Technical Challenge: Black Forest Gateau


  • 6 eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 150g butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g morello cherry jam
  • 425g tin pitted black cherries, drained
  • 500ml double cream
  • 2tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate, to decorate


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of three 20cm/8in sandwich tins with baking paper.
  2. Whisk together the eggs and sugar with an electric hand whisk until very light and fluffy. The mixture should leave a visible trail when you lift the whisk (ribbon stage).
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together before gently folding it into the egg mixture. Slowly pour in the cooled melted butter down the inside of the bowl and carefully fold it in.
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the three tins and bake for 20–25 minutes, until springy to the touch. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, peeling off the baking paper, and allow to cool completely.
  5. Heat the jam in a small saucepan to melt. Reserve eight of the tinned cherries for the top of the cake, then mix the remainder into the jam. Set aside to cool completely.
  6. Whisk the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form. Set aside in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.
  7. When the cake is completely cool, place the whipped cream in a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe a small amount of cream onto the first layer of sponge and spread evenly. Then pipe a ring around the edge and fill the middle with half the cherry mixture.
  8. Place the second layer of sponge on top and repeat the process. Pipe eight swirls of cream on top of the cake, topping each with a reserved cherry.
  9. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the dark chocolate into curls over the top (alternatively, grate the chocolate and sprinkle over).