Black Forest Gateau

black forest gateau recipe delia smith

Dan loves Black Forest gateau and a good recipe is surprisingly hard to come by. A lot of BFG recipes are more like a heavy chocolate cherry layer cake in form, rather than a light and squishy gateau. The best recipe I have found is Delia Smith’s original BFG, rather than her ‘Return to the Black Forest’ recipe which is a more like a roulade in form, however, the original recipe it is not available online, so I thought I’d share it with you – my husband’s greed can also be your gain!


6 large eggs

142g (5oz) caster sugar

50g (2oz) cocoa powder, sieved

285 ml (1/2 pint) double cream 

1 level tbs. caster sugar 

1 tin or jar of pitted morello cherries (700g) drained and juice reserved

50g (2 oz) plain chocolate 

3 tbs. kirsch or cherry brandy


Preheat oven to 180 centigrade, 356 fahrenheit or gas mark 4.

1) Grease and line two eight-inch sandwich tins or three six-inch sandwich tins if you would like to make a triple layer cake like mine. 

2) Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks with the sugar until pale and quite thick. 

3) Fold in the cocoa powder in two batches.

4) With a clean whisk beat the whites until stiff but not too dry. Stir a large spoonful of the whisked egg whites into the cocoa mixture to loosen it then carefully fold in the rest of the whipped whites in two batches.

5) Divide the mixture between the tins and bake on the centre shelf of your oven for 15- 20 minutes.

6) Check that the cakes are baked by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cakes. The skewer should come out clean and the cakes should be springy. Leave to cool in tins for 10 minutes and then release from the tins on to a cooling rack whilst still slightly warm.


1) Add the the tablespoon of caster sugar to the cream and softly whip it – it should just about hold a soft peak when the whisk is lifted from the surface, but should it still be floppy and voluptuous. 

2) Remove the baking paper from the cooled cakes. Stir together the kirsch or cherry brandy and the reserved cherry juice. Drizzle the cherry/kirsch liquid over the cakes and leave for five minutes so that the cakes soak up the liquid.

3) Layer up the cakes with the softly whipped cream and most of the drained cherries.

4) Spoon some cherries on the top in the centre of the cake and pipe some swirls of cream round the edges. Grate the chocolate over the cream on top to decorate.

Alternative: Increase the amount of cream to 568 mls (1 pint) so that you have enough cream to smooth around the edges of the cake and press chocolate sprinkles on to the sides.



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