Cherry Chocolate Cake

My man craved chocolate and I wanted cherries. Sometimes it’s so easy to come up with a new recipe. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe from my 365 book – recipe no. 189 crowned by a marbled raspberry whipped cream – and topped it off with Turkish sweet cherries and German sour cherries. The cake is made with melted bittersweet chocolate, which I much prefer over cakes made with cocoa powder and water. I find the taste more complex when using proper chocolate. The egg whites are beaten stiff, which gives the cake enough oomph to rise. However, I wasn’t sure if the cherries would be too heavy and drag it down so I added a little baking powder. I decreased the amount of sugar to balance the fruit’s natural sweetness and was more than pleased with the result. It’s a very comforting cake, hassle-free and easy to love.

As I watched the humming mixer slowly swirl the melted chocolate into the batter, I noticed a pattern. Every time July rolls around, I develop a new cherry-chocolate recipe. It’s not really a surprise, the fruit’s sweet juices and the depth of bittersweet chocolate is a genius combination. Yet seeing it become – unintentionally – a blog tradition struck me. There’s a Cherry Chocolate Meringue Pie in the archives, recipes for Black Forest Pancakes, Cherry Chocolate Marble Bundt Cake and a Cherry Chocolate Tart. All posted in July and August. And every year I ask myself “is this combination summery enough? Is this what you really want to nibble on on a hot afternoon?.” The answer is a resounding yes! and the reason is just as simple: our mind tells us exactly what we need. When we crave a certain ingredient or combination and when we notice this craving, it’s usually the best thing you can possibly put into your mouth. A chocolate and cherry cake answers the pleading cravings of every chocolate and summer fruit lover and is just as perfect for breakfast and brunch as for afternoon tea or dessert after dinner.

Cherry Chocolate Cake

  • 140g / 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 150g / 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 large eggs, separated 
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 150g / 3/4 cup  granulated sugar
  • 130g / 1 cup all-purpose flour (or white spelt flour type 630)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 140g / 5 ounces pitted sweet cherries (weight without pits!)
  • 60g / 2 ounces pitted sour cherries (weight without pits!)

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F (preferably convection setting). Butter an 20 cm / 8-inch springform pan.

For the cake, melt the chocolate, butter, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking until smooth; let cool for a few minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and salt for a few minutes or until stiff, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.

In the same bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks and sugar for 2 minutes or until thick and creamy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix for 1 minute or until well combined. Combine the flour and baking powder, add to the butter-chocolate mixture, and mix until well combined then fold the egg whites into the batter (it will be a bit sticky and takes some time, be patient). Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and arrange the cherries on top, pushing them just a little into the batter (see picture below). Bake for about 45 minutes (slightly longer if using a conventional oven) or until golden brown and spongy. If you insert a skewer in the center of the cake, it should come out almost clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes then take it out of the pan.