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Black Forest Gāteau

Image of Black Forest Gāteau

150 g (6 oz) soft margarine
150 g (6 oz) caster sugar
100 g (4 oz) self-raising flour, sifted
50 g (2 oz) cocoa powder, sifted
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk
6 tablespoons (90 ml) Kirsch
4 tablespoons (60 ml) orange juice
568 ml (1 pint) double cream
397 g (14 oz) can black cherry pie filling
225 g (8 oz) plain chocolate
50 g (2 oz) white chocolate
Selection of fresh leaves (e.g. rose, chrysanthemum, weeping fig), wiped and dried
Icing sugar, to dust


Serves: 12


1. Grease and line an 18 cm (7 inch) round, deep, loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. In a bowl, beat together the margarine, sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs and milk until smooth. Pour into the tin and place in a preheated oven, 160˚C (325˚F), Gas Mark 3, for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out and cool on a wire rack. When cold, slice the cake horizontally into 3 layers, using a long, serrated knife.

3. Mix the Kirsch with the orange juice and drizzle a little over each layer. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Put 1 layer of cake on to a serving plate and spread with one-third of the cream. Spoon over half of the cherry pie filling. Using a fish slice, lift the second cake layer on top, spread with half of the remaining cream and the remaining cherry pie filling. Put the third cake layer on top.

4. Spread the top and sides of the cake with the remaining cream. Put in the refrigerator while making the chocolate curls.

5. Melt 150 g (6 oz) of the plain chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Spread the chocolate in a thin layer over a marble slab or a cold metal baking sheet. Chill for 5 minutes, until the chocolate has set hard.

6. Using a flexible metal palette knife, press down on to the chocolate and pull across to form curls.

7. Using a pair of tweezers, carefully position the chocolate curls around the sides of the cake. Return any excess set chocolate to the bowl, place over a pan of simmering water and melt together with the remaining 50 g (2 oz) of plain chocolate. Melt the white chocolate in a separate bowl.

8. Dip a brush in the melted chocolate. Hold 1 of the leaves by the stem and carefully brush the back with either dark or white chocolate, making sure that the chocolate does not run over the edge. Leave on a wire rack for 15 minutes or until set. Repeat with the remaining leaves.

9. Starting at the pointed end of the leaf, carefully peel away the leaves from the chocolate and arrange the chocolate leaves on the cake. Dust with icing sugar. Chill for 1 hour. Eat on the same day.


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