HomeRecipesGhirardelli Chocolate Cherry Cake

Ghirardelli Chocolate Cherry Cake

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

Sponsored by Ghirardelli

When working with the 52% and 72% dark chocolate from Ghirardelli, I was impressed by the depth of chocolate flavor. The 72% has wonderful vanilla notes that carry over nicely to the chocolate cake. The 52% is balanced, without being overly sweet, and pairs well with red fruits. I was pleased by the Midnight Cocoa Powder and its ability to enrich and darken cookie and gelato recipes with rich chocolate color.

Yield: 12 servings

Ghirardelli 72% Chocolate Cake

  • 370 g whole eggs
  • 265 g granulated sugar
  • 240 g Ghirardelli 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 210 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 g sea salt
  1. Whisk eggs and sugar together in a stand mixer with the whip attachment.
  1. Melt Ghirardelli 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips and butter in a bowl over a double boiler. Whisk to combine.
  1. Slowly add chocolate mixture to egg mixture in mixing bowl on speed 1. Scrape sides of bowl well. Add sifted flour and sea salt and continue mixing until just combined. Do not overmix. Place chocolate batter in prepared ¼ sheet pan. Spread evenly with offset spatula.
  1. Bake at 320°F (160˚C) for 15-18 minutes. Reserve for assembly of Ghirardelli Chocolate Cherry Cakes.

52% Chocolate Caramel Mousse

  • 225 g 52% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 65 g granulated sugar
  • 140 g heavy cream, warm
  • 95 g egg yolks, pasteurized
  • 450 g heavy cream, whipped
  1. Melt the Ghirardelli 52% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips in the top of a double boiler.
  1. Make a dry caramel with the sugar. Gradually add the warm heavy cream to make an emulsion. Add to the melted chocolate and stir until well blended. Add the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture cools down below 75°F (24˚C).
  1. Fold in the whipped cream. Load into pastry bag and tie off end. Reserve for assembly.

Midnight Double Chocolate Gelato

  • 675 g whole milk
  • 150 g Ghirardelli Midnight Cocoa Powder 10/12
  • 55 g nonfat milk powder
  • 130 g unsalted butter
  • 55 g egg yolks
  • 180 g granulated sugar
  • 60 g glucose, atomized
  • 5 g ice cream stabilizer
  • 130 g 72% cacao dark chocolate shavings
  1. Heat all ingredients except chocolate shavings to 185°F (85°C). (Note: Alternatively, you can poach ‘sous vide’.)
  1. Chill; blend well.
  1. Process in batch freezer; add 72% chocolate shavings at end. Freeze until plating. 

Midnight Cocoa Powder Snap

  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 325 g granulated sugar
  • 50 g vanilla extract
  • 308 g organic coconut palm syrup
  • 10 g Ghirardelli Midnight Cocoa Powder 10/12
  • 35 g all-purpose flour
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add coconut palm syrup and Ghirardelli Midnight Cocoa Powder 10/12. Scrape down bowl, then add flour and mix until blended.
  1. Spread over square stencil on silicone sheet and store in refrigerator until set.
  1. Bake on silicone sheet at 350°F (177˚C) for approximately 9 minutes. When slightly cool, form into rounded arcs. Reserve for plating.


  • Griottine cherries, as needed
  • Black cocoa snaps 
  1. Cut out circles from 72% chocolate cake.
  1. From the cake scraps, blend 200 g scraps with 35 g milk to create chocolate cake cream. Place in small piping bag and reserve for plating.
  1. From additional cake scraps, cut ¼ʺ (0.6 cm) cake cubes and toast slightly. Reserve for plating.
  1. Place one cake circle in bottom of ring mold lined with acetate. Drop 8 Griottine cherries on top of cake and cover with 52% Chocolate Caramel Mousse. Place another cake circle on top and press down lightly to seal. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until set. Remove ring mold and acetate and cut cylinder in half.
  1. Add some chocolate cake cream to the plate. Place both halves of the chocolate cylinder so one supports the other and cherries show. Add scoop of Midnight Double Chocolate Gelato, 3-4 black cocoa snaps, 4-5 cake croutons dusted with Ghirardelli White Chocolate Sweet Powder and 5-6 Griottine cherries.
Jimmy MacMillan
Jimmy MacMillan
Jimmy MacMillan is a celebrated pastry chef, food writer, and award-winning videographer. Working under the label Pastry Virtuosity, his mission is to inspire and nurture pastry chefs and sweet businesses one project at a time. For more information, visit: www.pastryvirtuosity.com.