We love the region and wines of Piedmonte, so we are excited to share this chocolate cake made with Barolo Chinato from the new cookbook The Italian Bakery: Step-by-Recipes with the Silver Spoon. Chinato is an after-dinner digestif made from Barolo wine. If you can’t find Chinato, you can substitute Barolo or Barbaresco wine. Enjoy!
CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHERRIES IN BAROLO CHINATO
- 4 eggs
- 4 oz (generous ½ cup/120 g) superfine, caster sugar Pinch of salt
- 3½ oz (¾ cup/100 g) type “00” flour or all-purpose, plain flour
- 1 oz (¼ cup/25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 14 oz (3 cups/400 g) cherries
- 2 fl oz (¼ cup/60 ml) Barolo Chinato wine, (or use Barolo or Barbaresco wine)
- 1¾ fl oz (3 tablespoons/50 ml) water
- 2 oz (¼ cup/50 g) sugar
- 7 oz (200 g) bittersweet dark chocolate
- 1 oz (2 tablespoons/30 g) unsalted butter
- 3 oz (generous ⅓ cup/80 g) superfine caster sugar
- 1¾ fl oz (3 tablespoons/50 ml) water
- 5 egg whites
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4 and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites and place the whites in a grease-free bowl. Add half the sugar and a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat with an electric whisk until the mixture reaches soft peaks, and the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Add the remaining sugar and a tablespoon of water to the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Beat with an electric whisk, until the mixture is light and frothy.
- Add a quarter of the egg whites whisked with the sugar to the beaten yolk mixture and then gently fold it into the mix using a silicone spatula.
- Sift flour and cocoa powder in several stages making sure it is fully incorporated between each addition directly onto the beaten yolk mixture and gently fold it into the mix using a silicone spatula. Add the remaining whisked egg whites and gently fold in until fully combined.
- Pour the mix into the lined baking sheet, spread it evenly and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch—a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
- Reserve a few cherries for decoration then wash and stone (pit) the remaining cherries using the pitting tool. Place in a saucepan with the wine, water and sugar, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Leave to cool then pour into a fine-mesh strainer (sieve) set over a bowl to collect the cooking liquid.
- finely chop 5 ounces/150 g of the bittersweet (dark) chocolate and melt in a bain-marie or double boiler with the butter, then set aside to cool.
- Place the sugar in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil over low heat to make a syrup. Heat the syrup to 250°F/121°C using a thermometer to check it reaches the correct temperature.
- Meanwhile, place the egg whites in a grease-free bowl and whisk to soft peaks. When the syrup has reached the correct temperature, drizzle it into the whisked egg whites, continuing to whisk until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and forms firm glossy peaks.
- Grate 1 ounce/30 g of the bittersweet (dark) chocolate, add to the cooled melted chocolate and mix.
- Using the cake pan as a cutter, cut two 7-inch/18-cm disks of sponge. Place one in the base of the cake pan (tin) and line the inner sides with an acetate sheet. Dampen the sponge base with some of the cherry cooking liquid, then pour two-thirds of the mousse over the sponge, and add the drained cooked cherries. Cover with the remaining layer of sponge, and finish with the remaining mousse, using a spatula or palette knife to spread it evenly over the top. Leave in the refrigerator for 5–6 hours.
- Remove the cake from the pan, transfer to a serving plate, and carefully remove and discard the acetate. Grate the remaining bittersweet (dark) chocolate over the top of the cake and decorate with the reserved cherries.
Reprinted from The Italian Bakery: Step-by-Recipes with the Silver Spoon by The Silver Spoon Kitchen. © 2021 Phaidon Press.