Angela Day cherries, cherry. Black Forest Cake. 01 . Picture: Steve Lawrence

London - Champagne has protected its name against cheap imitations. Now the classic - if not exactly classy - Black Forest gateau has been granted protected status.

The Seventies favourite is made from chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream and cherries soaked in kirsch schnapps. The cake gets its name from the tart cherries which grow in the Black Forest in Germany.

Now, the German region of Baden-Württemberg has persuaded the European Commission to grant “protection of its origin” to the cakes.

This will prevent rivals from selling cheap imitations. Naturally, locals are overjoyed to have reclaimed the brand.

Over the years, liberties have been taken with the classic Black Forest recipe. Delia Smith recommended using any old cherry brandy you had to hand, while the UK’s Beefeater chain sells a ‘Black Forest’ ice cream sundae. -