Sunday, 24 October 2010

Black Forest Gateaux (BFG)



Note: This post is overloaded with pictures. You may straight away head over to the recipe at the end, but I have given little tips in the last paragraph before the recipe and little information about the cake, it's origin etc..You may read it if interested..

I feel there is no better dessert than a Black forest to celebrate any occasion like Birthdays, potlucks and even informal gatherings. It makes way to a perfect party dessert and it is always liked by kids and adults alike. Today is my Birthday and we are also moving to a new home on the very same day. My dad and one of my sisters will also be celebrating their Birthdays next week. So, let me share my happiness with this bit of indulgence that looks elegant, tastes brilliant and an all time favourite dessert – Black Forest Gateaux.


Black Forest Cake also known as Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte in German or Black Forest Gateaux is a cake that is adorned with several layers of whipped cream and cherries. To add an extra elegance, it is also topped with extra whipped cream, cherries, chocolate shavings and chocolate curls. In the traditional recipe, a brandy named Kirchwasser is added which is related to its name, Kirschtorte. I have substituted that with cherry syrup by cooking cherries with sugar and water. This is a non alcoholic version of the traditional Black forest, so I cant name it Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, But it is still a black forest gateau without Kirschwaser.

I thought it had some steps involved in making, but it was a straight forward recipe that even a kid could master it! A basic sponge, some whipped cream, some cooked cherries and a basic sugar syrup and doesn’t require a pro-skill. Does that sound so complicated?? But I have to accept the fact it takes a bit of time, as I did everything from scratch, like pitting the cherries, making chocolate shavings etc, which requires quite sometime. But these thigs dint worry me at all, all that I was worried about was the cake. I wanted a perfect cake, that is spongy and not dry, something that uses less ingredients and that needs less skill to make it. Googled it and came through millions of recipes which even confused me more. So I just gave it up and relied on a the cake book that enjoy flipping through every now and then. To make the job easier, you can substitute the fresh cherries with the crystallized ones, buy ready made chocolate curls and sprinkles.


Here, I have used English dark cherry of Kordia variety which is sweet, juicy, fleshy and huge compared to the regular variety. It is deep red in colour and it is around 3-4 times larger than the regular cherries. They are as pricey as their size too compared to the regular varieties. They were so sweet that most of the time they were guzzled as fresh as they are and dint make its way to my baking. They are quite cheap during the season, but shoots up as soon as the season starts changing. That was when I bought some extra and stashed in the freezer so that I could save something for this cake. And despite using frozen cherries, they pretty well held together without being squishy, that I could use them for garnishing as well. I know I am sharing this cheery-licious cake waaay after the cherry season, but I was so obsessed with making Black Forest Gateaux that I had to bake it this time. . You can easily make it with glaced cherries (Maraschino cherries) and syrup substituting fresh ones whenever fresh echerries are off the season. I have also seen recipes using canned cherries. I have never used them and dont know how good they are.

Photography Technique: Coutesy of Lovely Sala Kannan @ http://www.veggiebelly.com/ . Hope over to her place to have stunning  visual treatment and her special recipes.


Here to make the procedure easy, I have shared some tips all along the way through out the preparation processwa instead of giving it all at the end. Hope you find it useful. I baked cake and made chocolate shavings the first day. I whipped some cream, made cherry syrup and assembled them the next day. But let me warn you something, If you are trying to make it all in a day, it might be a bit tiring and a very long procedure. I have been there, So try to split the work and do it in a matter of two days. I would make this recipe again, not once, but every occassion I get. It is simply delicious.

Note: Recipe of Sponge is adapted from My cake decorating book which is already packed away for shifting. Will update its name and authors later as appropriate.
Ingredients :
For the sponge/Gateaux:
3 large eggs
¾ cup caster sugar
½ cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
75g unsalted butter, melted

For Whip cream filling:
570 mls/ 2 ¼ cups double cream
4-5 tablespoons caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence

For cherry filling and syrup:
½ kilo ripe dark cherries like Kordia variety, pitted and chopped, reserving 8 whole cherries or more depending on the size of cherries for decoration
¼ cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
¼ tsp vanilla essence

Garnishing:
150g plain chocolate
Few fresh cherries reserved


Preparation:

1. For the sponge: Grease 2 deep 8 inch round pans, line the bases and sides with baking paper.

2. Place eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater at high speed for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick and pale yellow in colour.

3. Sift together cocoa and plain flour, then sift again to the egg and sugar mixture. Fold in gently, then trickle in the melted butter and continue to fold until everything is well mixed. Note: Do not over mix the batter here as it will knock out air bubbles and result in a hard cake than a soft and fluffy sponge.

4. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes. Divide the mixture equally (if you can manage) into the prepared tin and smooth the surfaces. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until springy to touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave it in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn the cake over to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: I couldn’t divide the batter equally in both pans. One pan had more batter than the other. So I baked the one with more batter for 30 minutes and the one containing less batter was done in 22 minutes. But they were baked well.

To prepare the cream filling:

In a large bowl, place whipping cream and sugar and whip until it holds soft peaks. Add vanilla essence and whip until combined. Set aside.

To make cherry filling and syrup:

Place chopped cherries, sugar, water in a sauce pan and gently bring to boil. Once it has come to boil, reduce heat and simmer until cherries have become slightly soft. Strain the cherries and place the liquid back to saucepan and gently simmer it until you have around ¾ cup of liquid left. If you had just around 1/2- 3/4 cup of syrup after boiling the cherries, that should be enough. Dont reduce it further.

Notes: Here, I bought fresh cherries and froze them for later use as I could not make the gateaux as planned. I made it after a while when cherries were not season as well. The frozen berries when thawed had released some juice already before cooking them hence I added only less amount of water while cooking it. You can also adjust and add more sugar if needed, if your cherries are sour ones. I also discovered that freezing cherries makes pitting them a lot easier. You can just squish them to pit them and them chop them further if they are large. If you are using fresh cherries that are not frozen, please add couple of tablespoons more of water before cooking. You need to have around ¾ syrup however for soaking the cake.

If you don’t have fresh cherries in hand, just substitute them with glace cherries and simple sugar syrup. You can use around 300g of glace cherries chopped or even less if you like it less.


For chocolate shavings and curls:

1. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water, or in a double boiler. Make sure water doesn’t touch the bowl containing chocolate. Once they are all melted, spread the chocolate on a plastic/wooden chopping board/ marble set on a damp cloth to prevent it from slipping. Spread the chocolate evenly over the surface with a flat palette knife or any large knife.

2. leave the chocolate to cool slightly, it should feel just set, but not completely hard. Hold a large, sharp knife at a 45 degree angle to the chocolate and push it along the chocolate in short sawing movements from right to left and left to right to make curls. Remove curls by sliding knife underneath each one and lifting it off. Keep in fridge until ready to use. You can crush these curls gently to make chocolate shavings. Or you can grate a chocolate using a box grater or a vegetable peeler. Make sure the chocolate is at room temperature to do this.

For assembling:





1. Slice each cake horizontally into two. (I cut one cake into 2 and other one I just left it as one piece as it was quite thin to slice it into two. So I had three pieces of cake)

2. Place one slice of cake on a serving plate/dish/cake stand. (Snip the baking paper into several 8-10 cm long pieces. Gently slide these papers all around underneath the cake. This will gather all the mess that has occurred in the decorating process. Once decorating is done, these can be taken out slowly leaving the serving plate clean and mess free.)

3. Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoon of the syrup all over the first cake. Add 1/3rd of the whipped cream and spread it all around.

4. Sprinkle half of the cherries all over the whipping cream. Place another layer of cake and press gently. Sprinkle all over again with 3-4 tablespoon of the syrup, add cream, spread it and scatter cherries equally all over. Top with the last piece of cake and gently press down. Sprinkle again with 3-4 tablespoon of cherry syrup all over. Spread the remaining whipped cream on top and sides of the gateau, spreading evenly with a palette knife. Using a piping bag, swirl few extra cream on top as well to place cherries, if wished.

Note: I haven’t used all of the syrup. I just sprinkled 3-4 tablespoon of the syrup on each layer of cake just enough to moisten it. Around ¼ cup was left behind after the use. Don’t sprinkle more than mentioned as it may result in a soggy cake.

5. Using hands, stick chocolate shavings on to the sides of the cake. Place few chocolate curls on to the centre of the cake and decorate with reserved cherries with stalks intact if possible. Cherries can also be coated in melted chocolate before arranging on the cake. Dip the cherries in melted chocolate and place it on a baking paper to dry if you are doing that.

This post of mine goes for the Monthly Mingle - Fruits in baking hosted by Deeba who writes at her gorgeous blog Passionate about baking.

60 comments:

RAKS KITCHEN said...

That looks really professional!! Lovely clicks and loved the black cherries click too :)






Dr.Sameena Prathap
said...

Hi Shabs,

OMG...That looks smashing dear...:)wow..

Dr.Sameena@

www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

shifa firoz said...

omg!!! this is a feast!!!!! im so J :D

awesome job shabi... Happy bday again and have a wonderful yr ahead :)

Satya said...

There is only one word to describe this cake n is AWESOME ...its tooooo beautiful ....kudos to u

Satya
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

Barbara Bakes said...

Your cake does look perfect! Happy Birthday. I would prefer your cherry syrup too.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Seeing the procedure itself makes me faint....;)Cant never even think of making this...I m not this patient. U are very patient I wud say :) BFG looks so yummy...perfect even better than the bakery ones

Nithya said...

Happy birthday to you... happy birthday to you.. happy birthday dear Shabs.. Happy birthday to you :) :)

Have a fantastic day and super good life ahead dear :)

BFG rocks.. too much it is.. looks classic and too damn tempting :) yummm :)

Fajeeda said...

WOWWWWWWWWW...........tht is simply superb grt effort and excellent result............loved ur black forest my all time fav.........drools me here........happy bday dear.........

Divya Kudua said...

Many many happy returns of the day Shabs!!BFG looks out of this world..its been sometime since I had it!!The pics are awesome!!

shameera said...

Excellant ,in all aspects ....

Zia Elle said...

WOW!! It was an hard job!! Great Shabs!

Happy Cook said...

This is my husbands and daughters favourite cake, i have been looking for a good recipe and i am sure gonna try this, but then as the cherry season is gone, will wait ill summer or make with bottled cherries.
Looks beautiful Shabs.
And Happy Birthday now i know what is BGF :-))))))))))))

An Open Book said...

happy bday shab..even though i didnt sign in at 12 i did so first thing in the morn :)
U seriously have patience my lady..i don think i can ever carry out something like this..good going...bday kku entha parupadi?

PriyaRaj said...

Cake looks very proffesional ,Perfect ...no words to describe ......Awesome clicks..dear ...Happy Birthday...

Pravs said...

Happy b'day to you and what a lovely cake that is ?? !! Beautiful pics.

Amreen said...

Wow lovely cake happy birthday

Priya said...

Woww Shabs, wat a beautiful looking cake, looks absolutely very professional...yumm!

Kairali sisters said...

Many many happy returns of the day Shabs...

BFG rocks, the pics makes me wanting to make this today itself, might as well do :-)

Suja Sugathan said...

Happy B'day dear..
This looks awesome,real professional..superb

Nitha said...

Belated Bday wishes dear... Hope you had a great time.. The cake looks gorgeous..

Anonymous said...

yummy, yummy, yummy! : )

umm maryam

Pavithra said...

Happy B'day dear shabs.. No words to say ur cake .. damn tempting dear and neat finish like a pro.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shab., that cake looks awesome and finger licking good. May I ask which brand to use for the thick cream.. Dream whip or the Nestle/ Al Marai variety. Do let me know .thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi Shab., that cake looks awesome and finger licking good. May I ask which brand to use for the thick cream.. Dream whip or the Nestle/ Al Marai variety. Do let me know .thanks

Maria said...

Shabs dear, hope you had a wonderful b'day!

The cake looks perfect! Loved it :)You've done it so elegantly!

Cheers
Maria

Shabs.. said...

uthanks all for the wishes n comments n making my bday so special.
anon,regarding ur query,nestle n almarai creams cant b whipped n so they wont get thick.they will remain as they r even after whipping. whip cream shouldwork though.i used double cream of elmea brand which is a liquid cream and it gets stiff as we whip.u can see that one in my mango n cheese pudding.hope this helps.
love,
shabs.

Sanjeeta kk said...

Exotic, gorgeous and a heavenly indulgence. The cake is awesome.

San said...

Black Forest Gateaux is so delectable.Magnificient pics shabs.

http://sanscurryhouse.blogspot.com

kothiyavunu.com said...

look gorgeous shabs!!! wish they pop out of the screen into my mouth :D pinee once again belated b'day wishestou..:)

Hasna said...

jst now i had gone thru your recipe & sounds fantastic...shud give it a try...my daughter hates black forest cos of its sour taste....so never tried ths..

Hasna

Sanjeeta kk said...

Belated B'day wishes. The cake looks gorgeous and exotic.

Swapna said...

BFG looks awasome Shabs!! very tempting and gorgeous clicks too...hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Rachana said...

Belated Birthday wishes dear Shabs :-)

I absolutely loved this bkack forest gateaux and great photography!

Cardamom Hills said...

This might just surprise you a bit but should tell you how much I love your blog! You have just been conferred with an award :) please check my blog post for rules.
Thanks
Cardamom hills

suma said...

The cake looks simply gorgeous!!! A BFC and home-made one at that are just out of this world!! the pics are way too good..

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said...

u have patience Shab. Thats such a great looking black forest cake. What a beautiful work of labor. My b'day is coming up this month, and all of sudden I think I want to make my own cake.

Shabs.. said...

thanks everyone for making my birthday even more special:).....and for the kind support and encouragement.
love ya all..
Shab.

Reena said...

Dear Shabs
I am ardent admirer of your blog. A BFG has been on my to-do list for a while and the moment I saw ur post I thought 'This is IT'. I tried it yesterday and it came out fab..thanx a ton. Could I use the same sponge sans cocoa powder for say a pineapple cream cake..
Reena

Sanjeeta kk said...

Gorgeous and delicious bake. Lovely click.

Ann said...

I insisted on BFG for my engagement party dessert, even though most of my family didn't want it. And I never had a slice after that. Thanks for the lovely detailed post, it will be wonderfult to recreate this on my next anniversary and surprise the husband!
BTW - happy birthday and good luck on your move. i am a very huge fan of your blog!

Anonymous said...

Belated B'day wishes... What a lovely cake... The bakery ones can no where come near this... I wanna have a BFG right now... :) Keep rocking Shabs...
Cheers!!!

Shabs.. said...

@reena....thanks u for ur lovely comment....happy that u like dteh recipe and it came out great for u...

@sanjeeta, thank u..

@Ann....thank u so much dear...let me know if u try this...

@Anon, thank u...pls mention ur name or a nick name so that i i can remember u..

love,
shabs...

Deeba PAB said...

Gorgeous cake Shabs, and just as I love it. I love that you did it from scratch, and so beautifully! Thank you for sending it to my table at the Monthly Mingle.

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious pictures looks yummy
lovely presentation

Nachiketa said...

What an amazing cake n pictures......
WOW!!!!!

Cheers,
The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

Magnificent gateaux and such a good idea for the mingle. Yours pictures have inspired me to attempt it myself - when I can get fresh cherries. Bravo.

Sasa said...

I'm sure any guest at your house is thrilled! I went through the Black Forest once, it was pretty but I didn't get any cake, though I did get fed a rather amazing breakfast spread.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shab,

I made your BFG for my daughter's 4th bday for about 25 guests...it was soo yummy...thank u soo much for the wonderful recipe..i am a big fan of your blog..tried your tuna dish as well and my husband who usually doesnt like tuna absolutely loved it...

great going..best wishes..

Sajitha said...

looks brilliant! I am planning to try this, but was wondering if 1/2 cup flour is sufficient for two 8 inch cakes...can you confirm that it is indeed enough and is not a typo :)

wonderful clicks :)

-Sajitha

Erin Layke said...

Hi, this is my fisrt time in your blog, and all I can think or say is.......YUM!

Shabs.. said...

@SAJITHA, SORRY for the later response. Flour is just half a cup. It is not a typo.

Shabs.

Weight loss diet plan said...

My favorite cup, thanks for the recipe

Anonymous said...

Hi
Congratulations! u have an amazing blog. Love the food and the snaps.

Rinku said...

Hi
Congratulations! Shabs u have an amazing blog...good food and lovely pics..
Rinku

Remya said...

Shabs, this is Remya again.. :) ... I tried mailin u... Can u please tell me how to prepare the chocolate shavings? What kind of chocolate do we need to buy? Hope u would reply me.

Shabs.. said...

Hi remya, sorry, I dint recieve any mail from you as yet, I Just checked. Regarding chocolate shavings, you can use any chocolate you like to eat. You can buy plain chocolate with cocoa mass around 30-50%. If cocoa mass is more than that like 70% the chocolate will be bitter and not so pleasing to eat. For making shavings, melt chocolate on a bain marie. POur the melted chocolate on a clean, odourless cutting board or any marble suface. Spread it using a palette knife to a thin layer. Let it set. Once it is set,hold the tip and handle of a large non-serrated knife at an angle and using see-saw motion shave it towards you. You may not get neat curls in a go. When you keep doing it, you will get it right....Hope this helps remya.

Remya said...

Shabs ur such a sweet person.... :) n thts th only reason tht makes me come to ur blog again and again.. :)Thnaks a lot for clearing my doubts... I mailed u on friday Shabs... Oh u did not get it?? Will try mailing once again... Thanks for clearing all my silly doubts Shabs.. :)Take care...

Regards
Remya

Priya said...

Hey Shabs. Lovely cake and wonderful pics :)
I just wanted to know whether the sponge will stay okay if I prepare it (only the sponge part) and keep it out of fridge for four or five days? If they wont, do you have any plain cake recipe that will stay like that?

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Ceee... said...

What beautiful pictures! Black forest cake is my favourite!

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