Guilty secret time. I have been known to buy one of those 99p frozen supermarket Black Forest Gateaux and eat the entire thing in about 20 minutes. I LOVE Black Forest Gateaux! In times of stress I reach for one of those and a fork. Today has been very stressful. Suffice to say it involved calling 6 different helpline numbers who all told me I had to speak to a different number before eventually putting me through to the first number. Joy. I needed cake in a serious way.
I’ve been thinking about making these for a while now. Traditionally a Black Forest Gateaux would need to be made with whipped cream but we didn’t have space in the fridge to store them so I opted for buttercream instead. If you were making these for a party though I would suggest topping them with whipped cream as the flavours all go together so well. Also if making these for kids you don’t have to put the Kirsch in. For those of you trying to be good in the run up to Christmas the I have it on good authority from my mother that they taste great topped with creme fraiche as a low-fat alternative and they look pretty good too!*
For the cakes:
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp Kirsch
200g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
For the toppings:
1 ~425g tin cherries
2 tbsp Kirsch
5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp arrowroot powder
80g unsalted butter, softened
180g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1-2 tbsp milk
12 natural coloured glace cherries
– Heat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
– Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
– Gradually add the eggs, beating well between additions. Aim to do this in about 6 stages for best results.
– Stir in the Kirsch.
– Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold in.
– Divide equally between the 12 cases.
– Bake for 20-25 minutes, testing with a skewer or tooth pick to see if they’re done.
– Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
– Meanwhile separate the cherries from the juice they came in and place the juice and 5 tbsp sugar in a small pan. Pour 1 tbsp of Kirsch over the cherries.
– Gently heat the juice until the sugar has dissolved then boil rapidly for at least 5 minutes.
– Remove from the heat. In a small dish mix together the arrowroot powder and last tbsp of Kirsch. Add this to the pan.
– Return the pan to the heat, stirring constantly until the white colour has gone and bring to boiling point.
– Remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring until the sauce has thickened.
– Add the cherries to the sauce and allow to cool a little.
– Trim any domes from the cupcakes, leaving a flat surface.
– In the centre of each cupcake use a paring knife to cut a circle and remove a core from the cake leaving a hole.
– Add a spoonful of cherries and sauce to fill each hole. My tin had enough for exactly 3 cherries per cake. Allow to stand for a minute or two then add more of the sauce.
– In a small bowl mix together the butter and 80g of icing sugar until smooth.
– Add the rest of the icing sugar, the vanilla and 1 tbsp of milk.
– Mix together until totally smooth adding more milk if necessary.
– Pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcake, sprinkle with chocolate and add a glace cherry.
*Here is the low-fat(ish) version: