Black Forest Gateau Muffins

During a coffee break at work the other day we were talking about Black Forest Gateau, how exactly you make it, if it’s a lot of work and so on. Although what with the Black Forest being just round the corner from where we live and work, you’d think we should know all about it, really… As we all know by now, I shy away from stuff that’s a lot of work in the kitchen sometimes, so while we were talking, my brain was already trying to figure out how to do this one the easy way. And I came up with muffins, so I promised to try it that night and bring them to the office the next day.

The base of the Black Forest Gateau is a sponge cake, and I used the same recipe I made the Chocolate Kisses from last month. This makes a very airy and fluffy sponge, and I added some cocoa powder to it for this version.

A proper Black Forest Gateau requires kirsch, and I made a little mistake with that. I added it to the batter, which changed the consistency. Instead of fluffy it turned out firmer, I would even go so far as to describe it as a bit rubbery. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted really good, but next time I’ll add the kirsch the proper way as described below to keep the sponge fluffy.

Black Forest Gateau Muffins

4 eggs, separated
125 g sugar
80 g flour
50 g cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
1 glass morello cherries, or fresh cherries (stones removed)
3 tsp unsweetened chocolate powder

200 g Philadelphia cream cheese
100 – 150 g icing sugar
chocolate shavings
cocktail cherries

First of all, if you’re using cherries from a glass, drain them so they will be ready for use later on.

Beat the egg whites with 3 tbsp cold water until stiff.  Let the sugar trickle in while still beating.  Fold in the egg yolks next.  Then fold in flour, cornstarch, baking powder and cocoa powder.

Place cupcake forms into a 12-hole muffin tin, and pour batter into the forms. Pop 3 – 4 cherries into each one.  Bake for 20 minutes at 200ºC.

After the cupcakes have cooled down, spoon some kirsch over each cupcake and let it seep in.

[As I added the kirsch to the batter, I don’t really have a quantity for this, but for the kirsch to be discernible you’d need at least 1 tsp per cupcake. I would go for 1½ – 2 tsps.]

For the topping, mix Philadelphia with the icing sugar, and pipe onto the cupcakes. Garnish with grated chocolate and a cocktail cherry. [Traditionally it would be dark chocolate for a Black Forest Gateau but I used milk chocolate. Also, it would be cream on top, not cream cheese, but I wanted this to have a muffin/cupcake touch, and the cream cheese keeps better than cream.]

These were lovely to go with our afternoon coffee, not as large – nor as calorific, hopefully – as a piece of Black Forest Gateau, but still a bit of decadence in the middle of a working day.