Black Forest Cake is a traditional German dessert that has been well and truly adopted by happy dessert eaters worldwide. Typically, black forest cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is decorated with additional whipped cream, more cherries, and chocolate shavings. This version is particularly delicious as I spike each layer of the cake with rum or kirsch, a fragrant cherry liqueur making it moist, boozy and oh so good. Recipe from The Pleasures of the Table: Rediscovering Theodora Fitzgibbon.
- Oil two 20 cm (8 in) sandwich tins, and line the base with oiled greaseproof paper.
- Separate the eggs: yolks in one bowl, whites in a larger one. Whisk the yolks with the 150 g (5 oz) sugar until pale and thickened slightly, then fold in the cocoa and sifted flour.
- With a clean whisk, beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Stir a heaped tablespoon egg white into the cocoa mixture, then gently fold in the rest using a metal spoon. (Do it very gently.)
- Divide this mixture between the tins and bake near the centre in a preheated oven at 180°c/350°F/gas mark 4 for about 15–20 minutes.
TOP TIPThey may not appear fully cooked but should be set and slightly puffy. They will shrink quite a lot, which is normal.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tins but turn out while still faintly warm and strip off the papers.
- Now whip the cream with the 1 tablespoon of sugar until floppy but not too stiff.
- Empty the can of cherries into a sieve over a bowl. Then mix 2 tablespoons of the juice with 1 tablespoon rum or kirsch and sprinkle this over the cake layers.
- Using a palette knife, spread about one-third of the whipped cream over one cake.
- Take any stones from the cherries and arrange the cherries over the cream on the cake.
- Put onto a serving dish. Carefully lift up the other layer and put on top. Cover the entire cake with the rest of the cream using a palette knife.
- Arrange the fresh cherries around the edges, or make a pattern, and finally grate the chocolate over the top and sides of the cake.
- Do not move the cake from the surface it is on and keep covered loosely with paper in a cold place until you are ready to serve.