Black Forest gâteau

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Andy McLeish brings this seventies classic up to date. His black forest gâteau 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 Kyiv could be your main.

First published in 2015




Flourless cocoa cake

Kirsch milk chocolate mousse

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



  • Stick blender
  • 20cm x 30cm baking tray
  • 30cm tart ring


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
Line two 25x35cm trays with baking paper and spread the mixture to a thickness of 1.5cm. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the sponge springs back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool on a wire rack
Once cool cut with a 16cm ring to give 4 cakes
For the Kirsch mousse, soak the gelatine in the water and leave to soften for 10-20 minutes
  • 1 sheet of gelatine
  • 1 tbsp of water
Melt the milk chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water
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, it should be very thick
Leave the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature and whip together the Kirsch and double cream to soft peaks
  • 70ml of double cream
  • 1/2 tbsp of kirsch
Fold the cream into the chocolate to give a smooth mousse
To build the gateau place the 16cm ring on a tray lined with baking paper. Put a layer of sponge into the ring and spread with a layer of mousse, repeat this twice more and finish with a final layer of sponge. If the mousse starts to get to warm transfer to the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up
Place the gateau in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to chill
For the glaze, soak the gelatine in 80ml of water and leave to soften for 15-20 minutes
  • 8 sheets of gelatine
  • 80ml of water
Heat the cream, adding the sugar and second measurement of water. Boil for 2 minutes
  • 280ml of whipping cream
  • 400g of caster sugar
  • 80ml of water
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. Leave to cool to room temperature
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
To glaze the cake transfer it to a wire rack and carefully remove the metal ring. Liberally ladle the glaze over the cake from a height in order to get an even covering then transfer to the fridge to set
Garnish the surface with cherries and allow a couple of hours to thaw
First published in 2015

Andy McLeish takes the field to fork ethos seriously, hunting and butchering his own game to ensure his menus at Chapter One offer the finest of local ingredients treated with respect.

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