Tuesday 30 May 2017

Black Forest Gateau Slices

This was the big project bake of the weekend, an attempt at doing something posh-looking. The goal was to have a cake that wouldn't look out of place at somewhere like Patisserie Valerie, so lots of layers, clean edges, and an attempt at decoration. I went for Black Forest Gateau as it's not something I've done before, and it's a classic flavour that gives some good structure to aim at.

I had some notes on the layers I wanted. 4 layers of sponge (joconde sponge, which I practised last week), crème au beurre, flavoured with kirsch between all the layers, to give the brown and white stripes. Morello cherry jam layers, mixed with more kirsch, and also a chocolate ganache layer...partly to add a creaminess, and partly to add some firmer texture. I've not done such a layered cake before, so the assembly was a bit of a learning experience.

Black Forest Gateau Slices - Recipe

  • Pre-heat oven to 200'C
  • Great and line a 30cm x 20cm cake tin with baking parchment

Chocolate Joconde Sponge Ingredients

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 3 egg whites (save the yolks)
  • 100g ground almond
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 30g butter (melted and cooled slightly)
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 20g plain flour
1) Place the egg whites in a medium sized bowl

2) Using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg whites to firm peaks, while slowly adding the caster sugar. This should form a glossy, firm meringue. Place this to one side.

3) Place the eggs, icing sugar and ground almond in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment

4) Whisk the mixture for 4-5 minutes, until doubled in volume, pale and creamy

5) Sieve the flour and cocoa into the bowl, and form in gently until just combined

6) Take the meringue, and in thirds fold into the mixture. Make sure there are no lumps of meringue left, but also keep as much air as possible in the mixture

7) Pour the melted butter around the outside of the bowl, and fold in

8) Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and level by tipping gently to all the corners

9) Bake for 5-6 minutes, until risen, and spongy to the touch

10) remove to a wire rack covered with a silicone sheet (or baking parchment), remove from the tin, and peel off the baking parchment. Leave to cool completely

Creme au Beurre Buttercream Ingredients

  • 3 egg yolks (saved from the sponge recipe)
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 2tbsp kirsch
  • 225g room temperature butter
1) Place the sugar and water in a small, very clean saucepan

2) Place the yolks in a medium sized, heatproof bowl. It's worth putting this on a damp cloth so that it doesn't slip around on your work surface.

3) Start to heat the sugar mixture slowly, until all the sugar has melted/dissolved

4) Bring the sugar mixture to the boil, and continue to boil until it reaches 110'C. Immediately remove it from the heat

5) Using an electric hand whisk, start to gently beat the egg yolks.

6) Pour the hot sugar syrup onto the egg yolks as you whisk them, and pick up the speed. Whisk until thick and creamy

7) Add the kirsch, and whisk in

8) Add the butter in small chunks while continuing to whisk, until you have a smooth, silky filling

Morello jam Filling Ingredients

  • 150g morello cherry jam
  • 2tbsp kirsch
1) Mix the jam and kirsch in a small bowl

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

  • 75g plain (50%) chocolate
  • 75g double cream
1) Break the chocolate up into a small heatproof bowl

2) Add the cream to the bowl

3) Microwave the mixture for 10 seconds, and then stir thoroughly

4) Repeat step 3 until all the chocolate has just melted

5) Leave to cool to room temperature, and thicken up slightly

Assembly and Decoration

  • 10g plain chocolate (to decorate)
  • Whole cherries (to decorate)
1) Take the cooled sponge, and cut in half to give you 2 30cm x 10cm strips

2) Slice each of these in half horizontally, to give you 4 thin 10cm x 30cm strips of cake

3) Split the buttercream into 4 equal parts, and place each part on top of a sponge layer

4) Place the first layer on your serving tray, and spread the buttercream out to cover the slice, going as close to the edge as you can

5) Take half the cherry mixture, and spread over the icing

6) Take the next sponge layer, and place carefully on top of the first (careful use of a long palette knife is reuqired to lift and shirt the sponge layer)

7) Spread the icing out again, and then spread the chocolate ganache evenly over the top of the icing, again going right to the edge

8) Place the third sponge layer on top of the ganache, and again spread the buttercream evenly

9) Spread the rest of the cherry mixture over the top

10) Place the final sponge layer on top, and again spread the buttercream out evenly, and smooth off

11) Grate the chocolate finely over the top of the icing

12) Place in the fridge to chill for an hour (this makes it easier to trim and slice)

13) Do all the trimming and cutting with a hot, clean knife. I use a pint glass of hot water to heat the knife, and then wipe it with a cloth

14) Trim all the edges as neatly as possible, taking away as little material as possible, to form a sharp rectangle cake

15) Measure 9-10 slices, and cut evenly

16) Use the back of a hot teaspoon to melt a small patch of icing to one end of each slice, and press a fresh cherry there to hold it.

17) Serve and eat!