PUBLISHED: 13:23 05 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:01 30 August 2017

GBBO black forest gateau showstopper

Tonight’s retro showstopper is that 1970s classic – the Black Forest Gateau which is not a cake at all but a German dessert.

LIFE Food Editor, Susan Clark challenged her local coffee shop – The Coffee Cabin in Appledore, North Devon - which has just won a Gold Taste of the West award - to make their version of this showstopping classic and this is it with baker, Richard (left), his partner Martin (right) and barista Jess. (needless to say it sold out in minutes).

If you want to bake along with the GBBO contestants tonight, here’s our easy recipe for Black Forest Gateau. Tweet your pix and don’t forget to use the #GBBO hashtag.

Easy Black Forest Gateau

To make the sponge:

6 large eggs

140g soft light brown sugar

60g cocoa powder

To make the signature filling:

700g morello cherries in syrup

3 tbsp kirsch

500ml double cream

50g icing sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

300g morello cherry jam

For the decorative chocolate shavings:

25g dark chocolate, to decorate

- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and grease or paper the base of a 20cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin.

- To make your sponge, separate your eggs and whisk the yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until they thicken. Sieve in the cocoa powder, add a pinch of salt and fold in.

- Whisk the whites in a separate clean bowl, until stiff but not dry. Fold a little of these into the yolk mixture to loosen it, then gently fold in the remainder taking care not to knock out the all the air.

- Carefully spoon the sponge mix into your prepared cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 35-40 minutes, until puffed up and set on top. Leave to cool in the tin; it will sink slightly, but don’t worry.

- Drain the cherries, retaining the syrup. Mix 100ml of it with the kirsch.

- Cut the now cool cake into three horizontal slices and place gently on three separate plates. Spoon half the syrup over the slices and leave to absorb, adding more once it has all disappeared.

- Whip the cream until thick, then sift in the icing sugar and add the vanilla extract. Whisky again until you have a thick but spreadable consistency.

To assemble the cake:

Set aside 12 cherries to decorate the top.

- Put your first sponge layer on the cake board or stand and Spread with a quarter of the jam, a fifth of the cream and a quarter of the remaining cherries.

- Place the second sponge layer carefully on top – press down gently - and repeat with the jam, cream and cherries. Do the same with the third and final sponge layer.

- Use a palette knife to spread the last of the cream over the top of the final sponge layer. Go to town and create big waves and swirls.

- Grate chocolate curls generously over this layer of cream, and arrange the remaining cherries around the edge.

- Chill for an hour before serving.

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