Black Forest brûlée

Not yet rated

This accomplished dessert contains seven different elements which each celebrate the iconic flavours of Black Forest Gateau: chocolate and cherries. The vast majority of the work can be done a day in advance, leaving just a few final jobs and assembly on the day itself. The result? Something very special indeed which will win you serious brownie points from your dinner guests!

First published in 2020




Cherry compote

Chocolate brûlée

Chocolate crumble

Kirsch Chantilly

  • 70g of whipping cream
  • 15g of liquid glucose
  • 50g of white chocolate
  • 135g of double cream
  • 2 tsp kirsch

Cherry fluid gel

Poached cherries

  • 100ml of water
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 handful of cherries, pitted

Chocolate décor

To serve


  • Electric mixer
  • Acetate
  • Squeezy bottle
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Brûlée dishes 10


Begin making elements for this dish the day before, as several of them need time to macerate, chill and rest. For the poached cherries, bring the sugar, water and vanilla to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and pour the syrup over the pitted cherries in a heatproof bowl. Cover and allow to macerate overnight in the fridge
  • 100ml of water
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 handful of cherries, pitted
For the kirsch Chantilly, place the whipping cream in a small saucepan with the liquid glucose and bring to the boil. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream over it, whisking well until smooth. Allow to cool, then stir in the double cream and kirsch. Cover and reserve overnight in the fridge
  • 70g of whipping cream
  • 50g of white chocolate
  • 135g of double cream
  • 2 tsp kirsch
  • 15g of liquid glucose
Preheat an oven to 130°C/gas mark ½
Make the cherry compote by mixing the pectin and sugar together in a small bowl. Pour the cherry puree into a saucepan and sprinkle the pectin-sugar mixture into it, then add the morello cherries. Bring to the boil gently, then allow to boil for 2-3 minutes until the cherries start to break down. Stir in the lemon juice, remove from the heat and set aside
For the chocolate brûlée, gently whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a small bowl. Meanwhile, bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan. Once boiling, remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate cream onto the egg and sugar mixture, whisking gently until combined
To build the base for the desserts, place a small amount of cherry compote into the base of 10 brûlée dishes or ramekins. Place the ramekins in a deep roasting tray, then pour over the chocolate brûlée until the mixtue reaches just below the rim. Pour boiling water into the roasting tray until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins, then place the tray in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until just set and with a slight wobble. Allow to cool, then place in the fridge to chill overnight
The final job to complete the day before serving is to make the cherry fluid gel. Place the cherry puree in a pan and whisk together the agar agar and sugar in a small bowl. Begin heating the puree and sprinkle the agar agar and sugar mixture into it whilst continuously stirring to prevent any lumps
Once the purée is boiling, cook for 1-2 minutes then pour into a tray lined with cling film and allow to set overnight in the fridge
The next day, chop up the set fluid gel and transfer into a blender. Blitz until smooth, then transfer to a squeezy bottle
Remove the Kirsch Chantilly from the fridge and whip gently until thick. Return to the fridge until ready to serve
To create the chocolate décor, line a baguette tray with acetate or baking paper to form an inverted half tube. If you don’t have a baguette tray, then any mould or setup which will firmly hold the baking paper or acetate in a half pipe shape will do
Temper the dark chocolate by placing three-quarters of it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Allow to melt, then remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until fully incorporated and the temperature reaches 31°C
Use a brush to paint rough flicks of the melted chocolate into the inverted tube of acetate or baking paper – you want around 30 in total. Leave to set
Preheat an oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
For the chocolate crumble, place the softened butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Cream lightly on a low speed until just combined
Add the cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, salt and flour, then continue to mix until a dough forms. Line a baking tray with baking paper and crumble the dough onto it, creating small chunks. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then leave to cool
  • 50g of cocoa powder, sifted
  • 150g of soft flour
  • 1g of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2g of salt
Now it’s time to assemble the desserts. Remove the ramekins from the fridge and cover them with pieces of chocolate crumble. Pipe dots of the cherry gel in the gaps, then top each brûlée with 2 quenelles of Kirsch Chantilly and 4 poached cherries. Carefully peel the chocolate décor off the acetate or baking paper, and add 3 pieces to each dessert. Finish with a few mint leaves and a piece of gold leaf (if using), then serve
First published in 2020

Graham Hornigold’s expert pastry skills have been refined in some of the best restaurants and hotels in London, effortlessly adding delicate, refreshing touches to dessert menus. Today, he runs gourmet doughnut brand Longboys, which has three sites and stocks the likes of Harrods and Selfridges.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.