Chocolate Cherry Emergency Cake

Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Chocolate Cherry Emergency Cake

I have had this recipe all written up for years, waiting to post during a holiday rush, but it seems to me like now might be the perfect time to share this uncomplicated, family friendly sweet treat. I call this my emergency cake for those occasions when I need to take something to a friend, a last minute dinner invite or a school function. This recipe is one for which I can always have the ingredients on hand and bake up quickly without making the kitchen a disaster zone. Plus, it’s really good, moist and chocolatey with a nice little fruity sweetness.

I have been making versions of this cake for years – it was originally inspired by a recipe I cut from an English magazine that used orange marmalade. And that is a great version. But I soon discovered you can use any type of jam you happen to have, or one that suits your tastes. I’ve used raspberry preserves, strawberry jam, even some of my own homemade jams. But I particularly love this cherry version. French cherry preserves have become pretty easy to find at my local grocery stores, and this takes exactly one jar of the Bonne Maman brand. At the holidays, I am always tempted by those pretty jars of Italian cherries in syrup, and those make a great accompaniment to this cake. You could even add a glug of liqueur to the batter to complement the jam.

Chocolate Cherry Emergency Cake

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3.5 ounces dark chocolate

1 cup cherry preserves (such as Bonne Maman)

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 ¼ cup self-rising flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with baking spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cherry preserves and the sugar. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then beat in the eggs. Gently fold in the flour in three additions, just until there is no white flour visible. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, just until the center is firm and a tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Cool the cake for 15 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edge. Remove the ring, invert the cake onto a platter and remove the bottom and parchment paper. Leave to cool completely.

Serves 6

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3 comments to Chocolate Cherry Emergency Cake

  • Jeff Winett

    I am curious if you ever use weights when measuring flour. And if not, I would like to know your technique of measuring a cup of flour, so I might translate this to a particular weight. This cake sounds so wonderful, and as you wrote….a perfect time to prepare this treat. Thank you for your wonderful recipes.

  • beth

    oh, good one to have in the pocket. i have a lot of preserves (from going a little haywire with canning a few years back), and this gives me another way to use them up. thanks!

  • I don’t generally use weights, but when measuring flour I scoop up a cup (or whatever), then shake it back into the bag or container, then scoop the loosened flour again and gently shake to level the measure. I have found this works as well as spooning flour into the measure and leveling with a knife. Enjoy!

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