Saturday, June 23, 2012

Twist on a Black Forest Gateau

Earlier this month I entered a competition called The Great British Cake Off at the Great British Food Festival in Warrington. The category I decided to enter was 'Twist on a Classic'. After giving it absolutely loads of thought I decided to do a twist on a black forest gateau as I had been really looking for an excuse to make this undervalued retro cake for aaaaages.

I had to think long and hard about what the 'twist' was going to be. I initially wanted to do a lemony white chocolate raspberry version but initial taste tests suggested this was going to be the most gross cake ever. So in the end my fate was decided when Bailey came home with a bottle of Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur and I decided to do a Raspberry Black Forest Gateau.

Making the cake was lots of fun and it wasn't rushed at all as I was on my half term holidays so I very much enjoyed the bake. I took it very slowly and made sure everything was done properly and I was quite pleased with how my sponges turned out - lovely and flat and even. It was also the yummiest cake batter ever!

I was pretty proud of myself for trying out for the first time some tempered chocolate, as inspired by our lesson from the Pastry King and as per usual when trying out a new technique, this was no where near as difficult as I'd anticipated. As a guide I used The Guardian's How and Why to Temper Chocolate article and had of course gone for the category entitled 'The Microwave method for people with jobs, children, pets, friends, or a train to catch'. If the microwave is good enough for the Pastry King, it's good enough for me. Anyway these turned out ACE, and I will definitely be tempering chocolate again.

So I was feeling quite smug thinking my cake was the absolute cat's pyjamas, but I soon realised things weren't going to quite go to plan. Firstly, how on earth was I going to get such a tall cake all the way to Warrington in one piece?

Well the answer to that is, I wasn't. I was going to have to take it in two parts then assemble the cake on arrival. Not easy when you've got sponges soaked in a load of liqueur.

So I went off with the top part of my cake - with first layer of tempered chocolate attached - in one box and bottom part of cake in another box and I brought with me the second layer of tempered chocolate and my icing piper thingy. This would prove problematic at the food festival as my cake was nigh on impossible to get out of the box without it falling apart. Oh, and then my extra tempered chocolate bits melted. Hence the reason it only had the tempered chocolate around the top and ended up looking like some kind of insane crown.

Oh well it was a learning curve! I had loads of fun making this cake and taking part in the competition. I was quite happy with how the cake came out overall and I have to say I won a prize not to be sniffed at - third place! I was super happy and really enjoyed the bottle of bubbly I was given. Roll on next competition!


For the icing and filling
2 large punnets raspberries
200ml Chambord
600ml double cream
400g dark chocolate

For the cake
340g golden caster sugar
340g butter
6 eggs
240g self- raising flour
100g cocoa powder

Temper the chocolate the night before. Cover a board with cling film. Pop 200g of the chocolate in the microwave until almost melted with a few unmelted bits in. Stir well until completely smooth. Using a spoon, put thick 'smears' of melted chocolate on the board. Put in the fridge to cool.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Soak the raspberries in the Chambord. Grease and line 3 small cake tins with greaseproof paper. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together.

Add the eggs one at a time and stir well.

Sift in the flour and combine.

Sift in the cocoa powder and stir well until you have a nice smooth batter.

Spoon the cake mixture into the tins and use a spoon to make sure the surface of the batters are nice and flat and even.

Bake the cakes for around 30 minutes until the sponges are nicely baked and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes before putting on a wire rack to cool.

Heat the 200ml of the double cream in a pan.

Add the rest of the chocolate to the pan and stir until melted. Place in the fridge to cool.

Meanwhile, separate the raspberries and the Chambord. Soak each sponge in the Chambord.

Whip up the remaining double cream until stiff. Spread the first sponge with a thin layer of chocolate icing.

Spread the sponge carefully with the whipped cream.

Top neatly with raspberries.

Take the next sponge and put a little bit of cream on the bottom so that it sticks to the raspberries underneath.

Place on top of the sponge you've just decorated.

Repeat the process and top the second sponge with chocolate icing, cream and raspberries. Pop the last sponge on top and neatly cover in a thicker layer of the chocolate icing. Load some chocolate icing into a piping bag and pipe some pretty little bits of chocolate icing around the edges of the cake. Use the chocolate icing to stick the tempered chocolate all around the cake (don't let them melt before you finish doing this like I did!) then serve!

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