Black Forest dessert

Damien Wager

Damien Wager

17th July 2017
Damien Wager

Black Forest dessert

This is my recipe for the Black Forest dessert from our menu at Beechfield House Hotel.


  • Cherry mousse:
  • 4g agar;
  • 250g cherry puree, strained through a chinoise;
  • 60g icing sugar;
  • 250ml double cream;
  • 4 drops of SOSA cherry essence
  • Kirsch centre:
  • 125g double cream;
  • 25g whole milk;
  • 38g good quality kirsch;
  • 2 drops of SOSA cherry essence
  • Chocolate sponge:
  • 8oz butter;
  • 8oz caster sugar;
  • 8oz plain flour;
  • 3tsp baking powder;
  • 4 whole eggs;
  • 2oz 100% cocoa powder;
  • 4oz whole milk
  • Compressed Cherry Liquor:
  • 225g water;
  • 50g caster sugar;
  • 50g cherry puree,
  • 5 drops of SOSA cherry essence
  • Milk chocolate ganache:
  • 200g double cream;
  • 30g trimoline;
  • 30g diced unsalted butter;
  • 400g 36% milk chocolate (mirror glaze or cocoa butter spray, as desired)


Black Forest method:
After carefully removing the stones from the cherries, place in an airtight storage container and keep to one side.
Place all the compressing liquor ingredients in a small pan and bring to a light simmer, remove from the heat straight away, allow to cool.
Place the cherries in a vacpac bag and cover with the liquor, before compressing.
Chocolate sponge method:
Cream the butter and sugar, before adding the eggs one by one.
Next add in the dry ingredients, before pouring in the milk gradually allowing it all to incorporate itself together. Always use a low speed on your kitchen aid if using machinery.
Spread a thin layer into a greaseproof Gastro tray and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes.
Milk chocolate ganache:
Combine the double cream and trimoline and put on a low heat.
In a separate bowl place the milk chocolate and unsalted butter.
Once the cream/trimoline mix reaches 85°C, pour off the chocolate/butter combo and emulsify using a hand blender.
Once all had combined, pour into a disposable piping bag and store until ready to use.
If refrigerating, you'll need to remove the ganache two hours before it is required so it can soften up naturally, rather than using the microwave which could cause it to split.
Kirsch inserts:
Place the milk, cream, Kirsch and SOSA essence in a pan and bring to a rapid boil, whisking all the time. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour into spherical moulds.
Freeze and keep until ready to assemble the cherry mousse.
Cherry mousse:
Combine the sieved purée and icing sugar and gently heat until it reaches 58°C.
Add the weighed out agar, and increase the temperature to 66°C.
'Cook out' for 3 minutes, stirring to avoid burning/catching, and then remove from the heat.
Once the mixture cools to 40°C, lightly whisk the double cream in a separate bowl until very soft peaks form.
Leave to one side, and allow the cherry mixture to cool further to 34°C. Add the cherry mixture in one part into the lightly whipped double cream, and combine gently using a rubber spatula.
Once homogeneous, pour into a piping bag and proceed to fill each insert in your Paoni 'Tuttiifrutti Pavoflex' mould.
Once full, remove your kirsch inserts from the freezer and insert one into each of the cherry inserts, pushing far enough down so they are not visible, but not so far that they will be visible on the top when turned out. Scrape off the excess, then leave to set in the freezer. Once frozen, turn out your cherries and store accordingly.
Finish the cherry with either a mirror glaze or cocoa butter spray, whichever you prefer.
To assemble, I prefer to use a tempered chocolate stem for authenticity and chocolate crumb.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.