Chocolate gateaux desserts are some of the world's most popular.

Here are versions of some the most famous and popular desserts in the world; German, French and Italian gourmet chocolate gateaux recipes; Black Forest Gateau, a rich French chocolate mousse recipe, and a variation of the Italian Tiramisu, where this luscious Italian chocolate dessert becomes an after dinner tart.

As for all chocolate recipes, don't forget use the best chocolate you can find to make your recipe - you won't be dispapointed if you do.

Black Forest Gateau is one of those chocolate cakes that I loved when I tasted it for the first time. It was my very, very favourite - for years.

And although it is sold in shops everywhere, when I actually saw how simple and easy it was to make a Black Forest Gateau, I could not buy another one. With fresh ingredients and no added processes or chemicals, making this cake instead of buying it is a real, well almost healthy, treat.

The recipe here for you is a no-flour chocolate dessert cake recipe. Being a flourless recipe, it is something a commercial Black Forest Gateau could never be, - a delicious dessert cake, that's a light, frothy, melting in your mouth sensation - full of the best Black Forest Gateau flavours possible.

And yet, it is a quick and easy German chocolate dessert cake recipe you can make at home.

Obviously, fresh morello cherries are best, and they will need some extra preparation from you. But if you can get them fresh and local, just poach the cherries in sugar syrup and remove the stones before using them in the following recipe. But tinned cherries can work well too, so do not be put off if you do not have access to fresh ones, as their season is really short.

Black Forest Gateau

For the chocolate sponge

Ingredients

  • 9 large eggs, separated.
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 90g cocoa powder
  • Cherry filling
  • 720g jar or can of Morello cherries in Kirsch syrup - or syrup plus 3 tablespoons of Kirsch (a 50ml miniature)
  • 425ml of double or whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 55g plain chocolate, grated
  • 3 sandwich tins, 20 cms diameter, buttered and base-lined

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas 4.

To make the chocolate sponge layers, put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and, using an electric whisk or mixer, whisk until very thick and mousse-like. Sift the cocoa into the mixture and gently fold in using a large metal spoon.

Then put the egg whites into a spotlessly clean bowl and whisk until it forms stiff peaks. Carefully fold this mixture into the yolk mixture, probably in three lots to make it more manageable.

Divide equally between the three prepared sandwich tins. Then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the sponge cakes spring back when gently pressed, and have shrunk away from the sides of the tins. Let the sponge layers cool for a while before removing from the tins onto wire racks, (remember to remove the lining papers).

Drain the cherries in a sieve and save the syrup; you will need 7 tablespoons (if using cherries in sugar syrup, put 4 tablespoons of the sugar syrup into a bowl and add the 3 tablespoons of kirsch). Keep to one side.

Place the well-drained cherries on kitchen paper, reserve 12 of the cherries for decoration.

Place one of the sponge layers on the plate you want to serve it on, and then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the kirsch-syrup mixture over the bottom sponge layer.

Put the cream in a bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the cream and whip until slightly thicker. Set aside half the whipped cream in a bowl to decorate the cake later. Spread half of the other half (that is of course, ¼ of the whole amount) onto the bottom layer of the sponge. Press half the cherries into the cream.

Repeat the process for the next layer of the cake, starting with the kirsch being sprinkled on the sponge. Then place on top of the base layer, cover with the other ¼ of the whipped cream, and again press in the other half of the cherries.

You are now onto the top layer: following the same procedure, sprinkle the remaining kirsch syrup over the sponge, place on top, cover the whole cake with the remaining half of the whipped cream, then decorate with the reserved cherries and cover as desired with the grated chocolate.

Serves 8- 10. Keep refrigerated until an hour or so before you are ready to serve. Eat within 48 hours, but I think really to leave it much longer than 24 hours is not such a good idea. Besides why would you want to?!

French chocolate mousse cake recipe

A rich chocolate dessert recipe, this is ideal for a dinner party gourmet dessert pudding. Chocolate mousse cake is a French dessert recipe that illustrates the culinary finesse of French cooking. I am a big fan. This one oozes chocolatyness, over a moist, rich, dark chocolate sponge. It includes orange as a flavour, but you could try one of your own favourite chocolate added flavour combinations, like orange or chilli or lavender.

A liqueur or a brandy for that matter could be tried, for example Amaretto di Soronno liqueur is a lovely choice with chocolate, but for a more authentic French taste - check out some chocolate liqueur combinations to try on the chocolate martini recipes page, you never know you could get some ideas!

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350C, gas 4. Prepare a spring-release cake tin, line and grease the paper.

Ingredients

  • 225g plain chocolate
  • 15ml orange-flavoured liqueur
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened

For the mousse

  • 225g plain chocolate
  • 30ml orange-flavoured liqueur
  • 4 eggs separated
  • Decoration - try blanched julienne of orange and grated chocolate.

For making the sponge:

Melt the chocolate, see melting methods, and stir in the orange liqueur. Leave to cool slightly.

Using an electric whisk, whisk the five egg yolks and the sugar together in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of hot water, until thick and creamy. Beat in the butter a little at a time until smooth. Add the chocolate to this, beating all the time.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then fold carefully into the chocolate mixture. Turn into the prepared tin.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until risen and firm. Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack for about an hour.

To make the chocolate mousse, melt the chocolate and stir in the flavoured liqueur. Remove from the heat and leave to cool on one side for 1-2 minutes. When cooler, beat in the egg yolks. In another bowl, whisk up the egg whites until stiff, and then mix them gently into the chocolate mixture.

Before pouring the mousse mixture onto the chocolate sponge, press the top crust down on the sponge to make a hollow to contain the mousse mixture. Then fill with the mousse mixture and chill overnight.

Before serving, place your dessert on a decorative plate and decorate with the orange julienne strips and the grated chocolate. Bring out to warm slightly at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating

Want to make easy cocolate tiramisu recipes? Go to easy tiramisu recipe page.

Chocolate Tiramisu Dessert Tart

In this variation, the Italian chocolate dessert recipe tiramisu has been transformed into a gourmet tart. This gives some "bite" to a dessert that is otherwise a very light and frothy concoction; making it a bit different from the usual, and yet still keeping that light rich, (alcoholic!), chocolaty, creamy flavour of the filling that we all love.

Ingredients

  • 115g of unsalted butter
  • 15ml of coffee-flavour liqueur
  • 215g plain flour
  • 30g of unsweetened cocoa
  • 30g of icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2.5ml vanilla essence

Chocolate layer

  • 125ml of double cream
  • 15ml of golden syrup
  • 115g of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 30g of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 30ml of coffee-flavoured liqueur

Filling

  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 350g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 20g icing sugar
  • 45ml cold espresso or strong coffee
  • 100g of semi-sweet chocolate, grated

Prepare a 23cm spring-form tin by greasing it. Also, preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, gas 5.

To prepare the pastry:

With the butter and liqueur in a saucepan, heat on a medium heat until hot. Also, sift into a bowl the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt. Remove the butter mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla essence. Then gradually stir in the flour mixture to create a dough. When all the flour is added, take out and knead lightly on a floured surface, until smooth.

Get the prepared spring-form tin and press the dough on to the bottom and up the sides to within 2cm of the rim. Prick the dough and refrigerate for 40 minutes.

Then place in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. If pastry puffs up, just prick it with a fork, and put back in the oven to set, for 2-3 minutes more.

Remove and leave to cool.

To make chocolate layer: in a saucepan over a medium heat, bring cream and syrup to the boil. Remove from the heat and then add the chocolate and stir until melted. Beat in the butter and liqueur and pour into the cooled cooked pastry case. Cool completely and then refrigerate.

To prepare the filling: whip the cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. In another bowl beat the cheese until soft, and then add and beat in the sugar until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the cold coffee and liqueur, beating it into the cheese mixture until well mixed. Then fold in gently the whipped cream and chocolate. Spoon the filling over the chocolate-lined pastry case. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 12-16. When ready to serve, run a knife round the tin, and release the tart from the case onto a serving plate. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa over the dessert tart, or try a finish of melted chocolate poured over the top, or try a chocolate sauce recipe.

Sauces can be used to decorate the plate and add a professional touch to your chocolate desserts.

All these chocolate desserts are a gourmet treat for you and your family and friends, and are some of the most popular chocolate gateaux recipes in the world.

For some other favourite chocolate cake recipes see rich chocolate layer and chocolate fudge cake and America's favourite, German chocolate cake recipe. and Mississippi Mud pie.


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