vanilla salted chocolate cherry decadence

Well, having been tasked to create a fabulous recipe to pair with a truly great wine, here is my result — it’s party, a chocolate party — in your mouth! A sumptuous balance of sweet, tart, bitter, salty goodness, Pair it with a glass of Brian Carter Cellars Opulento, and you will shine!

Make it a day in advance. It also freezes VERY WELL!





Vanilla Salted Chocolate Cherry Decadence

Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 tablespoons Brian Carter Cellars Opulento
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 16 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla salt 1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter

for garnish:

  • powdered sugar

Opulento Whipped Cream:

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar I like to use brown sugar here
  • reserved Opulento from soaking cherries
  • vanilla salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat two 8-inch false bottom tart pans** with cooking spray; set on large sheet pan, set aside. In a small bowl, pour Opulento over cherries, let stand to soak until ready to use.
  2. Melt butter over low heat. When butter has melted add chocolate. Stir to combine. Let stand 5 minutes to melt chocolate, then stir again to smooth out.
  3. Meanwhile whisk eggs in a large bowl with sugar and vanilla salt. Whisk until the mixture triples in volume, about 8 minutes.  Fold in slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Strain cherries, reserving the Opulento; fold cherries into chocolate mixture. Spread in prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.  The center will be a little soft.  Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.  Center will sink as it cools. Holds up well in refrigerator.
  5. To serve: Slice into thin wedges, plate on dessert plates and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Opulento Whipped Cream:

  1. In mixing bowl, combine cream and Opulento; beat to soft peaks. Spoon or pipe onto of cake; garnish with a sprinkle of vanilla salt.

Recipe Notes

Each tart serves 6-8.

** or one ¼ sheet pan, lined with parchment paper. Makes 121 servings 1-inch squares.


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