Flourless Black Forest Cake is a gluten free treat inspired by in-season cherries and classic Black Forest Cake.
I forget about flourless chocolate cake. Tucked at the bottom of most dessert menus as a token “gluten free” option, I think it’s easy to assume flourless chocolate cake isn’t as “exciting” as less familiar items with longer names. Until, of course, we want something rich, unapologetically chocolate, and so decadent it’s best for sharing. Then, we remember, and wonder why we forgot in the first place. And then it’s cherry season and we have to do something about that too, so why not combine cherries and chocolate?
When cherries showed up in my CSA box, and I found just enough amazing baking chocolate in my pantry to make a flourless chocolate cake, I knew it had to be. One of my best friends from college was in town, and she loves chocolate, so the timing was perfect.
I usually make my flourless chocolate cakes without whipping the egg whites, because I like a really dense, fudge-like cake. I’ve seen a few recipes that suggest whipping the egg whites, so I decided to try that this time. You’ll see it resulted in a nice crackly crust and a bit of a lighter texture than usual. I think this works with the cherries, and if you’d like to add a bit of whipped cream, would be especially nice. Actually, a half batch of the whipped frosting from my popular Black Forest Chocolate Cake recipe would be a great accompaniment.
If you have fresh cherries, I’d recommend those since you have an easy garnish with chocolate covered cherries. You may also substitute thawed frozen cherries in the batter if you’d like since cherries are hard to come by if not in season. The cake doesn’t really need any garnish. Just be sure to splurge on good chocolate. Since the chocolate is really the star in any flourless chocolate cake recipe, it’s worth purchasing a slightly better brand than usual.
Enjoy, darlings! Be sure to scroll past the recipe to check a few other amazing sweet and savory cherry recipes from some of my blog friends!
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 5 large eggs, divided
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh (or thawed frozen) cherries
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kirshwasser cherry liquor
- 10 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped
- additional cherries and dipping chocolate for garnish, optional
- whipped cream, optional
- Grease a 9" springform pan and dust with cocoa powder. Line the bottom with parchment and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a small mixing bowl in the microwave (50% power), or in a double boiler. Allow to cool until the chocolate is just warm to the touch, 3-4 minutes.
- When the chocolate has cooked, whisk in the cocoa powder, then the egg yolks. Add the espresso powder, salt, and cherry liquor.
- In a separate mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, start whisking the egg whites on medium high speed. Once they start foaming (like a bubble bath), add the cream of tartar, and start adding the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Continue beating until the egg whites have formed stiff peaks.
- Add about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate batter and stir in (this helps make folding easier). Add the rest of the egg whites and the chopped cherries and fold them into the batter by scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with your spatula and "folding" the batter into the center of the bowl. Do this until just combined, and then pour all the batter into your prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the center of the cake just sets and doesn't jiggle. It will look slightly under-cooked and a tester won't come out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool at least an hour and a half.
- If you'd like to garnish with dipped fresh cherries, wash and dry your cherries well. Look for firm cherries with no bruising or blemishes. Dip in tempered chocolate or chocolate candy coating. Allow to dry on wax paper or parchment paper and place on top of the cake just before serving. Alternative toppings include whipped cream or a simple dusting of cocoa powder.