Andy McLeish brings this seventies classic up to date, his black forest gateau recipe includes a sumptuous flourless cake with a kirsch milk chocolate mousse and chocolate glaze. Why not hold your own seventies inspired dinner party and serve this as a lavish dessert - prawn cocktail would make a great starter and chicken Kiev could be your main!

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer fitted with a paddle for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate each one before adding the next
Add the cocoa powder in 3 or 4 additions, then mix until fully incorporated, making sure to scrape the sides every so often
Bake the mix in 20 x 30cm trays lined with parchment paper for 10-15 minutes depending on your desired thickness. Once cool, cut the cake with a 24cm metal ring and freeze
For the Kirsch mousse, soak the gelatine in the water and leave to soften for 10-20 minutes
Melt the milk chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water
Making a Bain Marie for chocolate
If you don't have a bain marie, you can make one. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4 and fill a roasting tin halfway with water. Place the chocolate in a ramekin in the water and put the roasting tin in the oven
In a pan, heat the milk and add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat. Add the softened gelatine, along with the water it was soaked in to the hot milk and stir to dissolve
Pour the hot milk into the melted chocolate in 3 or 4 additions, working with a rubber spatula to ensure a smooth paste. After adding all the milk, use a stick blender to emulsify the mixture for 2 minutes
While the chocolate cools down to body temperature, whip together the Kirsch and double cream to soft peaks
Fold the cream into the chocolate and set into the lined 30cm metal ring. Freeze immediately
For the glaze, soak the gelatine in 80ml of water and leave to soften for 15-20 minutes
Heat the cream, adding the sugar and second measurement of water. Boil for 2 minutes
Remove from the heat and add both the soaked gelatine (including the water) and the cocoa powder
Use a stick blender to blitz until smooth and shiny. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and then heat in the microwave to a lukewarm temperature before using
Melt the extra 50g of chocolate and brush the bottom of the frozen cake to seal - this will stop it from sticking to the plate, return to the freezer
Warm the glaze to body temperature and use it to completely cover the cake (the cake must be well frozen at this point)
Garnish the surface with cherries and allow a couple of hours to thaw
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Black forest gateau recipe with a sweet white wine


Flourless cocoa cake

  • 155g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 420g of caster sugar
  • 8 eggs, at room temperature
  • 130g of cocoa powder, sifted

Kirsch milk chocolate mousse

  • 1 sheet of gelatine
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 120g of milk chocolate, 50g extra for melting
  • 74ml of whole milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp of kirsch
  • 70ml of double cream

Dark mirror glaze

  • 8 sheets of gelatine
  • 160ml of water
  • 280ml of whipping cream
  • 400g of caster sugar
  • 140g of cocoa powder, sifted



  1. 30cm tart ring
  2. 20cm x 30cm baking tray
  3. Stick blender

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This seventies dinner party classic has been lovingly restored to glory by Michelin starred chef Andy McLeish, see his unique recipe on Great British Chefs

Black forest gateau recipe Tweaks

What's this?
For the wimps in the household (i.e all of my lot) replace the kirsch and 20 ml of the milk with a strong cherry brandy - slightly less edgy and a different contrast without losing the over all theme. Fab recipe -decadence on a plate!
10 August 2013