Black Forest cake

4 Jul


Nova asked me to make a black forest cake for her 13th birthday – which worked out neatly as Germany were playing France in the World Cup that evening. Baking is not my strong point, and I found this cake a challenge. For the cake layers, I followed a recipe from The Prawn Cocktail Years by Simon Hopkinson, but went off piste when it cake to filling and decorating. As I didn’t have a 20cm cake pan, I used one that was a little bit bigger. This was a mistake – if I make this again, I’ll opt for a smaller pan, which should make slicing the cake into three layers a whole lot easier.

Black forest cake

For the cake:

  • 75g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g butter
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 1 Tb golden syrup
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the filling:

  • 400ml double cream
  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tins (~700g) pitted cherries in syrup
  • 2 Tb kirsch or cherry brandy

For decoration:

  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g dark chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter  a 20cm (or slightly smaller) loose-bottomed cake tin, and fit a circle of baking parchment into the base.
  2. Put the chocolate, butter, sugar and syrup into a small pot over low heat and stir until everything is melted. Allow to cool until just warm.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Add the chocolate mixture, beat until combined, then add the eggs and milk. Beat two minutes on high speed.
  4. Spoon the batter into the cake tin, smooth the surface and bake for 35-40 minutes until firm.
  5. When the cake is cool, remove it from the tin and slice horizontally into three layers. Place each layer on a separate dinner plate.
  6. Heat the 400ml of double cream in a small pot until it just reaches a simmer. Add the chocolate pieces, remove from the heat and stir until melted and smooth. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool in the fridge until thickened but still spreadable.
  7. Drain the cherries in a sieve over a bowl. Measure off a cup of the juice, stir in the kirsch, then pour over evenly over the three cake layers. Leave to soak in.
  8. Spread a cake disc with 1/3 of the chocolate filling and arrange half the drained cherries on top. Cover with a second cake layer. Spread this layer with second 1/3 of the chocolate filling and arrange the rest of the cherries on top. Cover with the third cake layer.
  9. Spread the final 1/3 of the chocolate filling on the sides of the cake.
  10. Whip the final 100ml of the double cream, and spread it on top of the cake.
  11. Hold the 50g piece of chocolate in your hand to warm it slightly. Draw a vegetable peeler across bottom of the piece to produce chocolate curls. Grate the remaining small pieces.
  12. Spread the top of the cake with the whipped cream and garnish with the chocolate curls. Attempt to spread the grated chocolate on the sides.

Family score: 8.9 out of 10



5 Responses to “Black Forest cake”

  1. wholelottarosie July 6, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    Cherries should also be placed on top of the cake.
    Greetings from the beautiful Rhine-Highlands / Germany…

    • Andrea July 6, 2017 at 9:39 am #

      You are right — that’s how my mum always did it. She would get the ones with the stems still attached 🙂

  2. Reid P July 2, 2022 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi nice reading your postt


  1. KITCHEN - March 12, 2017

    […] via Black Forest cake — ten more bites […]

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