Shiller enjoyed the challenge of
turning this traditional cake into
a modern showpiece. One of the
primary differences between the
traditional dessert and modern
version is the wow factor. “To
create a modern plated dessert,
you need to have a stunning main
component,” Shiller says. He
enrobed the mousse bombe in a
bright-red mirror glaze. With the
vibrant color and technique, Shiller
created drama that was “visible
from across the dining room.”
The traditional Black Forest cake
has a distinct flavor. Shiller says it
was important to keep the flavor
profiles of the two dishes similar.
He achieved this by using a vanilla
cream, a vibrant cherry flavor and,
of course, chocolate. Another
element of Shiller’s modern dessert:
surprise. “By creating a vanilla-bean
mousse, we were able to mold the
cream component, allowing
a hidden center to appear when
the diner’s fork breaks through
The Morello cherry purée gave the
dish a clean, tart cherry flavor that
balanced with the other lighter
flavors present in the dessert. Shiller
wanted to add a more advanced
pastry skill to the plate, so he chose
to airbrush a design in cocoa and
garnish with a tempered chocolate
filigree. The modern dessert is
served with a minted cherry salad
that uses two varieties of fresh
cherries and sprigs of fresh mint.
“The salad creates a great look and
texture,” he says.
One point that Shiller emphasizes
in recreating the classical and
modern desserts is not to take
shortcuts, such as using canned
cherry pie filling. By using fresh
cherries at their peak, it will ensure
that the flavors of dishes are not
Black Forest Cake
Yield: 12 plated desserts
Casey Shiller, CEPC®
Coordinator of Baking and
Pastry Arts, St. Louis
Member, Chefs de Cuisine
Association of St. Louis Inc.
For chocolate cake
4 oz. cherry purée
4 ¼ oz. all-purpose flour
7 oz. granulated sugar
1 ½ oz. dark cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 oz. vegetable oil
4 oz. sour cream
2 oz. whole eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Grease one full sheet pan; line
with parchment paper.
3. Combine cherry purée, flour,
sugar, cocoa, baking powder,
baking soda and salt in bowl
of electric stand mixer.
4. Whip on medium speed for
5. Scrape down sides of bowl;
add vegetable oil and sour
6. Mix on medium speed for
7. Scrape down sides of bowl;
add eggs and vanilla extract.
8. Mix on medium speed for
9. Spread batter onto sheet pan.
Bake until golden-brown and
baked through, about
20 minutes. Cool cake completely.
10. Cut into disks, using round
cutter, to fit into bottom of
For cherry gelee:
3 ½ sheets gelatin
12 oz. Morello cherry purée
2 oz. granulated sugar
½ oz. lemon juice
1. Bloom gelatin sheets in cold
water until softened.
2. Heat gelatin and 2 oz. cherry
purée until warm and fully
3. Add melted gelatin,
sugar and lemon juice
to remaining purée.
4. Pour into ¼ sheet pan, yielding
a ½-inch layer.
5. Freeze until solid.
6. Cut into disks, using round
cutter, to fit into middle of
For vanilla bean mousse:
8 oz. pasteurized egg yolks
8 oz. powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 qt. heavy whipping cream
1 oz. gelatin sheets
2 oz. Kirschwasser or cherry
12 cherry gelee disks
12 chocolate cake disks
1. Put egg yolks, powdered sugar
and vanilla bean seeds in bowl
of electric stand mixer. Whip to
2. Put cream in chilled mixing
bowl of electric stand mixer.
Whip to soft, runny peaks.
3. Bloom gelatin sheets in cold
water until softened.
4. Heat gelatin and Kirschwasser
until warm and fully melted.
5. Add melted gelatin to whipped
6. Fold in soft whipped cream.
7. Portion into dome molds until
8. Place disk of cherry gelee
9. Fill remainder of mold with
10. Cap with disk of chocolate cake.
11.Freeze until solid. Unmold
For mirror glaze:
1∕³ oz. gelatin
4 ½ oz. water, divided
3 ½ oz. sweetened condensed milk
5 ¼ oz. white chocolate
3 ¼ oz. cocoa butter
5 ¼ oz. sugar
5 ¼ oz. glucose syrup
¼ oz. red fat-soluble food color
1. Bloom gelatin with 2 oz. of water.
2. Heat until melted.
3. Combine gelatin mixture,
condensed milk, white
chocolate and cocoa butter.
4. Bring remaining water, sugar
and glucose syrup to a boil.
5. Pour hot sugar syrup over
chocolate mixture; mix until
chocolate is melted completely.
6. Add red food color until
desired color is achieved.
7. Allow mirror glaze to reach 95°F.
8. Pour mirror glaze over
For minted cherry salad:
2 oz. dark Bing cherries,
4 oz. yellow Rainier cherries,
8 leaves fresh mint, fine chiffonade
2 oz. light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1. Mix cherries, mint, corn syrup
and vanilla bean seeds
For cocoa airbrush spray:
As needed, extremely hot water
1 oz. extra brut cocoa powder
1. Mix hot water into cocoa
powder until mixture reaches
consistency of milk.
2. Put in airbrush; spray through
template onto plates.
For chocolate filigree:
2 oz. tempered dark chocolate
1. Pipe tempered chocolate into
2. Allow to set completely.