This cake is dense and rich, moist, and double chocolatey with a hint of coffee and a unique melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is the improved Wicked Chocolate Cake recipe that was served at D’Amico’s Café for many years. And my family taste-testers agree that it is even better than the original. The intense chocolate flavor comes from the addition of both dark chocolate and cocoa powder. I love an easy “one bowl” cake recipe, especially when it tastes this good! Although simply delicious on its own with a dusting of cocoa powder, it is easily transformed into an elegant cake by covering it with a thin layer of Chocolate Ganache – chocolate heaven! My favorite way to enjoy it is with homemade, Sour Cherry Compote spooned over the top. Equally delicious, serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or Mascarpone Cream. It holds well and freezes (unadorned) beautifully. A few seconds in the microwave will make this taste like it just came out of the oven.
Wicked Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup plus 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1½ cups boiling water
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cocoa powder for finishing (optional)
Espresso Mascarpone Cream (optional)
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup Mascarpone
- 2½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 2½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sour Cherry Compote (optional)
- 2 cups frozen pie or sour cherries, no need to thaw
- ¼ cup cherry juice or water
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar (depending on level of sweetness you like)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 325° convection.
- Using softened butter, grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl (I use a whisk for this) and set aside.
- Place butter, chocolate, espresso powder, and boiling water in a large heatproof bowl and mix well until everything is melted and smooth.
- Add the sugar to the bowl and whisk in until dissolved.
- Add eggs and vanilla and whisk again until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and whisk into the melted chocolate mixture. The batter might seem rather liquid – that is correct.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 38-40 minutes or until the cake tests clean with a few crumbs attached. The top forms a crust and cracks a little.
- Let the cake cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Run a thin spatula around the cake pan to release it; turn cake out on a cooling rack. Remove parchment paper and transfer cake to a serving dish.
- Sift cocoa powder lightly over the cake, if desired. If you plan to cover the cake with Chocolate Ganache, do NOT dust with cocoa powder.
Espresso Mascarpone Cream
- Add all ingredients to bowl of stand mixer.
- Beat, using whisk attachment, for 1-2 minutes or until soft peaks form.
Sour Cherry Compote
- NOTE: I like the tartness of sour cherries to balance the richness and sweetness of the cake. Use dark, sweet cherries if you prefer. And of course, you can use pitted fresh cherries if you like.
- Combine cherries, cherry juice or water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Dissolve cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water and add to the simmering cherries; stir together.
- Add the extracts and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened.