Chef Folse's Black Forest Gateau

Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yields: 10 Servings

Black Forest Gateau or Black Forest Cake is a popular dessert from Southern Germany. Though variations with cream and cherries were eaten throughout history, credit is given to confectioner Josef Keller for creating the present day version. This delicious recipe layers dark chocolate cake with fresh cherries, kirsch syrup and whipped cream.

Ingredients for the Cake:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 and 2/3 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder

Ingredients for Topping:

1/4 cup water
1/3  cup sugar
2 tbsp Kirsch
1 and 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 pound black cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 pound black cherries, with stems
1/4 cup shaved dark chocolate


Preheat oven to 350 degees F. Line the base of an 8-inch cake pan with greased baking parchment and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with 1 and 1/4 cup sugar until light, pale and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, whisking constantly. Set aside. Sieve together flour, cocoa powder and instant espresso and set aside. In a mixing bowl fitted with a whip, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold flour mixture and egg whites into butter, a little at a time in alternate spoonfuls. When batter is smooth and well incorporated, pour into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes. When ready, the sides should shrink away from the pan. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. To make syrup, in a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add 1/3 cup sugar, stirring constantly until dissolved. Remove from heat, add Kirsch and mix well. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl fitted with a whip, beat cream and powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Gently fold chopped cherries into half of the whipped cream mixture and set aside. Slice cooled cake in two. Place one half of cake on a cardboard cake circle or serving platter, crumb-side-up, and drizzle with half of the syrup. Spread whipped cream with cherries over cake and top with remaining cake half. Drizzle top cake with syrup and spread plain whipped cream over top of cake. Arrange whole cherries on top of cake and garnish with dark chocolate.