A decadent, rich, and indulgent naked cake. Featuring all the best loved flavours of the old school Black Forest gateau, this cake is ideal for a crowd on a special occasion.
There are many things I love about this blog, but giving me life direction surely has to be one of them! I started this blog when I really wasn’t enjoying adult life, and slowly it has helped me piece together what I want to do. Bravely, in about 6 months time, I will become a full time baker, specialising in allergy friendly bakes. I’m so excited about this, but also slightly nervous – cue getting in as much practice as possible of big, grand cakes!
To celebrate a weekend bash at ours with some of our closest friends, and to use the best of the seasonal flavours (hello, fresh cherries!!), this cake came to life. My fiancee loves all things chocolate, so Black Forest flavours seemed perfect to combine the best of both.
Black Forest gateau, for those of you not in the know, is a traditional German dessert made with light chocolate sponges, doused in the cherry liqueur Kirsch, filled and topped with whipped cream and black cherries. It is both rich and light at the same time, and these days slightly reminiscent of the 80’s!
This cake takes all the best flavours of the gateau, and brings it into 2016 in the form of a naked cake. Between the three layers of chocolate sponge is a rich buttercream, dusted with cocoa, and then topped with a sour Morello cherry jam. The top of the cake is piled high with woodland fruits, before having a cherry compote and chocolate sauce drizzled over it.
Although this cake would be perfect with a coffee at tea time, it screams to be eaten as a dessert. This cake is wonderfully rich and filling, so add a side of more fresh cherries and berries for contrast.
Serves 14 – 18 (depending on slice size!), takes 2 hours, plus baking and cooling time.
- 450g dairy free butter
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 225g soft brown sugar
- 8 large eggs
- 420g self raising flour
- 70g cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp Kirsch
- Tinned/ Jarred Cherries
- 250g dairy free butter
- 460g icing sugar
- Morello Cherry Jam
- 50g dark chocolate, grated
- 1 tsp dairy free butter
- 1 tsp dairy free milk or cream
- 1 tsp golden syrup
- Fresh cherries and blackberries (or other woodland berries) to decorate
- Make the sponges: Line 3 x 20cm baking tins with greaseproof paper, and preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan).
- Make the sponges: Melt the butter. Whisk the eggs and sugars together until pale, light and fluffy. Whilst whisking, slowly add the melted butter until combined.
- Sieve the flour and cocoa into the egg mix, and fold until no lumps of flour remain.
- Divide the batter between the 3 tins, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until risen, and a skewer comes out clean from the centre.
- Prick holes over the sponges using the skewers, and drizzle 2 tbsp Kirsch over each sponge.
- Leave the cakes to cool in their tins, and when cold, leave on a wire rack.
- Sieve the jarred cherries, reserving the juice. Roughly chop into large pieces, and leave to dry out on a piece of kitchen roll.
- Make the buttercream by whipping together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. When the cherries are dry, mix half of them into the buttercream, bashing them slightly to make splodges of colour.
- Assemble the cake: On the serving plate, place one sponge (trim the top to make it level if needed), and top with 1/3rd of the buttercream. Swirl out towards the edge of the sponge. Shake over some sieved cocoa powder.
- Take the next sponge, and turn over so the bottom is facing up. Spread a light layer of the morello jam on the sponge, and then place on the buttercream, jam side down.
- Repeat these layers once more, and on the final layer, only place a thin layer of buttercream on the top, with a light layer of grated chocolate.
- Make the ganache. In a heatproof bowl, add the chocolate, butter, milk and golden syrup, and slowly heat until melted. Leave to cool slightly.
- In a small pot, add 2 tbsp of the jam and then add 1 tbsp of the reserved cherry juice. Heat slightly to loosen.
- Top with the fresh cherries and blackberries, and shave over some chocolate. Drizzle over the chocolate ganache and heated jam, then serve.