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Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake
Category: Cake recipes
Servings: 8 slices
Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Difficult

Black Forest Cake, sometimes called by the French "gateau, gateaux or gâteau" (meaning "cake"), is a chocolate cake with a strong cherry element to it which is popular throughout North America. The recipe originates from Germany, where it is called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.


  • 100g Irish butter
  • 225g brown sugar
  • 100g plain chocolate
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 125mL sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons strong cold black coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
Pastry Base
  • 100g cream flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 50g Irish butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • a few drops of vanilla essence
  • 500mL cream
  • 500g tin black cherries
  • 4 table spoons black cherry jam
  • brandy or cherry juice
  • 100g grated chocolate

  1. Cream butter and sugar together well.
  2. Melt the chocolate and beat into the creamed mixture, then mix in the eggs.
  3. Sift flour, salt and cinnamon together.
  4. Fold the dry mix lightly into the liquids, then fold in the sour cream and cold coffee.
  5. Into a lined and greased 9-inch round, deep tin pour the cake mixture and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 1 hour, 25 minutes.
  6. Set to cool on a wire rack.
Pastry Base
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and bind until the mixture stiffens.
  2. Roll the pastry onto a floured board worktable until pastry is about the same size as the base of the tin.
  3. Lay out on baking sheet and bake at 175 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
  1. Whip cream until it holds its shape.
  2. Put some cream into pastry piping bag with a star pipe attached, and reserve this for the decoration.
  3. Slice the cake into 3 equal-sized layers.
  4. Drain the cherries, reserve 8 for decoration and remove the stones from the remainder.
  5. Put pastry on serving plate and spread the pastry with black cherry jam.
  6. Soak the cakes with sprit used.
  7. Put one layer of cake on top of coated pastry.
  8. Spread a layer of cream with half the stoned cherries.
  9. Put the second layer of cake and add another layer of cream and cherries.
  10. Add the final layer of the cake.
  11. mask the entire cake with the remaining cream and press on the grated chocolate. Decorate the top with piped rosettes of cream and the reserved whole black cherries.
Notes, tips and variations
  • Using 3 identical cake pans instead of 1 large is acceptable.
  • Margarine, vegetable oil or regular butter will substitute for Irish butter.
  • In some countries (e.g. Austria and Australia) the brandy is often replaced by rum, in Germany itself it is almost always replaced by Kirschwasser.
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