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Chocolate Cherry Gateau with Coco Creme Fraiche

Chocolate Cherry Gateau with Coco Creme Fraiche

chocolate cherry gateau

The other day, I was driving to my favorite consignment shop when I spotted a small hand-painted sign that read freshly picked cherries. I was thrilled. We get a lot of fresh summer fruit in New England – strawberries, nectarines, blackberries- but rarely fresh local cherries. Needless to say, I slammed on my brakes and reversed direction.

The farm stand was adorable; wooden and quaint filled with bins bursting with local vegetables. On the counter sat five (only five) small blue crates of ripe cherries. Are they sweet or sour? I asked the pint sized woman behind the counter. Go ahead and try one, she said. They were perfect. Juicy and sweet withe the slightest hint of acidity. I headed home with 3 boxes.

bowl of cherries
3 cherries

I just finished making Chocolate Cherry Gateau with Coco Creme Fraiche and I had to share the recipe with you. It’s now one of my favorite cakes of all time. Simple. Rich. Chocolate. Delicious. It’s the kind of cake that’s very satisfying. Perfect on a summer day with iced coffee or tea.

iced coffee

I love the combination of chocolate and cherry together but it’s so rare to find a chocolate cherry cake that taste good. After tinkering in the kitchen, I can safely say that this cake gives you the deep dark chocolate flavor you’re looking for with just the right amount of cherry flavor. Exceptional.

bite of gateau

Chocolate Cherry Gateau

100 g chopped dark chocolate
100 g chopped butter
2 tbs plus 1 tsp Kirsch
2 tbs cherry extract
110 g powdered sugar
80 g almond flour
1/4 cup valrohna cocoa powder
3 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 8″ tart pan with cocoa powder.
Melt butter and chocolate together.
Add the powdered sugar, almond powder, cherry extract. Mix in egg yolks. Beat until blended.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold gently into the chocolate mixture.
Bake 30-40 minutes until cake springs back at touch of your finger.

Coco Creme Fraiche

45 g creme fresh
40 g cocoa powder
40 g melted dark chocolate
1 tbs Kirsch
1 tsp cherry extract

Whip ingredients together until light and fluffy. Place a dime nickel size amount onto center of cake slice. Garnish with a fresh cherry and powdered sugar.

And thanks for all of your responses to last weeks question: If you could invite any famous person to dinner, who would it be? You chose fascinating dinner companions:

Hugh Laurie, Rohinton Mistry, Hubert Keller, Steffi Graf, P.G Wodehouse, Enid Blyton, Indira Gandhi, Mozart, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Julia Child, Jack Kerouac, J.D. Salinger, Henry David Thoreau, Neil Young, Robyn Hitchcock, Clarissa Dickson Wright (from the Two Fat Ladies), Ray Davies, Andrew Zimmerman, Anne Lamott, Don Miller, JK Rowling, Elizabeth Gilbert, Helen Mirren, Winston Churchill, Head of the Resistance in Denmark during WW2, JRR Tolkien, John Buchan, CS Lewis, Maya Angelou, Mother Theresa, Oprah, President Obama, Meryl Streep, John Kennedy Jr, Madeleine Albright

Last year I did get to meet one of your invited guests, Madeleine Albright and she is an excellent choice – smart, insightful and funny.

Madeleine Albright


You also wanted to invite: Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Wolfgang Mozart, Monet, Coco Chanel, Cleopatra, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Eva Peron, Gloria Steinham, Michelle Obama, Steve Jobs, Dalai Lama, Robert Parker, Aung San Suu Kyi, Jesus, Albert Einstein, Buddha, Socrates, Tocqueville, Rania Al Abdullah, Bono, Maria Owings Shriver, Marcella Hazan, Gérard Depardieu, Antoni Gaudí, Sigmund Freud, Charlotte Brontë, William Shakespeare, Pierre Herme, Alexander Skarsgard, Martha Stewart, Charlaine Harris, Julia Child, Princess Diana, Princess Grace…

Several of you emailed me to ask who I would invite? I would like to add: Robert F. Kennedy, Yousef Karsh, Leonardi DaVinci, Queen Elizabeth I, Thomas Jefferson, Leo Tolstoy, Sidney Poitier, Elizabeth Warren, Alan Alda, Benjamin Zander, and Howard Zinn.

Now that’s a dinner party requiring a really long table and a good camera. My only request … please don’t seat me next to Sigmund Freud.

Bon Appetit!


Get inspired to love & support local food. We have some great ideas sprouting up so browse our site for more delicious finds.


  1. A wonderfully seasonal cake! It looks so luscious. I’d love to have a sip of that iced coffee…



  2. Asha @ FSK

    19 June

    OMG!!! you met Madeline Albright???!! How?? I think that is a story you should tell!!! :))

    On a different note, that Gateau looks soo decadent!!

  3. Sharon

    19 June

    Such a neat post. I am lovin’ the looks of this cake and would love to have eaten a piece with JFK Jr!

  4. This gateau looks phenomenal-rich, moist and elegant!!

  5. What an amazing looking cake. I love cherries and chocolate! I’d like t come to the dinner party too 🙂

  6. Madeleine Albright is a brilliant and funny woman. She’s made some very witty comments. I’m thinking of the time she described a meeting with Kim Jong Il at the Commonwealth Club, she had everyone laughing.

    This chocolate cherry gateau looks fabulous. I like that there’s a liberal addition of kirsch, and that it is flourless. I also like that picture of the half bitten cherry.

  7. marzipanmom

    20 June

    It must be a good year for cherries…we’ve had some beautiful ones here in PA too! The cake looks scrumptious!

  8. Sophie

    20 June

    What a great gluten free gateau recipe!!

    I also love the coconut crème fraîche!! Very apart & so special too!

    Waw!! You met Madeline albright!! Lucky you & what a lovely picture of her too!

  9. Lady Grey

    20 June

    that looks OUTRAGEOUSLY good!

  10. Anonymous

    20 June

    Gorgeous photography El.

  11. simply heavenly. and local cherries to boot! a true find.

  12. Nancy

    20 June

    Amazing. I’m going to make these this week. Is the alcohol necessary? Any idea where I can get cherry extract?

  13. one of the many things i love about food blogging is that i learn new things about cooking. and with all the creating i do i have never once thought of coco creme fraiche. so, i was totally blown away by this. choco & cherries pair so well.
    and very cool to have met m. albright!

  14. Anna

    20 June

    I dream about freshly picked cherries. And with chocolate. Oh my!

  15. El

    20 June

    Christine-Sounds like you had a great experience with her too. Glad to see we have much in common!

    Nancy- I’m not a liquor dessert person and I found myself adding more Kirsch to bring out the cherry flavor. Most of the liquor bakes off when the cake bakes so you’re just left with this very sophisticated cherry flavor – it’s not “boozy” at all. Trust me – I wouldn’t make it otherwise. If you need to leave the alcohol out, of course you can. I’d use vanilla extract instead. Although, extract contains alcohol too. Also, I buy cherry extract when I visit Montreal. I did just find this, however, and it looks better than what I’ve been buying. http://www.lepicerie.com/customer/product.php?productid=101130&cat=0&page=1

    Hope this helps!

  16. Jo

    21 June

    What a gorgeous cake! Chocolatey, dense and moist. Just how I like it.

  17. delicieux

    21 June

    This looks like such a beautiful cake. I love it and the use of cherries.

  18. I would love to sit next to Sigmund Freud!
    Your gateau looks amazing, as all your desserts do. I have yet to eat my first cherries of summer and this would be a great way to start.

  19. Erica

    21 June

    WOW. This dessert looks incredible and your pictures are beautiful! You make me want to buy a new camera/become a better photographer 😉 Cherries- amazing!

  20. This cake looks so perfect! Chocolate & cherry is one of my fav dessert combos, definitely bookmarking this one!

  21. Tara

    21 June

    This looks so lovely, and gluten free!!!

    Is almond powder the same as blanched almond flour?

  22. Oh El, what a gorgeously rich cake. 🙂 How fascinating that you got to meet Madeline Albright! And yes, Sidney Poitier would be a PERFECT dinner companion. 🙂

  23. elra

    21 June

    Impressive guest lists El, would love to meet them personally as well :))

    Delicious combo, cherry and chocolate = irresistible!

  24. El

    21 June

    Tara- Yes- almond flour is correct. Thanks for pointing that out!

  25. Anh

    21 June

    oooh Madeleine Albright! Lucky girl!

    But I would rather dig in the chocolate cherry gateau 😉

  26. fresh365

    22 June

    I have been keeping my eye out for fresh cherries and hope I will find some soon! Chocolate and cherry is such a delicious match!

  27. Luscious gateau. Dreamy and drool worthy!

  28. Kare

    22 June

    This looks amazing. And your photos are TERRIFIC!

  29. Anali

    23 June

    LOL! Love the list of people. Freud would probably have some interesting things to say though!

    Oh and I have the same set of glasses. They were a gift from a friend and I just love them!

  30. Colleen

    23 June

    Wonderful post. I’m in love with the gateau!

  31. I loved this post El – gorgeous recipe, lovely looking cake, and hand-picked cherries – one of the simple pleasures in life. I’ll be picking my own on the weekend – can’t wait. I’m slightly obsessed with cherries at the moment.

  32. Amen to all of the favourites. I had to look to see what mine was… i couldn’t remember amongst all of the incredible ideas. The photographs are moving and peaceful and artistic, as always… soothing… tell us more about your dinner with the charmed Madame.

  33. gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!

  34. I follow you on twitter and saw that you bashed your face. So sorry! hope you are feeling better and are not too bruised. I am a skeptic, but now I think their might be something astrological going on! Tomorrow is a lunar eclipse and supposedly one should use caution around that time. Oops, too late for both of us. I slipped on wooden floor (puddle of water) and dislocated my shoulder the other day. I want to make this cake and eat the whole thing myself, just as soon as I can move my arm! Gorgeous photos. Chocolate is the antidote to most things, don’t you agree? I wish you a quick recovery!

  35. Clarity

    25 June

    Wondered over from another blog – chocolate & cherries – oh yey 🙂 Although I would omit the kirsch.

    Cake is one of my favourite things in the world – we have a chocolate mousse gateau in the fridge right now. Who is Yousef Karsh?

  36. Samantha

    25 June

    Amazing dinner partners and dessert!

  37. Ash

    26 June

    Great post!!! And WOW!!

    plus that cake looks fantastic!! I need to get me some cherries!!

  38. Mimi

    26 June

    Choclate and cherries is such a classic combination,and fresh cherries are heavenly.

  39. redmenace

    29 June

    An excellent combination, indeed. I love summer berries + chocolate!

  40. Sara

    30 June

    A delicious looking cake. I could die for a piece with the iced coffee right now!

  41. I slam on my brakes for local cherries too! But when you serve them with that gorgeous chocolate cake, I want to slam on my fork! A beautiful post and recipe.

    PS: I’d love to have Thomas Keller over for dinner!

  42. Your photographs are beautiful! And this dessert looks to die for!


  43. El

    12 July

    Clarity, Yousef Karsh was a photographer. If you click on the link to his name you can read all about him. He’s one of my favorites of all time.

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