incredibly light sponge, which did sink rather a lot, but once the cream was on, you couldn't tell and oh my god, it was delicious! My boyfriend loved it too and commented that he could eat the whole cake!


I'm on a remote island with only one tin to bake this in. Am i able to refridgerate half the mixture while one is cooking??


Hi Tony, This is a recipe for an egg white based sponge so doesn't need flour. The small amount of cocoa and sugar are enough to hold everything together and it means you get a really light and airy cake. Worth a try as it's really delicious. Let us know how you get on. Rosie


How does this recipe work without flour? I'm no expert but I thought any type of sponge filling would need flour. I have a couple of other recipe books with BFG recipes and they both have flour listed as an ingredient.

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