Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011
In the 12th century, Catalonia was brought under the same royal rule as the neighboring kingdom of Aragon, going on to become a major medieval sea power. Catalonia has been part of Spain since its genesis in the 15th century, when King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile married and united their realms.
Barcelona was the cultural hub of the Catalan people. Barcelona today is a food lover’s paradise. It’s not all about tapas, fresh-cured olives and wonderful hanging Spanish hams. The city is a mecca for sampling some of the best xocolata (chocolate) in the world. There is nothing better than fresh-lady fingers dipped in a cup of steamy, thick Barcelona-style hot chocolate first thing in the morning.
You can find chocolate of all sorts of chocolate products at Las Ramblas the busy tourist area where it’s hard to resist the cakes and pastries at some of the greatest bakeries in the world. Barcelona is filled with chocolate, with chocolate specialty shops galore and bakeries. There is even a chocolate museum. Museu de la Xocolata is a must see private museum in Barcelona owned by the Gremi de Pastisseria de Barcelona.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 to 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8
3/4 cup unsalted butter (I use Plugra European-style butter, but you don’t have to)
5-1/2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, rough chopped
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulate sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup black cherry preserves, for serving
Crème fraîche, for serving (see recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Lightly butter and dust with cocoa powder a 9-inch round cake pan.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl combine the butter and chocolate. Melt the mixture for about 2 minutes in 15 to 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until smooth.
- Set aside and let cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the eggs with the sugar at high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt and mix at low speed until just until combined.
- Using a rubber spatula fold in one-third of the melted chocolate, then gently fold in the remaining chocolate. Do Not Over Mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Invert the cake onto a rack and let cool.
- In a saucepan, warm the cherry preserves over moderate heat.
- Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the cherry preserves topped crème fraiche or whipped cream.
ChefSecret: When flouring your cake pan use cocoa powder instead of white flour to prevent white streaks at the edges of the cake. For the Black Cherry Preserves I like to use Casa Giulia Amarene. There are also a few wonderful Italian brandied black cheery preserves. Can’t find these, any black cherry preserve will work, just not as well.
Want to make your own Crème fraîche? It’s easy.
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
- Combine 1 cup of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk in a glass container.
- Cover and let it stand at room temperature (about 70°F) for 8 to 24 hours or until very thick.
- Stir well before covering; refrigerate for up to 7 days.