Off Duty

As we start leaving behind the summer, barbecues and ice cream, we become more and more excited for indulging ourselves in hot soups and delicious desserts, so I thought I’d give you something to tantalise those tastebuds ready for autumn…

Textures of Black Forest

Serves 4

For the cake


340g/12oz golden caster sugar

340g/12oz unsalted butter

6 eggs

240g/8 1/2oz self-raising flour, sifted

100g/3 1/2oz cocoa


Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed cake tin then dust with a little plain flour and shake off any excess. Line the tin with greaseproof paper. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time then fold in the flour and the cocoa powder. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the surface with a knife and bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour – 1 hour 45 minutes until firm and springy. To test if the cake is done, insert a clean skewer into the middle of the cake – if it comes out clean then the cake is ready. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

For the Chocolate crème


100g milk

150g cream

30g egg yolk

50g sugar

130g dark chocolate 70% coca


Add milk and cream to a mixing bowl and gently stir. Mix the egg yolk and sugar together in a separate bowl. Pour the milk and cream mix into the egg mix and stir. Return to the pan and heat to 82c or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon Mix chocolate until smooth and shiny, pour into a tub to set for at least 1 hour.

Crushed Pistachios

50g whole raw pistachios, chopped roughly



100g egg whites

200g caster sugar


Whip up egg whites until soft peaks and shower in the sugar.  Whisk until thick and smooth. If it’s good it should hold a point or turn it upside down to test. Pipe into desired shape. Bake at 125c for one hour and leave to cool.


Assemble as shown in picture, add fresh cherries to garnish and enjoy.

Dave is head chef and business partner at Peace & Loaf, 217 Jesmond Road, Newcastle, NE2 1LA. Tel: 0191 2815222