Chocolate Brownie Cake
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Can you believe it’s already February? I’ve been diligently going through my wine “collection” and some of my old family recipes trying to perfect my pairing skills while forcing myself to try some of the other wines I have accumulated in my cellar. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d dive into chocolate desserts, since for whatever reason, chocolate is associated with Valentine’s Day celebrations.
This cake is the perfect to leave in the kitchen of your office for your co-workers to enjoy or to serve to your entire family following a casual dinner. After not making this for several years, I decided to play around with the recipe to make it even better. Originally fudge-like, it’s now chewy like the brownies your mom made when you were a kid. It’s worth mentioning when I made this the first time using vanilla extract, my husband ate an entire cake minus one slice. The only chocolate he devours that quickly usually comes in the form of a Hershey bar from the check-out line from the drug store. As a way to slow him down, I made it a second time using almond extract and achieved an even richer flavor, which was exactly what I was trying to do.
One of the reasons why I love doing food and wine pairing is that I get to simultaneously drink wine and taste whatever I’m cooking. Taste some chocolate. Taste some wine. If I make the bitter beer face, it’s not a match and it’s time to move on. Instead of opening five bottles of wine, I choose a bottle of wine and pair the recipe to the wine.
- 1/4 cup cup unsalted butter, at room temperature plus more for pan
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350º
- Line an 8-inch round cake pan with a piece of foil or parchment paper, allowing the edge to hang over the pan rim. Lightly butter the foil or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and blend until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until blended. Add the salt the salt and the flour (I usually add the flour in thirds to make sure it’s all combined.)
- Melt the chocolate either over a double broiler or a heatproof bowl over boiling water (careful the two aren’t touching!) Once melted, stir and let cool slightly, about 3-4 minutes. Add it to the cake batter and beat on medium until well blended and creamy.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before removing from pan.
- Use the edges of the foil or parchment paper, lift the cooled cake out of the pan and invert the cake onto a cake stand or cake plate and peel off the parchment paper or foil. If you wish, re-invert the cake and using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top with cocoa powder, cut into wedges and serve.
I dusted the serving platter with cocoa powder to keep the cake from sticking to the plate, which is especially useful if you're planning to serve the cake directly from a platter.
Suggested Wine Pairing
If you're serving this for a party, imagine your guests swooning over the Eiffel Tower plates and cake stand! Aren't they just adorable?