I have to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of black forest gateau. I think it’s because it seems like such a 1980’s dessert. I’ve never liked dairy cream either, so the thought of eating a cake that’s so heavily dosed with thick whipped cream has never really floated my boat. However, I am a fan of chocolate and fresh cherries. Very much so indeed! So when my Mum gave me a punnet of perfectly ripe fresh cherries that needed to be used up I figured I’d have a bash at making a version of black forest gateau that I could actually enjoy.
Now according to the Monash app, a serving of 3 cherries (21g) is a yellow traffic light for fructose. A serving higher than 3 cherries (42g) becomes a red for fructose and a yellow for polyols, so if those are categories which cause you issues I’d exercise caution with the quantity of fresh cherries and cherry jam you use. However, if you’re fine with these categories it’s full steam ahead!
I used my standard sweet potato based chocolate sponge for this black forest gateau because it makes a gorgeous, moist, rich cake which works really well with the sweet ripe cherries and the whipped cream. I think the advent of a number of non-dairy creams that are now available on the market has really expanded my appreciation of creamy things, such as stroganoffs. Whereas once I would have given them a wide berth, now I’m willing to try making them myself and it’s really opening my eyes to a lot of recipes. The cream for this black forest gateau is simply made from coconut cream that’s been mixed with icing sugar, but if you don’t have a problem with dairy you could just use whipped double cream.
This black forest gateau is really easy to make and rewards you with beautifully moist chocolate sponge layers which are thinly spread with cherry jam, wrapped in a duvet of whipped cream, topped with fresh, ripe cherry halves and finished with a generous dusting of grated dark chocolate. It’s no wonder really, that in the all-encompassing cake world it’s considered an immortal.
420g raw sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into small pieces)
150ml vegetable oil
100g gluten-free flour
200g brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
140ml rice milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
170g black cherries (halved and pitted)
100g cherry jam (optional)
Non-dairy cream (I used the coconut cream from a really good quality tin of coconut milk and mixed it with 3 tbsps of icing sugar)
Grated dark chocolate
Put a tin of coconut milk in the fridge to cool.
Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F/Gas mark 5.
Line two 9″ cake tins with greaseproof paper.
Peel your sweet potato and cut them into small cubes (about 2cm square). Place on a plate and cook on high in the microwave until the sweet potato is soft. Leave to cool down a bit.
Make your coconut cream by opening the tin of chilled coconut milk, pouring out the coconut milk and putting the solidified coconut cream in a bowl. Mix 3 tbsps of icing sugar into the coconut cream.
Keeping the decorative jam, cherries and coconut cream aside, put all of the cake ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Once the mixture is fully combined, spoon into the cake tins (making sure there’s an equal amount in each) and bake in the oven for 40-50 mins (or until a skewer pushed into the middle of the cakes comes out clean).
Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before topping one of the cakes with jam, coconut cream and a third of the cherries. Lay the second cake on top and coat it with jam, the rest of the cream and the rest of the cherries before scattering with icing sugar and the grated dark chocolate. Serve.