Oct 27th, 2015


I was over in the village at a little ‘soiree’ tonight, as one of the founder members of our local magazine (“The Wee Goil”) was leaving for pastures new. There was a lovely buffet, but I had promised to bring the cake, and was determined to make sure it wasn’t a disappointment.

So being a big fan of the ‘Bake off’ I have been watching the master class and decided to make Mary Berry’s Black Forest Gateau. Being a child of the 1970s this was the height of sophistication when I was young but has only recently come back into favour.

The recipe is here – I followed the cake part exactly. The ratio of sugar to eggs was very low compared to other fatless sponges I have made, and it took a lot of beating to thicken it up enough to leave a trail (must have been at least 10 minutes so glad I was not using a hand whisk for it). I was also surprised at how little flour and cocoa went in to it, and it was quite difficult to get it folded in because the whole mixture was so light (important to fold it thoroughly otherwise there will be little knots of dry powder in the finished cake). I baked it for exactly 25 minutes which was perfect in my (overly hot) oven.

The cherry syrup was easy enough to make. The whipped cream I thought was a bit short in the recipe, I used 1000ml instead of 750ml and it was still only just enough. I also had my usual battle with the cream where I can never get it thick enough to stick to the side of the cake without getting it slightly buttery.

I ran into two little problems with the decorations, I forgot to buy baking parchment so I had no piping bag and no means of making one, and Lidl on Saturday hadn’t had any fresh cherries. So for the chocolate trees, instead of piping the chocolate, I spooned it into a leaf mould, chilled and then pressed out. Finally I drizzled white chocolate over them.

I put the chocolate trees on top of the cake instead of the cherries, tied a nice ribbon round it, and decorated it further with some cherry liqueurs and a bit of grated chocolate (to hide the over-whipped cream). It looked pretty good at this stage.

I made the mistake of putting it straight on to my favourite cake stand instead of in the box, so I had a traumatic trip into the village with it balanced on my knee and R driving at one mile an hour.

All was worth it though, because (credit to Mary rather than me) it was one of the nicest cakes I have had yet. Moist, not too sweet, and a lovely combination of sourish cherries, bitter dark chocolate, and mellow cream. Yum, yum.

Then I forgot to bring a torch and had to get R to come and meet me in case I fell in the Donich on the way home. R did get a slice of the cake brought home for him as a reward though.

The very smart piper in the background of the photo was a present from my Mum from (of all places), Australia.

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