If you are a chocolate lover, this recipe is for you! I wanted to revisit the classic dessert Black Forest, and I ended up with a chocolate and cherries cake (so without chantilly and with a very light Kirch flavor).

The chocolate taste is predominant and quite intense and the cherries confit brings freshness to the dessert. I chose to work with the Manjari dark chocolate of Valrhona, that has delicate fruity notes.

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This cake is made of:

  • chocolate cake
  • almond crunch
  • ladyfingers sponge (soaked with light syrup)
  • cherries confit
  • chocolate mousse
  • chocolate frosting

Chocolate cake

This cake is very moist and has an intense taste of chocolate. You can use the same recipe to make a pound cake if you wish, you just need to multiply the quantities of ingredients below by 2 or 3 and cook it at 150°C for 35 to 45 minutes (depending on the size of you loaf pan).

Chocolate cake

This cake is very moist and has an intense taste of chocolate. You can use the same recipe to make a pound cake if you wish, you just need to multiply the quantities of ingredients below by 2 or 3 and cook it at 150°C for 35 to 45 minutes (depending on the size of you loaf pan).

Print Recipe
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 0 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 12 slices
Calories 230 kcal

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Saucepan
  • Stand mixer with the flat beater
  • Round pan (22cm diameter)
  • Baking paper
  • Sifter
  • Basting brush

Ingredients
  

  • 20 g Dark chocolate Manjari 64% of Valrhona
  • 40 g Butter
  • 1 pinch Fleur de sel French sea salt
  • 110 g Eggs 2 eggs
  • 25 g Acacia honey
  • 50 g White sugar
  • 33 g Almond powder
  • 53 g Flour Type 45
  • 3 g Baking powder
  • 10 g Cocoa powder
  • 53 g Whipping cream 35% milk fat
  • 10 g Kirch Optionnal

Instructions
 

  • Melt the chocolate pistoles together with the butter cut into small cubes using a double boiler (Bain-Marie) or microwave (not recommeded). The temperature must not exceed 50°C.
  • Add the salt.
  • Preheat the oven at 170°C.
  • Place the sugar and honey in the bowl of the stand mixer equipped with the flat beater. Add the eggs one by one and mix.
  • Add the almond powder and combine.
  • Sieve the flour TOGETHER with the baking powder and the cocoa powder.
  • Add them to the previous mixture.
  • Add the cream and the Kirch.
  • Add the melted butter and chocolate (just warm).
  • Grease the pan with little melted butter (use the brush). Cut and place parchment paper that fits in the bottom of the pan. Flour the pan and remove the excess flour.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 160°C (check the doneness with a toothpick it has to come out clean).

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below to see the use of this preparation.
Keyword Batter, Chocolate

Streusel for almond crunch

The streusel is very simple to realize, and adds a nice texture and taste to the cakes. It can be used plain to decorate them, or mixed with chocolate to form a crunchy base, or mixed with praliné / almond butter… and spread over any moist cake. You can freeze it raw (better) or cooked (but you will need to warm it for a couple of minutes before using it. 

Streusel for almond crunch

The streusel is very simple to realize, and adds a nice texture and taste to the cakes. It can be used plain to decorate them, or mixed with chocolate to form a crunchy base, or mixed with praliné / almond butter… and spread over any moist cake. You can freeze it raw (better) or cooked (but you will need to warm it for a couple of minutes before using it.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 150 g

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Stainless steel mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 40 g Butter
  • 40 g Almond powder
  • 40 g Flour
  • 40 g Cassonade Unrefined cane brown sugar
  • 0.5 g Fleur de sel French sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Bring the butter cut into cubes to room temperature.
  • Combine with the almond powder, salt and cassonade sugar.
  • Add the flour and combine.
  • Break into pea size pieces and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 150/160°C until getting golden color.

Notes

  
Keyword Crunch, Streusel

Almond crunch

For this cake, I used dark chocolate. But you can adapt the recipe and use it for other cakes, replace the dark chocolate with milk or white chocolate (you need to put 20% more), flavor it with vanilla, green lemon zests… This mixture can be prepared in advance and stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, or frozen. Whenever you need it just unfreeze it (in the refrigerator) and let it soften at room temperature for a white before spreading it on your cakes.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Resting Time 0 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 12 slices

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Saucepan
  • Stainless steel mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 35 g Plain almond butter
  • 35 g Streusel* Please check recipe above
  • 25 g Dark chocolate Manjari 64% of Valrhona
  • 10 g Feuilletine flakes "Gavottes" biscuit available in supermarket*
  • 1 pinch Fleur de sel French sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Melt the chocolate at 45°C using double boiler or microwave (not recommended).
  • Add the almond butter. The almond butter can be prepared at home by roasting raw almonds kernels for 15 minutes at 150°C, then mixing them (once cool) with high-speed blender until getting a smooth and creamy paste.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
Keyword Almond, Crunch

Cherries confit

This confit is really easy to prepare, but its taste depends on the quality of the fruit puree. You can get it from shops selling bakery ingredients, either frozen or just pasteurized. I prefer the latter as I pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it, it’s more convenient to use than the big block of frozen puree. You can also get the puree by blending fresh cherries and straining it.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 6 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 12 slices
Calories 210 kcal

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Round pan (approx. 18cm diameter)
  • Cling wrap

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g Cherry puree
  • 40 g White sugar
  • 5 g Pectin NH
  • 8 g Lemon juice
  • 10 pieces Fresh cherries

Instructions
 

  • Heat the cherry puree in the saucepan.
  • Mix the sugar with the pectin. Add them to the hot fruit puree and stir using a whisk.
  • Bring to boil and continue cooking for 1 minutes and stir from time to time.
  • Add the lemon juice.
  • Cover the bottom of the round pan with cling wrap. Pour the confit in it and add the fresh cherries cut in quarters. It should be around 1cm thick.
  • Cover with cling wrap and let it set in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
* Please refer to the Tips page.
Keyword Cherry, Confit

Ladyfingers sponge

We all know the ladyfingers, these long biscuits traditionally used to prepare tiramisu and charlottes. I like to use them in tarts and entremets, soaked with a light syrup, to add a moist texture and also to make the desserts lighter.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Resting Time 0 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 1 circle
Calories 70 kcal

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Sifter
  • Stand mixer with whip
  • Spatula
  • Piping bag with 7mm round nozzle

Ingredients
  

  • 35 g Egg white The white of a medium egg, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 20 g Egg yolk The yolk of a medium egg
  • 22 g Granulated sugar
  • 12 g Flour
  • 12 g Corn starch

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven at 210°C.
  • Sift the flour with the corn starch.
  • Place the egg whites (at room temperature preferably) in the bowl of the stand mixer equipped with the whip.
  • Whisk the egg whites with the salt and add the sugar in three times until it forms a soft peak on the whip (a meringue).
  • Add the egg yolk and use the spatula to combine gently, in order not to "break" the egg whites meringue.
  • Add the flour and corn startch using the spatula and make sure it's perfectly combined to the eggs mixture, without overworking the batter.
  • Pour the mixture into the piping bag, and pipe a 18cm circle, starting in the centre and spiralling out towards the edge.
  • Bake for 8 minutes.
  • Let it cool.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
* Please refer to the Essentials page.
 
Keyword Batter, Ladyfingers, Sponge

Light Kirch syrup

I chose to flavor the syrup with cherries and Kirch, but you can adapt it to your cake and flavor it with any other fruit puree, Rhum, Amaretto, vanilla, Tonka bean, coffee, cocoa powder…

Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Resting Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 115 ml
Calories 195 kcal

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 25 g White sugar
  • 50 g Mineral water
  • 10 g Kirch
  • 30 g Cherry puree

Instructions
 

  • Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil. Warm it before using it

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
Keyword Cherry, Syrup

Chocolate mousse

This mousse made with crème anglaise is very creamy and offers a nice and strong chocolate intensity. It’s important to respect the temperatures when realizing this mousse. In general I start whipping the cream (at medium speed) just before adding the crème anglaise to the chocolate. And after mixing the crémeux with the blender, I place the bowl on a freezer pack and stir to cool it quickly. If the whipping cream is ready before the crémeux is cold enough, place it in the refrigerator. If the crémeux is too cool, reheat it in the double boiler. I chose the Manjari chocolate of Valrhona, because it has fruity tangy notes and is ideal to associate with red fruits for instance.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Resting Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 25 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 12 slices

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Stand mixer equipped with the whip
  • Mixing bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Strainer
  • Hand blender
  • Spatula
  • Round silicone mold 18cm (check picture below)

Ingredients
  

  • 170 g Dark chocolate Manjari 64% of Valrhona
  • 56 g Whipping cream 35% millk fat
  • 56 g Full fat milk Fresh if possible
  • 20 g Egg yolk The yolk of 1 large egg
  • 10 g White sugar
  • 220 g Whipping cream To be whipped, well chilled

Instructions
 

  • Place the bowl and the whip of the stand mixer in the freezer.
  • Melt the chocolate pistoles using a double boiler (Bain-Marie) or microwave (not recommeded). The temperature of the chocolate must not exceed 55°C.
  • Heat the whipping cream (38g) and the milk (without boiling them).
  • Mix the egg yolk and sugar. Add the warm liquids.
  • Preapre a "crème anglaise": pour the mixture back into the saucepan and simmer over low heat. It should thicken slightly and coat the back of a spoon*. The temperature should not exceed 84°C.
  • Strain the crème anglaise.
  • Add it gradually to the melted chocolate (in 3 steps). Take the time at each step to stir energetically using the spatula with small circular movements in the very center. This will insure the perfect and homogeneous incorporation of the liquid into the chocolate (make an emulsion)*
  • Mix with the hand blender to smoothen the cremeux.
  • Place the rest of the whipping cream in the cold bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Whip it until until it's just lightly whipped and gets a mousse texture. Do not over whip it.
  • When the chocolate mixture reaches 40/45°C, fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream. Gently fold in the remaining cream using a spatula.
  • Pour in the silicone mold and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
*Please refer to Essentials page.
Keyword Chocolate, Mousse

Chocolate soft frosting

Since I discovered this recipe of frosting, using the Valrhona Absolu Cristal, I stopped considering any other recipes of frostings. Besides being very shiny and tasty, it has a very smooth texture, and one can do some touch-ups without damaging it.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Resting Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 300 g

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Mixing bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Hand blender
  • Spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 75 g Dark chocolate Guanaja 70% of Valrhona
  • 57 g Whipping cream 35% millk fat
  • 152 g Absolu Cristal Neutral Glaze A special neutral glaze developed by Valrhona
  • 15 g Mineral water

Instructions
 

  • Melt the chocolate pistoles using a double boiler (Bain-Marie) or microwave (not recommeded). The temperature of the chocolate must not exceed 55°C.
  • Heat the cream and pour it immediately on the melted chocolate.
  • Mix with a hand blender to make a perfect emulsion.
  • Simmer the Absolu Cristal with the water on low heat (just to melt it).
  • Add it gradually to the chocolate and mix after each addition.
  • Use at 30/40°C.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
*Please refer to Essentials page.
Keyword Chocolate, Frosting

Montage

I used the Silikomart mold Universe 18 cm:

Once the cake is cooled, cut a circle of 17cm diameter. It should be ideally 1.5cm thick (trim it if needed).

Spread on it a thin layer of the almond crunch (it should be soft enough to facilitate this step).

Trim the edges of the frozen confit disc to make its diameter 17cm. 

Do the same for the ladyfingers sponge. Reheat the syrup and punch the sponge with it using a basting brush.

Pour the chocolate mousse in the mold for about 4cm and using an angled spatula cover the sides of the mold.

Place the frozen confit disc and then the soaked ladyfingers sponge and press it gently on the confit. Cover with mousse (about 1cm). 

Place the cake and almond crunch disc and press it. Remove the excess mousse using the angled spatula.

Let it set in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

When ready, reheat the soft chocolate frosting at 30/40°C and glaze the frozen cake with it. Before glazing my cakes, I always place them on a bowl of a smaller diameter placed itself on a baking tray. This allows the frosting to flow properly on the sides of the cake. 

Decorate with chocolate leaves if available or any other chocolate decor. Place a fresh cherry and let it defreeze in the refrigerator for at lease 6 hours.

Bon appétit!