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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top tip for making Classic Black Forest gateau
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