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.