Zuger kirschtorte with blackberries, almonds and double kirsch

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Danny Kingston serves up his own spin on a Zuger kirschtorte, using seasonal blackberries in the buttercream for an autumnal twist on the sweet Swiss treat. This is a labour-intensive bake, but the results are well worth it.

First published in 2018
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Kirsch syrup

  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 100ml of water
  • 50ml of kirsch

To decorate


First you need to macerate the blackberries for the buttercream. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle over 25g of icing sugar and the kirsch. Mix and set aside
  • 200g of blackberries
  • 50ml of kirsch
  • 25g of icing sugar, sifted
To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Take two sheets of greaseproof paper and using a 20cm cake ring as a template, draw a circle on each one
Place the eggs whites in a clean bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat the egg whites with 20g of the icing sugar to begin with. Whisk until you get stiff peaks and then in a separate bowl, sift in the remaining icing sugar, ground almonds and cornflour
Gently fold the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites, a third at a time – do not over-work. Carefully spoon the mix onto each sheet of greaseproof paper, spooning to the edges of the drawn circles
Place in the oven and bake for 40–50 minutes, until the meringue is crisp and golden. Switch the oven off and leave to cool
The meringue will overlap the edge of the circles during cooking, so to get a neater edge, place the cake ring over the top and run a sharp knife around the inside to trim
To make your sponge, grease the same 20cm cake tin with some butter and line the base with greaseproof paper
Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time until incorporated, then fold in the flour
Spoon the sponge mix into the cake tin and then place into the oven (keeping it at 170°C/gas mark 3) and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a cake skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool a touch before removing and placing on a cooling rack
Make the syrup by putting the sugar and water in a small pan. Bring to the boil, stirring to ensure that the sugar dissolves, then set aside
Now make the buttercream. First, take the macerated blackberries and place them in a sieve, using a bowl underneath to catch the liquid. Press down with a fork, squeezing out all the juice and remaining Kirsch
Place the softened butter in a bowl with the icing sugar and beat with an electric mixer for at least 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Slowly pour in the blackberry juice and continue mixing, until it turns a light pink colour
To build your kirschtorte, place one of the meringue discs on a plate or cake stand and spread a generous amount of the buttercream over the top – just under half of the buttercream
Place the sponge cake on top of the buttercream and lightly pierce the top with a skewer (don’t go all the way through). Using a pastry brush or spoon, soak the sponge with the kirsch syrup
Spread the other meringue disc with the same amount of buttercream as before – you want to have a little left over – and then invert and press down onto the sponge
Finish by decorating the meringue with small, piped amounts of buttercream and then pop a blackberry on top. Scatter some Demerara sugar and some toasted almond flakes over the top and serve at room temperature – maybe with some more kirsch
First published in 2018

Danny is a food adventurer, home grower, supper club host and writer of the entertaining and quirky epicurean blog, Food Urchin.

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