Thursday, 5 July 2012

Quest for Mini Blackforest Gateaux

When writing about food, cooking, baking and so forth, you can not just go and write, cook, bake and so forth without reading about food and eating food that someone else prepared may it be at a restaurant or at a friends place.
After all, you need some ideas to make your food life more exciting. However, if you get to excited, things may get out of hand and thing may become too exciting. Do you follow me? No worries, I’m lost here as well.
Let me start again. A few days ago I read this blog post “good things come in small packages! mini victoria sponge cakes” from Marmaduke Scarlet. That got me thinking (you can check this post and have a look at the comments to see the connection and that I’m … whatever).
The idea now is (have you checked the post? Then you already know) to make little Blackforest cakes (gateaux). In a few minutes then you will see the drama unfold.

To spare you some trouble you could get some ready baked pastry, sponges. I didn’t care! I like to do things from scratch, if possible.
So I went through papers and pages on the internet to get some ideas for the batter.

4 eggs
75 g sugar
50 g flour
50 g corn starch
2 tablespoons of warm water
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Doing it:
Cream the eggs with the sugar, add the cocoa powder, sieve in the flour and the corn starch. Beat it all up!
By now you have your oven going at 180°C. Things should go quick when you have the batter ready (so I read somewhere – oh, in one magazine while waiting far too long at the hairdresser – I waited far too long to go to the hairdresser in the first place – the hair was already starting to curl).
Have a suitable baking tray ready, lined with baking parchment and let the batter flow on it – ready to go to the oven – oh, that looks quit puny (the tray was just too big). No, I can’t do that, so I whipped up the same amount of batter again (luckily or not luckily (?), I still had sufficient eggs available).
Now then, all goes on the tray and into the oven for 30 minutes.

You see, if you buy the cake bases ready, you can forget about this.
At this point I have to tell you, I never have been to the Blackforest, but I have eaten quite some Blackforest Gateaux (not whole ones myself, though).
The following are now the ingredients you could use also to do a normal size Blackforest Gateaux (by the way, German: Schwarzwälderkirschtorte).

Ingredients (final line up):
The above mentioned sponges (bought or self-made)
600 g glass of sour cherries (don’t worry if the glass is smaller)
2 tablespoons of kirschwasser (cherry brandy)
4 tablespoons of corn starch
75 g sugar
600 ml whipping cream
(if available (at German shops): 3 sachets of Sahnesteif (or something that aids you in getting the cream right) – or simply try it without)
4 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
100 g of hazelnut brittle
Some Maraschino cherries for decoration

Now you will say: “Of course, he goes for this, there is alcohol in it.” I’m not 100% sure in how many of posts alcohol occurs, but just in case someone checks it, let me now!

Attempting to put things together:
Get the juice of your glass of cherries in a pot and put three tablespoons of the juice in a small cup together with the corn starch and mix properly.
Bring the pot to the boil after you have added the sugar (or better to say: bring the juice with the sugar to boil). Then add the juice mixed with the corn starch and the kirschwasser and bring to boil again. Remove all from the heat, add the cherries to it and leave to cool down (in the fridge, maybe?).
Use a scone cutter, a glass, or something you like, to cut circles from the sponges.

I ended up with 12, which were a bit too many to deal with, but I had to half them all in the middle, because they were to thick.
Relax a bit, while the cherries still need time to cool down, you might need it as well.
If you are ready again, put the cream (directly from the fridge) in a bowl. Whip it for 30 seconds. Sieve in the icing sugar, vanilla sugar and the aid for the cream and continue whipping until the cream is … eh … whipped completely.
Now the we have managed so far, we can put things together.
We start with a sponge circle, put some cherry jelly with cherries on it, throw on it a teaspoon of whipped cream. Then we flatten it slightly by putting on another sponge circle, while we repeat the cherry and cream procedure. Finally (oh, oh, not so final) we get a third sponge on it. Cover the whole thing with cream afterwards using maybe a knife to smoothen things at the sides. If things have worked out so far, try to get some of the hazelnut brittle sticking on the cakes. The real finale is the a Maraschino cherry in the middle.

Well, this is an awful lot of work, if you are going to do 8 of them. I kind of stopped after four. I already saw the cream would not make it to finish them all due to me being so generous with it.
The next attempt then was to do them with a layer less, which of course also doesn’t make any sense, because of the cream.

In a last-ditch effort to use things up, I made some Blackforest Gateaux sandwiches.

The only thing that remained was some of the cherry jelly, because I use more than I stated  above. So I might come up with an idea what to do with it later. If I’m in the mood I let you know.

Conclusion: Things got quite messy in the kitchen today, but if you are a patient person and have some time, and like to conjure up something nice for a party, you might want to have a go at these Mini Blackforest Gateaux or … simply do a normal sized one.

Now I have to do an update on June 26th 2014 for the World Cup and Bloggers Around the World as Germany is playing today.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, as for the eating it is true.

  2. They look fab! I did't realise it was a German recipe, I guess the word gateaux confused me.

    1. Well ... eh ... yes, that is confusing. The real name, though, is Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, while the Schwarzwald is a region in Southern Germany.


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