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Classic German Chocolate Cream Gateau

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Classic Chocolate Gateau 

Back in the 80-ties an aunty made cakes – big cakes and she made a chocolate gateau as well. A simple chocolate sponge with a chocolate cream. This cake is typical German, not too rich on ingredients, simple to make and just chocolate. 

This cake is inspired by these kind of simple gateau’s I know from the 80-ties, just yummy and I made it in the morning, ready for tea time in the afternoon.

Here some tips for making this cake.

  • If you have time, prepare the sponge, the short pastry layer and the cream the day before you build the cake together.
  • For decoration you can use any chocolate pieces or any other kind of decoration. I kept it simple and just dresses some cream roses on each piece.
  • You can add some flavor to the syrup like some coffee or some alcohol, Irish liquor or rum fit well.
Classic Chocolate Gateau

Sponge cake as it came out of the oven. 

Classic Chocolate Gateau

The shortbread layer before baking.

Classic Chocolate Gateau

the sponge cut in 3 layers.

Classic Chocolate Gateau

The cake with the bottom shortbread layer, the jam and the first sponge layer.

Classic Chocolate Gateau

the cake with the second sponge layer.

Classic Chocolate Gateau

The layers of the cake. If you make more cream you can make the cream layers thicker.

Classic Chocolate Gateau

The cake cut open to show the layers.


Classic German Chocolate Cream Gateau

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 16

This is a traditional chocolate cake as you can find it nearly at any party, at least in the 80ties this was the case. It is simple and easy to make and has a nice chocolate flavour.
For the Sponge:
  • 8 medium free range eggs
  • 200 g sugar
  • some vanilla extract
  • 130 g flour, best high grade, but all purpose flour is fine as well
  • 130 g cornstarch
  • 20 g baking powder
  • 40 g cacao powder
For the Cream
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 200 g milk chocolate
  • 800 g cream
For the Sugar Syrup
  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 g water
For the short bread layer
  • 100 g flour
  • 50 g butter
  • 25 g sugar
  • Some jam, apricot, cherry or the flavor you like.
  • Some chocolate for decoration or any other decoration you like.
For the Sponge:
  1. Preheat your oven to 175C / 350 F, top and bottom heat.
  2. Separate the eggs and beat the whites until they are stiff.
  3. Beat the yolks with the sugar and vanilla for 5-8 minutes until it is a thick creamy mass.
  4. In a separate bowl sift the flour, starch, cacao and baking powder.
  5. Add the egg white to the yolk and mix carefully. Add the flour mixture and incorporate slightly, so it is just mixed. Be careful, do not over mix. I always do this by hand not with the machine.
  6. Use a 26cm pan with baking paper and fill in the dough. bake for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Let rest in the pan for 20 minutes before taking out and let cool down on a rack.
  8. If you prepare a day before, wrap in cling wrap once cooled down.
For the short bread
  1. Mix the ingredients until smooth, best with your hand.
  2. Roll out to a 26cm circle.
  3. bake at 175 degree for about 10 minutes until the edges turn slightly brown.
  4. You can prepare this while the sponge is baking and then bake after the sponge is ready.
For the cream:
  1. Bring the cream to a boil.
  2. Put the chocolate in small pieces in a bowl and pour the hot cream over it.
  3. I use a hand blender to ensure the chocolate melts properly and is mixed well.
  4. Cover with some wrap and let cool down. Place in the fridge for minimum 6 hours, best over night.
For the Syrup:
  1. Place water and sugar in a sauce pan and let boil for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Set aside and let cool down.
Build the cake together.
  1. Cut the sponge cake twice so you have 3 equal thick layers.
  2. Beat the chocolate cream in a mixer until it becomes nice creamy and thick. Do not over mix. Put some cream aside for decoration.
  3. Place the shortbread on a cake board and spread the jam on top of it.
  4. Soak the top layer of the sponge from both sides with ⅓ of the syrup. Place with the cut side on the jam.
  5. spread ⅓ of the cream on top of the cake and place the next sponge layer on top of it.
  6. Soak this layer with syrup and repeat with the cream and the top layer.
  7. Take care the layers are centered over each other, or use a cake from to place them over each other.
  8. Spread the rest of the cream over the cake, beginning with the sides.
  9. Place the cake in the fridge and let it cool.
  10. Now you can decorate your cake.
  11. I use a thread to mark 16 pieces on top of the cake, that helps with the decoration.
  12. Let the cake rest in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving.


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