September 28, 2021

Chocolate Cake With Cherries In Barolo Chinato

Recipe: The Silver Spoon

Try this Chocolate Cake With Cherries In Barolo Chinato from the new cookbook, The Italian Bakery.


Chocolate Roulade Sponge

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 oz./generous ½ cup/120 g superfine (caster) sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3½ oz./¾ cup/100 g type “00” flour or all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 oz./¼ cup/25 g unsweetened cocoa powder

Cherry Syrup

  • 14 oz./3 cups/400 g cherries
  • 2 fl. oz./¼ cup/60 mL Barolo Chinato wine (or use Barolo or Barbaresco wine)
  • 1¾ fl. oz./3 tbsp/50 mL water
  • 2 oz./¼ cup/50 g sugar


  • 7 oz./200 g bittersweet (dark) chocolate
  • 1 oz./2 tbsp/30 g unsalted butter
  • 3 oz./generous ⅓ cup/80 g superfine (caster) sugar
  • 1¾ fl. oz./3 tbsp/50 mL water
  • 5 egg whites


Yield: Serves 8

Make Chocolate Roulade Sponge

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7 and line the jelly roll pan (Swiss roll tin) or baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and place the whites in a grease-free bowl. Add half the sugar and a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat with an electric whisk until the mixture reaches soft peaks, and the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Add the remaining sugar and a tablespoon of water to the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Beat with an electric whisk, until the mixture is light and frothy.
  4. Add a quarter of the egg whites whisked with the sugar to the beaten yolk mixture and then gently fold it into the mix using a silicone spatula.
  5. Sift all the flour and cocoa powder directly onto the beaten yolk mixture and gently fold it into the mix using a silicone spatula. Add the remaining whisked egg whites and gently fold in until fully combined.
  6. Pour the sponge mixture into the lined baking sheet, spreading it evenly. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden, risen and just firm to the touch — a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the sponge cool slightly in the pan, then turn it out onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with superfine (caster) sugar.

How To Use

To make a classic roulade, roll up the sponge while it is still warm and then leave it to cool completely while rolled into a spiral. If you try to roll the sponge when cold, it is more likely to crack. Once cool, unroll the sponge, cover it with any filling and then roll the sponge back up.

Tips & Tricks

As well as the preparation of roulades with different fillings, this type of sponge can also be used for the base and layers of a cake (see below). It can also be used in a charlotte (see page 126). In this case, you can make the sponge more decorative by piping the mixture onto a lined baking sheet using a pastry (piping) bag fitted with a ½-inch/1-cm plain piping tip (nozzle), creating oblique lines close to each other. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4. Cut the sponge to fit the bottom and sides of the pan (tin) for the charlotte.

Make Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4 and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Reserve a few cherries for decoration then wash and stone (pit) the remaining cherries using the pitting tool. Place in a saucepan with the wine, water and sugar, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Leave to cool then pour into a fine-mesh strainer (sieve) set over a bowl to collect the cooking liquid.
  3. Using the ingredient quantities listed on this page, prepare the roulade sponge following the instructions above but adding the sifted flour and cocoa powder in several stages making sure it is fully incorporated between each addition. Pour the mix into the lined baking sheet, spread it evenly and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch—a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
  4. To make the mousse, finely chop 5 oz./150 g of the bittersweet (dark) chocolate and melt in a bain-marie or double boiler with the butter, then set aside to cool.
  5. Place the sugar in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil over low heat to make a syrup. Heat the syrup to 250°F/121°C using a thermometer to check it reaches the correct temperature.
  6. Meanwhile, place the egg whites in a grease-free bowl and whisk to soft peaks. When the syrup has reached the correct temperature, drizzle it into the whisked egg whites, continuing to whisk until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and forms firm glossy peaks.
  7. Grate 1 oz./30 g of the bittersweet (dark) chocolate, add to the cooled melted chocolate and mix.
  8. Using the cake pan as a cutter, cut two 7-inch/18-cm disks of sponge. Place one in the base of the cake pan (tin) and line the inner sides with an acetate sheet. Dampen the sponge base with some of the cherry cooking liquid, then pour two-thirds of the mousse over the sponge, and add the drained cooked cherries. Cover with the remaining layer of sponge, and finish with the remaining mousse, using a spatula or palette knife to spread it evenly over the top. Leave in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours.
  9. To serve, remove the cake from the pan, transfer to a serving plate, and carefully remove and discard the acetate. Grate the remaining bittersweet (dark) chocolate over the top of the cake and decorate with the reserved cherries.