From Tallulah’s Kitchen: Black Forest Gateau

From Tallulah’s Black Forest Gateau

Hello, my fellow foodies and welcome to July’s edition of The Listing. This month I felt like going a little “retro” and those of us of a certain age will remember a time when no family gathering or celebration was complete without one of these beauties on the buffet table- no, not a cheese and pineapple hedgehog, but a Black Forest Gateaux. Please don’t let your memories of over sweet, mass produce blandness put you off trying this recipe it really is worth the effort.

Serves 8
Oven temperature 180° C
You will need a 23cms springform tin, lined and greased.

225g Butter at room temperature
225g Caster sugar
4 Eggs from happy and free roaming hens
200g Self raising flour
4tbsp Cocoa powder
3 tbsp Kirsch
3 tbsp Cherry jam
200g Preserved cherries -Morello are my preference.
500mls Double cream
150g Dark chocolate

Let’s begin with making the sponge. In a mixer cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy in texture and pale in colour. Next, gradually add in the eggs making sure to beat well between each addition to avoid the mixture splitting. Then carefully add the sifted flour and cocoa and gently stir to combine the ingredients. Next, scrape the mixture into the greased and lined tin and pop it into the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes until there is a good rise, the sponge springs back to the touch and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the sponge. Remove from the oven but leave in the tin for five minutes, then place the sponge on a wire rack to cool completely.

While the sponge is cooling whip the cream to stiff peaks, grate the chocolate and drain and cut the cherries into halves and set aside some for decoration (please note the “deliberate” mistake in photo!) If you are choosing not to use kirsch, the juice from the cherries would be a fabulous alternative so don’t forget to save the juice when you strain the cherries.
When the sponge is completely cool we can begin to assemble our masterpiece!

Slice the sponge into three even layers. Place the bottom layer onto your serving plate and sprinkle with kirsch/juice, spread with half the jam, sprinkle on one third of the cherries, then spread with a quarter of the cream. Now top with the middle layer of sponge, drizzle with kirsch and repeat as for the bottom layer. Top with third and final layer of sponge. Drizzle with the remains of the kirsch, and spread one quarter of the whipped cream around the sides of the cake, finish to a smooth texture and then cover with grated chocolate. Finally the top, take your piping bag and pipe the remaining cream into rosettes around the outer edge of the cake top, finish the centre with the last of the cherries and cover as much or as little as you chose in the remaining chocolate. Decorate each rosette with a reserved cherry half and pop the Gateau into the fridge for one hour before serving to let it settle, firm up and for the flavours to develop.

All that remains now is for the Gateau to be sliced and enjoyed with fine company and witty conversation.

Until next time my fellow foodies…

Talullah Le Fey