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    Black forest mousse cake

    Light chocolate cake, boozy cherry-studded black forest jelly and a rich white chocolate mousse bring this classic dessert bang up to date. It takes a little time to make, but is well worth the effort. 

    • Preparation time: 50 minutes, plus cooling and chilling
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes
    • Total time: 75 minutes, plus cooling and chilling

    Serves: 12


    Butter, for greasing
    3 large eggs, separated
    75g caster sugar
    75g dark chocolate, melted
    1 tbsp kirsch

    For the cherry jelly: 

    150g cherries, roughly chopped
    5 tbsp kirsch
    3 gelatine leaves
    300ml cherry juice drink
    75g caster sugar

    For the white chocolate mousse:

    450ml double cream
    300g white chocolate, roughly chopped

    For the decoration:

    150g cherries, pitted and roughly chopped, plus a few left whole 


    1. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4; grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm loose-bottom square tin with baking parchment. For the cake, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until light and creamy. Stir in the melted chocolate until combined. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites gradually into the chocolate mixture until combined, then spoon into the prepared tin, carefully spreading into the corners of the tin. Bake for 20 minutes, until just firm to the touch. Carefully brush with the kirsch, then leave to cool completely in the tin.

    2. Meanwhile, make the cherry jelly. Put the cherries and 2 tbsp kirsch into a bowl; set aside to macerate. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.

    3. Gently heat the cherry juice, sugar and remaining 3 tbsp kirsch in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved; take off the heat. Drain the gelatine and stir into the warm cherry juice. Set aside 2 tbsp jelly for decoration, then pour the remaining jelly over the macerated cherries. Leave to cool slightly, then chill in the freezer until thickened, but not set, about 20-30 minutes.

    4. Once the chocolate cake is cool, it will have a slight dip
    in the middle. Spoon the cherry jelly into the dip; it should cover most of the cake but not quite reach the edges of the tin. Chill in the freezer until set, about 1 hour.

    5. Meanwhile, make the white chocolate mousse. Gently heat 150ml double cream in a small pan with the white chocolate until smooth; do not allow the cream to boil. Take off the heat and leave to cool, stirring from time to time so it doesn’t set.

    6. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 300ml cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold the cooled white chocolate sauce into the whipped cream until combined. Take the cake out of the freezer and spoon the mousse over the top, to cover completely.

    7. To decorate, put the reserved 2 tbsp jelly into a disposable piping bag – the jelly should just be fluid, so warm it slightly first, if necessary. Pipe zigzags over the mousse, then chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Scatter the chopped and whole cherries over the top and chill for 4 hours or overnight until set firm. To serve, remove from the tin and cut into squares. 

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