Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau is a classic German cake made with layers of moist chocolate sponge, whipped cream, cherries, and kirsch liqueur. It’s rich, indulgent, and perfect for any special occasion.
In this article, I’ll show you how to make this delicious cake from scratch, with tips and tricks to ensure a successful result. You’ll also learn some interesting facts about the history and origin of this famous dessert. Let’s get started!
What is Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau?
Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau is a delicious cake that is inspired by the traditional German dessert called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. It is made with layers of chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream, cherries, and kirsch liqueur. It is rich, indulgent, and perfect for any special occasion.
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Why You Love this Recipe
This Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau recipe combines ease and elegance, offering a versatile and stunning dessert that’s reminiscent of classic German patisserie.
- Simple & Accessible: Follows an easy method using readily available supermarket ingredients.
- Adaptable to Taste: Offers flexibility for personalization with various decorations and flavor twists.
- Impressive Display: Guaranteed to wow guests with its striking look and exquisite taste.
- Classic Charm: Evokes cherished memories and the essence of German culinary tradition.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau
To make this cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:
For the chocolate sponge cake:
- 175 g (6 oz) of unsalted butter, softened
- 175 g (6 oz) of caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 150 g (5 oz) of self-raising flour
- 50 g (2 oz) of cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
For the filling and topping:
- 600 ml (1 pint) of double cream
- 3 tbsp of icing sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 425 g (15 oz) of canned or jarred cherries, drained and pitted (reserve the juice)
- 4 tbsp of kirsch liqueur
- 50 g (2 oz) of dark chocolate, grated or shaved
Instructions to Make Black Forest Gateau Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau?
To make this cake, follow these steps:
Step 1: Make the chocolate sponge cake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4) and grease and line two 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tins with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together. Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, using a spatula or a wooden spoon, until well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool slightly in the tins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 2: Make the cherry syrup
- In a small saucepan, bring the cherry juice to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp of kirsch and set aside to cool.
Step 3: Make the whipped cream
- In a large bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Step 4: Assemble the cake
- To assemble the cake, slice each cake horizontally into two equal layers. Place one layer on a cake stand or a large plate and brush with some of the cherry syrup. Spread a quarter of the whipped cream over the cake and scatter a third of the cherries on top. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, syrup, cream, and cherries, ending with a layer of cream on top and on the sides of the cake.
- Sprinkle the chocolate shavings over the top and sides of the cake and decorate with some whole cherries. Drizzle the remaining kirsch over the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.
Step 5: Enjoy your delicious Black Forest Gateau
- Enjoy your delicious Black Forest Gateau with your family and friends! You can serve it with some ice cream, custard, fruit, or nuts if you like.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau?
Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau is a dessert that can be enjoyed on its own, or with some accompaniments to enhance its taste and texture.
Some of the options are:
- Ice Cream: Vanilla, chocolate, or cherry ice cream adds a creamy contrast.
- Custard: Either warm or cold, custard lends extra richness and sweetness.
- Fresh Fruit: Berries, peaches, or pineapples offer a fresh, tangy counterpoint.
- Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, or walnuts provide a crunchy texture.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau
Achieve bakery-quality results with these expert tips:
- Select Premium Ingredients: Opt for high-quality chocolate, rich heavy cream, and ripe, juicy cherries for the best flavor.
- Even Cake Layers: Use a serrated knife, cake leveler, or wire cutter for uniform layers.
- Moisture is Key: Apply cherry syrup with a pastry brush to each layer, ensuring thorough coverage for a moist cake.
- Elegant Cream Swirls: Create decorative swirls using a piping bag with a star nozzle or smooth the cream using a palette knife.
- Flavor Integration: Chill the cake for at least 4 hours or overnight to let the flavors develop and the structure set.
Variations of Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau
How do I store Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau Leftovers?
If you have any leftovers of your cake, you can store them in the following ways:
- In the fridge: You can keep the cake in an airtight container or wrap it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure to keep the cake away from strong-smelling foods, as it may absorb their odors.
- In the freezer: You can freeze the cake in individual slices or as a whole. Wrap the cake with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Label and date the cake and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake in the fridge overnight before serving.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Black Forest Gateau Leftovers?
If you want to reheat your cake, you can do so in the following ways:
- In the microwave: You can microwave the cake in a microwave-safe plate or bowl for 10 to 15 seconds, or until warm. Be careful not to overheat the cake, as it may melt the cream or dry out the sponge.
- In the oven: You can bake the cake in a preheated oven at 160°C (140°C fan, gas mark 3) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm. Cover the cake with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning or drying out.
Nutrition value per serving (based on 16 servings):
- Calories: 607 kcal
- Fat: 40 g
- Carbohydrates: 54 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Sugar: 38 g
- Sodium: 127 mg
- Calcium: 97 mg
- Iron: 2 mg
- Potassium: 312 mg
- Vitamin A: 1000 IU
- Vitamin C: 2 mg
What is Black Forest Gateau?
Black Forest Gateau, or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is a classic German dessert from the Black Forest region. It features layers of chocolate sponge cake soaked in kirsch (cherry brandy), with whipped cream and cherries, and is adorned with more cream, chocolate shavings, and cherries. Some variations include cherry jam or chocolate ganache.
What is the origin of Black Forest Gateau?
You can use a vegetable peeler or a cheese grater to shave the chocolate. Alternatively, you can use a knife to cut thin slices of chocolate and then curl them with your fingers.
Can I use fresh cream instead of double cream for the filling and topping?
Yes, you can use fresh cream, but you may need to add some gelatin or cornstarch to stabilize it and prevent it from melting or splitting. Double cream has a higher fat content and holds its shape better when whipped.
Can I make the cake ahead of time and freeze it?
Yes, you can make the cake ahead of time and freeze it, either as a whole or in slices. Wrap the cake well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and store it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw the cake in the fridge overnight before serving.
How do I make the cake gluten-free?
You can make the cake gluten-free by using a gluten-free self-raising flour blend instead of regular self-raising flour. You may also need to add some xanthan gum or baking powder to help the cake rise and hold together.
Can I Make Black Forest Gateau Without Alcohol?
Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of Black Forest Gateau. Simply substitute the kirsch with cherry syrup or juice to soak the sponge layers. This will keep the cake moist and maintain the cherry flavor.
What Are Suitable Cherry Alternatives If I Can’t Find Sour Cherries?
If sour cherries are not available, you can use maraschino cherries or canned sweet cherries. Keep in mind that these alternatives will be sweeter, so you may want to adjust the sugar in the recipe accordingly.
Black Forest Gateau is a delicious and impressive dessert that will delight your taste buds and impress your guests. It’s easy to make at home, with simple ingredients and a few steps. You can also customize it to your liking, with different variations and decorations. Try this recipe today and enjoy a slice of German tradition and culture!