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. Here’s the photo we took.

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…

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!


Fresh New England

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

    Hope this helps!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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?

  12. 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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