Having only relatively recently discovered a love of cherries, Black Forest Gateau was not something on my radar. My enduring memory from having tasted it as a child was the overwhelming flavour of kirsch. That is not a good memory. However this post on the Hungry Mum’s blog used rum instead of kirsch so I thought, maybe this is something I can get on board with. Having done a bit of research a lot of recipes use either rum or brandy in place of kirsch. I had a bottle of dark rum from making jerk chicken so I am delighted to finally have another use for it.
This cake is not going to win any beauty contests. My impatience to get it assembled so I could take pictures in daylight means that it’s appearance was compromised slightly. I took it out of the tin a little early and did not allow enough time for it to set before I took the photos. But my word, does it taste good! I didn’t want to go to the effort of baking layers of cakes for a gateau so I decided to just do a simple one cake, with a layer of ganache, cherries and cream. For the cake I adapted the recipe from Bill Granger’s Bill’s Basics for his chocolate mousse cake. It’s the best flourless chocolate cake recipe I’ve made. The cake sinks a lot on cooling but all flourless cakes tend to do this so don’t get anxious thinking your cake has failed. The sunken middle will be filled with delicious cream anyway so it won’t matter. If you want to make a chocolate mousse cake, top the cake with this mousse instead of cherries and cream.
Please note I have listed the ingredients for each element separately, even thought there is a bit of repetition. Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin.
- 150g dark chocolate
- 150g unsalted butter
- 6 medium sized eggs, separated
- A pinch of salt
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 75ml cream
- 50g dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g cherries plus more for the top, fresh or tinned stoned cherries will do
- 250ml cream, whipped
- To make the flourless cake, grease and line a 23cm /9″ cake tin and preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and put this with the butter into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until smooth and melted and remove from the heat to allow it to cool to room temperature.
- In a spotlessly clean bowl whisk the whites of the eggs with a pinch of salt until they become stiff. Gradually add half the sugar to the whites, whisking the whole time, until it becomes glossy.
- In another bowl whisk together the yolks with the remaining sugar until they have increased in volume and become light and fluffy.
- Add the cooled melted chocolate to the egg yolk mixture and mix until fully combined. Add the rum and vanilla and stir through.
- Add the third of the egg whites to the bowl and fold through with a large metal spoon. Adding a third first will make the rest of the egg whites easier to incorporate so you shouldn’t lose too much air from folding them through. Using a metal spoon instead of a wooden one will also help to keep the air.
- When the first third of the whites is fully incorporated, add the remaining egg whites and carefully fold through until the whole batter is combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the tin. The middle will sink and crack but that is perfectly fine.
- Make the chocolate ganache by heating the cream in a heavy bottomed pan with the vanilla and rum, taking it off the heat before it boils. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add this to the heated cream. Stir through until the chocolate has fully melted and it is glossy. Pour the ganache over the middle of the cooled cake and allow it to set.
- Halve your cherries and arrange them on top of the cooled ganache. Top the cake with the whipped cream and some fresh cherries with their stalks still intact. Place the cake in the fridge but allow it to come to room temperature before serving.