Pairing wine with food can be a fun adventure. Pairing wine with desserts? That tends to be intimidating. Go too sweet and the whole thing is cloying, go too dry and it’s completely discordant.
To help solve this problem, I partnered with Scharffen Berger Chocolate to share a new recipe. Inspired by the flavors of one of my favorite Napa Pinot Noirs and the rich depth of Scharffen Berger’s bittersweet chocolate. I created this simple French chocolate cake drizzled with Cherry Pinot Noir Sauce – the perfect dessert for Mother’s Day. In fact, cherries are just reaching their peak in the season, and are one of the foundational flavors of California Pinot Noir – tart, slightly sweet, and with an intense red fruit flavor. Cherries also happen to pair brilliantly with chocolate, so here we are.
You’ll notice the recipe contains a pretty small amount of ingredients, and that’s because it relies on using high quality, delicious flavors. For a recipe like this to work, you need to choose the best chocolate and the ripest cherries you can find.
Alternatively for my Los Angeles and Seattle folks, if you want to skip the recipe but still want a chocolate and wine experience with mom, Scharffen Berger has you covered this Mother’s Day weekend. Scharffen Berger has teamed up with Drizly, an on-demand liquor provider that delivers within the hour, to deliver Scharffen Berger chocolate and wine pairing kits. Now through tomorrow, the first 100 people in each market who order wine through Drizly will receive a complimentary kit (see image of the package above). So if you don’t have time to make the French Chocolate Cherry Cake for mom, have no fear. This is a great opportunity to still enjoy the perfect pair of chocolate and wine together.
INGREDIENTS (FRENCH CHOCOLATE CHERRY CAKE)
1/3 cup sugar
10 ounces Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Chocolate
2 ounces unsalted butter
2 teaspoon vanilla
5 eggs, separated
1/3 cup flour, sifted
pinch of salt
Schraffen Berger Unsweetened Cocoa, to garnish
fresh cherries, for garnish
cherry pinot sauce (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter a 9 1/2 inch springform pan and sprinkle with sugar, tapping out excess. Set aside 3 tablespoons sugar. Place chocolate, butter and remaining sugar in a heavy saucepan and cook over low heat until the chocolate and butter have melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from heat, stir in vanilla and cool slightly. Beat in egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour. Beat egg whites in mixer until frothy. Add salt and beat to soft peaks. Add the reserved sugar and beat to stiff, glossy peaks. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate and mix to lighten. Fold in remaining egg whites. Pour into prepared pan and tap gently to release any air bubbles. Bake for 35-45 minutes until well risen and the center springs back when lightly touched. Transfer cake to a wire rack and remove the side of the pan. Cool completely. Drizzle with Cherry Pinot Noir Sauce.
INGREDIENTS (CHERRY PINOT SAUCE)
1 cup pitted cherries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup pinot noir
Combine all of the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer, until sauce is a thin syrup. Cool completely.