HomeRecipes‘Black Forest’ by Jordan Pilarski

‘Black Forest’ by Jordan Pilarski

(This recipe appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

This dessert is inspired by the traditional flavors of a Black Forest gateau created back in the early-mid 1900s. Most of my plated desserts are created with a very neo-classic approach – taking traditional and well-known flavor combinations and giving them a very modern artistic finish. Each one of the following recipes was made in order to achieve the perfect balance of all flavors considered in a Black Forest gateau. Technique driven, this dessert showcases some gastronomy, as well as ingenuity when creating realistic elements. Desserts that I tend to enjoy usually stand as my inspiration when deciding on what classic combination to choose and put a modern spin on.

Yield: 10 plates

Black Cherry Semi-Freddo

  • 3 g powdered gelatin
  • 15 g water
  • 130 g black cherry purée
  • 32 g granulated sugar
  • 39 g egg yolks
  • 50 g whole egg
  • 50 g unsalted butter, softened
  1. Bloom gelatin in water.
  1. In a medium-sized pot, melt the purée and sugar. Bring to a boil.
  1. Mix together the egg yolks and egg until homogenous. When the purée is hot, slowly temper into egg mixture and then back into the pot. Cook to 180˚F (82˚C), or until you see it begin to thicken, then remove from heat.
  1. Cool to 104˚F (40˚C), then mix in butter with immersion blender. Deposit into Pavoni GG016 cherry silicone molds.

Microwave Sponge Cake

  • 180 g egg whites
  • 55 g granulated sugar
  • 35 g almond flour
  • 16 g all-purpose flour
  • 3 g vanilla paste
  1. Combine all ingredients and whisk until fully incorporated. Strain mixture.
  1. Place in a siphon gun and charge twice with CO2 cartridges. Dispense into paper cups about halfway full. Microwave for 45-60 seconds on high. Once the cake is cooked, immediately flip upside down onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze and unmold when ready to use.

Valrhona 66% Caraibe Dark Chocolate Cremeux

  • 3 g powdered gelatin
  • 15 g water
  • 162 g milk
  • 162 g heavy cream
  • 65 g egg yolks
  • 150 g Valrhona 66% Caraibe dark chocolate
  1. Bloom gelatin in water.
  1. Combine milk and cream in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once the cream is boiling, temper into the egg yolks and back into the saucepan until thickened.
  1. Pour over chocolate and mix with immersion blender until smooth. Refrigerate overnight and use when ready.

Kirsch Gel

  • 250 g kirsch liqueur
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 5 g agar agar
  • 40 g  water
  1. Place kirsch in a small saucepan.
  1. Whisk together the sugar and agar agar.
  1. Bring kirsch to a boil and then add the sugar mixture. Whisk and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Let sit in cooler until fully set.
  1. Process in Robot Coupe with the water until smooth.

Black Cherry Ribbon

  • 3 g powdered gelatin
  • 15 g water
  • 65 g granulate sugar
  • 4 g agar agar
  • 250 g black cherry purée
  • 1 full sheet acetate
  1. Bloom the gelatin in the water.
  1. Whisk together the sugar and agar agar.
  1. Place the purée in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the sugar mixture and bring back to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin. Immediately pour onto a large sheet of acetate and spread out evenly. Let sit in refrigerator until set.
  1. Cut out 4ʺ (10.16 cm) circles when ready to plate.

Chocolate Rosemary Soil

  • 57 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 57 g granulated sugar
  • 85 g all-purpose flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 10 g rosemary, finely chopped
  1. Place all ingredients into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed to a sandy texture.
  1. Place on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 350˚F (177˚C) for 12-15 minutes. Cool, then blend in Robot Coupe until fine textured.

Mirror Glaze (Cherries)

  • 16 g powdered gelatin
  • 285 g water, divided into 3 measurements
  • 250 g glucose
  • 250 g granulated sugar
  • 50 g Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate 35%
  • 80 g cocoa butter
  • 160 g condensed milk
  • 3 g purple food coloring
  • 3 g burgundy food coloring
  • 3 g red food coloring
  1. Bloom gelatin in 80 g of the water.
  1. Place 125 g of the remaining water, the glucose and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  1. Place the white chocolate, cocoa butter, the remaining 80 g water and condensed milk into a medium-sized bowl. Once the sugars and water come to a boil, pour over the rest of ingredients and mix with immersion blender until combined. Add the food coloring and mix until combined. Let cool to 104˚F (40˚C) before you use for glazing.


  • Micro red sorrel
  • Fresh cherries
  1. Cut a 4-inch (10 cm) round of the black cherry ribbon and place in the center of the plate. Place about 3 Tbs of crumble in a line on the left side of the ribbon. Fill each log (like a cannoli); put the chocolate cremeux into a piping bag and fill one half end of the log. Put the kirsch gel into a squeeze bottle and place three dots in the center of the log. Fill the rest of the log with cremeux and level. Put 3 filled chocolate logs on top of one another in the shape of a triangle over the crumble on the left side of the plate.
  1. Place stems into the cherry semifreddo and put two on the plate of either side of the logs. Unmold microwave sponge and place quarter sized pieces also on either side of the logs. Finish with fresh cherry halves and micro red sorrel leaves and serve.

About Jordan Pilarski

Jordan Pilarski is the Pastry Chef at Alessia Patisserie and Cafe in Santa Barbara, CA. He was motivated as a child to become a pastry chef by his architect grandfather, who was always working with his hands and drawing blueprints. He has become known among pastry chefs for his neo-classical sweets and has also been passing on his ideas to his fellow teammates.

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