CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Surrey Life columnist Louise Johncox’s perfect Black Forest Gateau recipe

13:19 19 October 2015

Louise's Black Forest Gateau

Louise's Black Forest Gateau


Fancy freshening up your recipe book this autumn? Well, we’ve challenged three of Surrey’s top chefs to showcase the flavours of the season with their own individual flourish. As well as a hearty pumpkin soup and a delicate dish with in-season scallops, we also have a decadent gateau; all perfect for warming up with after a bracing stroll...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2015


Join us On the Tea Shop Trail


Serves: 8-10

Who better to bring the dessert to the table than Surrey Life’s On the Tea Shop Trail columnist Louise Johncox? This take on an iconic cake is one of the offerings from her own book, The Baker’s Daughter.



For the sponge

50g chocolate, broken into pieces

225g butter, plus extra for greasing

4 large eggs

150g caster sugar

100g plain flour

15g cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

5-6 tbsp Kirsch


For the filling and decoration

410g can of black cherries in syrup, stoned

300ml whipping cream

1 tsp caster sugar

100g chocolate vermicelli



• Preheat the oven to 180ºC / gas mark 4. Grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line them with baking parchment.

• Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

• Put the butter, eggs and sugar in a large bowl and whisk the ingredients together until the mixture is light and creamy. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder twice into another bowl, then fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Next, blend in the melted chocolate.

• Divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared tins. Bake for around 35 minutes. Leave the sponges to cool down in the tins for five minutes, then tip them out onto a wire rack. When the sponges are fully cool, sprinkle half the Kirsch on top of them.

• Now prepare the filling. Mix the remaining Kirsch into the cherries. Whip the cream until it is thick, then mix in the caster sugar.

• Place about half of the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle. Place one cake onto a cake board or plate and pipe a line of cream around the edge of the cake. Fill the area inside this line with half the cherries. Place the second sponge on top. Now cover the sides of the gateau with cream – use a palette knife to do this. Next, give this layer of cream a good coating of chocolate vermicelli. Pipe cream in large shells around the top edge of the gateau and fill the area inside this row of shells with the remaining cherries.


Baker’s tip:

If you fancy an alcohol-infused cake, you can marinate 410g of bottled cherries in 350ml cherry brandy to replace canned cherries.


More autumn recipes from Surrey chefs:

Andrew Maxwell’s pumpkin and red pepper soup with Dolcelatte and parma ham straws

Steve Drake’s roast scallops with pink grapefruit, sweet potato and chorizo



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Surrey visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Surrey staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Surrey account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Thu, 21:29

Nobody turns down a free lunch, right? Well, strangely, as it turns out, plenty of us do – walking past nature’s bounty completely oblivious to the treats in store. Sebastian Oake takes us on a journey into the wonderful world of foraging

Read more
Thu, 21:08

With summer feeling like a distant memory, Surrey Life restaurant reviewer Matthew Williams seeks an escape to sunnier climes at East Molesey’s hotly-tipped Mezzet Dar – and post-tapas discovers one of the most unusual cheesecakes around. All will become clear…

Read more
Thu, 20:40

Hot on the heels of picking up the ‘Pride of Surrey’ trophy at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2016, The Clink Charity went international during the Paralympic games in Brazil.

Read more
Friday, October 7, 2016

Dorking usually conjures images of sprawling vines, antiques shops and the iconic Box Hill - rather than, say, goats. But its all about the kids this month, as a new foodie initiative sets out to tackle a worldwide problem. Matthew Williams speaks to food-loving, waste-hating Goatober organiser Beckie Wingrove

Read more
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Visitors and villagers were left wondering about the strength of the new brews taking shape at Hogs Back Brewery, when a mysterious flying object suddenly appeared floating above their heads.

Read more
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The rise and rise of Surrey wines looks set to continue, as vineyards from across our county report that the signs are good for a top quality 2016 harvest.

Read more
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Simon Lewis, CEO at Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd considers how to cook up a good return in the food and drink sector...

Read more
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

If cooking seafood leaves you feeling a bit like, well, a fish out of water, Abinger Cookery School has the answer. Surrey Life’s Pete Gardner joined their one-day Seafood Secrets course to learn the tricks of the trade

Read more
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It’s been all change at Ripley’s restaurants recently, but in a few short years, the latest incarnation of The Anchor has become a much-admired and comforting part of the village furniture. Matthew Williams visits the historic gastropub and finds a relaxed eatery, confident of its place in the grand scheme of things

Read more
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A record-breaking number of votes from Surrey Life readers and the general public meant that this year’s Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards judging panel has never had tougher decisions to make. Here we announce the winners

Read more
Friday, September 9, 2016

This special award recognises individuals who have promoted and worked with Surrey produce for a number of year – it’s the only award chosen purely by the judges

Read more
Friday, September 9, 2016

This award aims to recognise those who show an exceptional awareness of produce and have the knowledge and expertise to use their ingredients to create sensational, seasonal menus

Read more
Friday, September 9, 2016

We were looking for an exciting dining destination that offers an overall experience of excellence, with quality offered on all fronts whatever the cuisine

Read more
Friday, September 9, 2016

The winner of this category needed to stock local ales, have an inventive wine list and know exactly what is required to keep the regulars coming back

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Surrey Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search