bittersweet chocolate cake

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Balaton Cherry Compote

Daniela Weiner grew up in Austria’s Tyrolean mountains—a land of legendary snowscapes and kitchens scented with vanilla and cinnamon. As a child Weiner baked with her grandmother, then went on to train in Chicago before moving to Traverse City where she’s cultivated a loyal following. Try her bittersweet chocolate cake, then devour more of her decadent holiday recipes. (Editor's Note: Daniela is on to new adventures and no longer in the TC area.)


  • 1 pound dark chocolate chips (60 percent cacao or more)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup very hot coffee
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Balaton Cherry Compote
  • 2 cups frozen Balaton cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest and juice from one orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 split vanilla bean
  • Pinch of salt


Cake Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10-inch springform pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper. Place the dark chocolate into the bowl of a large food processor and pulse until the chocolate breaks into small bits. Add the sugar. Pulse until the chocolate and sugar turn into an even, sandy grain. Pour the coffee slowly into the feed tube as you pulse again. Pulse until the chocolate is melted. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Add the eggs, salt and vanilla, and process until smooth. The batter will be liquid and creamy. Pour the batter into the lined Springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees in the center of the oven, until puffed and cracked on top—about 55 to 65 minutes. Use a wooden toothpick to check the center of the cake; pick should emerge clean. Place the cake pan on a wire rack to cool. The cake will deflate. Don’t worry! When cooled a bit, press down on cake gently with a spatula to make it even. When the cake is completely cooled, cover and chill for three hours before serving. Release the cake from the pan and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with warm Balaton cherry compote. This cake can be made a couple of days ahead and holds well in the refrigerator for up to one week. Cherry Compote Combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski