Flourless black forest cupcake

Beirut is not lacking in fine pastry shops; quite the contrary, I can list several that rival Paris best pâtisseries (there is even a Ladurée shop in Beirut for macarons), not counting my friendAnne-Maries yummy creations.

As a side note, the reason Lebanon has such a strong French influence is not because it was a former colony (which it was not), but because in the 19th century Lebanon’s first industry was producing silk and its main client was France (the city of Lyon), which encouraged the French government and their trading partners to invest heavily in the country, establishing schools and beefing up infrastructure. 

 One likes to make a little chocolatey something at home  on the spur-of-the-moment and this is it. The technique used in making these is the same as for a mousse, except that the batter is baked a little. The cake has a light and slightly spongy texture, a result of incorporating a meringue to the batter. 

The recipe for these black forest cupcakes came from a chocolate bar wrapper (Nestlé corsé, called fondant au chocolat); figured I would call it black forest because I baked the fondant in muffin cups and added kirsch-smothered cherries to the batter (called griottes). Use pitted canned dark  cherries and add a touch of cherry liqueur as a fine substitute, since these types of cherries (wild and soaked in liqueur and jarred in France) may be hard to find elsewhere.

INGREDIENTS: 8 servings

  • 6 oz of  dark chocolate ( I used Nestlé corsé) (200 g.)
  • 4 oz  of unsalted butter (125 g.)
  • 1 1/4 cup of  powdered sugar (regular sugar is OK)(150 g.)
  • 6  large eggs
  • 1 cup of sour cherries or griottes if possible or dark canned pitted cherries (150 g.)
  • 1 tbsp of kirsch or cherry syrup (optional)
  • whipping cream to serve  or garnish with (optional)
METHOD:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (375F). In a saucepan, melt the chocolate broken into chunks with the butter (or in the microwave). Mix the egg yolks and the sugar and add the chocolate mixture. 
  2. Beat the egg whites till stiff and glossy and incorporate to the chocolate mixture gently using a spatula and an up-and-down motion.
  3. Pour into a cake pan lined with baking paper and greased and floured or (9 inch cake mold) or into cupcake liners in a muffin pan.  Drop 2 or 3 cherries on the batter as you are filling the cupcake liners (per liner) or about a cup of cherries for the entire cake pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes if in a cake mold or 8 minutes in a muffin pan, checking to make sure it is not too wet or does not get too dry. The cakes will puff up and stay moist in the center.
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24 Comments

  1. Posted April 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    perfect for a good start!

  2. Posted April 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Those must be divine! Perfect with a good cup of coffee.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Posted April 20, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    These look decadent and delicious–the perfect complement with coffee. I’m such a fan of the way you compose your photos!

  4. Angel of the North
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    What a superb recipe. In the UK there is a downmarket supermarket chain called Aldi which foir some reason sells superb frozen sour cherries which would be ideal for this. I’ve already passed on the recipe to a gluten-free friend.

  5. Joumana
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    @ Alaiyo: thanks!

    @Belinda: There is nothing I would love more!

    @Kate: first off, thanks so much for the heap of praise which I am eating up (like I did the cupcakes earlier!); yes, I have experimented with chickpea flour, a very interesting ingredient, used in many cultures; apparently in Lebanon, bakers use it to make the country-style tanoor sometimes but I have yet to snatch up a recipe! I made Persian cookies with chickpea flour and some oatmeal cookies and I tried a savory galette from Nice (called panisse). Here is the link
    http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2011/10/chickpea-cookies/
    http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2011/05/oatmeal-and-chickpea-flour-cookies/
    There will be more to come! Take care, Joumana

    @Barbara: Actually this cake is light in texture due to the fact that egg whites are beaten into a meringue and incorporated to the batter. It is in reality a mousse that is baked.

  6. Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    You always know how to tempt me! How lovely to sit for an afternoon tea with you and these cupcakes.

  7. Posted April 20, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I can’t decide which I like better – the cupcake size version of the Black Forrest Cake or the kirsch smothered cherries contained within.

  8. Posted April 20, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    making flourless cake is an art. These have turned out really beautiful.

  9. Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Someday I am coming to Lebanon for a pastry shop urban hike, ending at your place!

  10. Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Oh vraiment très sympa! j’adore! Bon week-end.

  11. Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    You are not going to believe it but as soon as the cake I have on the counter is eaten I have cherry studded chocolate cupcakes on my list to bake next. Husband even requested them, so your recipe is timely and fabulous! Me next! They look delicious!

  12. Kate
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Joumana,
    I’ve become a fan of your blog, checking it religiously for new posts and browsing through old ones when I have a free moment. I’m always intrigued by the comments about Lebanon (for example the silk trade being behind the French presence in Lebanon, les bras m’en tombent!, who knew!) and I’m just as often intrigued by the recipes themselves. I’m vegetarian but I end up reading through everything because the ideas are so intersting and the flavor combinations so original. I love too, that you regularly comment on which ones are gluten free, which ones are vegetarian. It’s nice to see that you can be conscious of other ways of eating even when it’s not necessarily the way you eat (and I’m seeing that when it’s not actually a meat dish, a lot of Lebanese cuisine is actually vegan, not to mention DELICIOUS).
    Well, none of that has anything to do with your exquisite looking chocolate cupcakes. I will say they look delicious, and if I had more chocolate in the house and cherries, I would have changed my dessert plans for dinner this evening on the spot. As it is, I will have to stick to my brownies with (!) chickpea flower, something else I found on the internet. Any chance you’ve been experimenting with that ingredient or have any regional secrets for sweet and savoury treats that feature it? I’d love to see what you know about it and I look forward to reading everything else you cook.
    Mille mercis
    Kate

  13. Posted April 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    This looks yummy!

  14. Posted April 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Wow those cupcakes looks divine..

  15. Posted April 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I love black forest flavors but have never thought of combining them in a cupcake form….you are brilliant!

  16. Posted April 21, 2012 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Oh wow, what a rich cupcake! It looks wonderful! I have a half-used bottle of kirsch that I’ve been trying to find a use for, now I know what to do with it!

  17. Posted April 21, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The flourless chocolate desserts are always so dense and delicious. This looks like it is too.

  18. Posted April 22, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    These are so deliciously tempting & now I just *have* to go out and buy canned cherries!

  19. Posted April 22, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Black forest cake is a favorite of mine and these little cupcakes sound perfect.

  20. Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Quelle belle belle forêt où j’aimerais bien me promener avec ma cuillère…

  21. Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    You had me at black forest and then you HAD ME at flourless. I am just thinking up of an excuse to make these this week as I have company arriving and even though I am chin deep in unfinished errands! Am returning for this recipe for sure :)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  22. Posted April 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous cupcakes! What succulent and beautiful cherries. You don’t need pastry shops with the lovely sweets that you make!

  23. Posted April 26, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I just recently posted a similar chocolate mousse recipe with the same techinique: the thing I loved the most about the recipe is that you can serve it cold as a mousse or bake it with the bain marie method and get a cake!

  24. Posted February 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    wow they look so yummy.
    Regards
    Olguis

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