Very dark forest for a Porto Ruby

I was offered to participate in the second edition of the Porto Digital Challenge organized by thePort and Douro Wine Institute. The purpose of this challenge is to present an agreement with a Porto. It was an opportunity for me to improve my knowledge of Porto. In fact, only a few weeks ago, my knowledge on the subject was rather non-existent. Now I know how to differentiate Port Tawny, of the oxidative type aged in oak barrels, and Port Ruby, of the reductive type aged in the bottle, away from oxygen.
It is moreover a Porto Ruby that I had the pleasure of receiving, a Fonseca Bin N°27.

This Port seduced me with its notes of red fruits, and more particularly of cherries. I immediately imagined a recipe around this fruit. As this port wine goes very well with chocolate, I prepared a black forest, very rich in chocolate. Guanaja mousse, cocoa sponge cake and amarena cherries make this black forest irresistible for all chocolate lovers. The tasting is really sublimated by the Port. I was completely seduced by this discovery.

This pastry is very simple to make and to succeed, even if the icing step is always a little tricky.
This is a perfect dessert for the upcoming holidays.

very dark forest:

To do the night before


2 eggs
60g of sugar
45g flour
15g cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Separate the whites from the yolks.

Beating egg whites.
When the whip begins to leave traces, add the sugar, spoon by spoon.
Add the yolks and whisk briefly.
Add the flour, cocoa and yeast mixture by sieving it.
Whisk just to mix.

Divide the batter into two greased 15/16 cm molds.

Cook for about 12 minutes.

Turn out onto a rack to cool.

Chocolate mousse:

300 g of chocolate (Guanaja 70%)
210g whole milk
9 g gelatin (4 1/2 sheets)
300 g full cream

Start by rehydrating the gelatin in a large bowl of cold water.

Boil the milk.
Add the drained gelatin. To mix together.
Pour this mixture immediately over the chocolate.
Let stand 1 minute without touching.

Mix vigorously, until you have a nice ganache.

Whip the whipped cream not too firm.

Add the whipped cream to the ganache at 34°C, delicately, with a spatula.


1/2 jar of amarena cherries (about 20) and its syrup

Line a 17/18 cm circle with rhodoïd and place it on a baking sheet.

Pour a small half of chocolate mousse on the bottom. After unmolding, this will be the top of the cake.

Soak a sponge cake on the porous side with the cherry syrup, then place it on the mousse, soaked side down.

Cover the sponge cake with half of the remaining cream.
Spread the drained cherries then the rest of the mousse. If necessary, keep a little mousse to fill 3 small sphere moulds.

Soak the second sponge cake, always on the porous side and place it on the mousse

Reserve in the freezer.


100g sugar
100g glucose
45g water
75 g liquid cream
7 g gelatin (3 1/2 sheets)
100 g of chocolate (Guanaja 70%)

Rehydrate the gelatin in a bowl of cold water.

In a saucepan, bring the sugar, glucose and water to a boil.
Off the heat, add the drained gelatin, then the cream and the chocolate.
Mix well.

Refrigerate overnight.

The day after


Warm the frosting slightly, without stirring too much.

Unmold the frozen cake.
Place it on a grid, itself placed on a plate. The foam should be on top.

Pour the glaze at 35°C all at once.
Tap the plate, then place the cake on the serving platter.

Refrigerate until the mousse comes back to temperature.

For the decoration, pass the small balls of frozen mousse in the cocoa powder then place them on the icing with a few flowers.

To finish: we made 12 relatively generous portions in this cake.

Still not having a reliable thermometer in working order (I had forgotten to buy batteries for my brand new probe!), I had to compose by feeling. My icing was unfortunately a bit too cold and it didn’t spread perfectly around the edges.
On the other hand, I really liked this version where I replaced the condensed milk usually used with cream.

Question material, I use for baking sponge cakes 2 small molds of 16 cm.
For mounting I use an adjustable circle, 7.5 cm high. It’s really very practical.
To make the balls, I used a cake pop mold and it’s really nice. It’s an idea I’ll be sure to reuse. The balls hold up very well over time, however, cocoa tends to take on moisture. I therefore advise you to decorate at the last moment.
It is possible to color them with a velvet spray. In this case, they are not afraid of humidity.

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