Monday, November 25, 2013

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

The one reason I don't cook or bake with alcohol much is simple because there is never any in the house. It's a stupid reason, I know, since I can easily buy wine online or even drive to the bottle shop if it's urgent so the first thing I did when exams finished was to finally purchase a bottle of red wine to play around with!! :)


In the type of Asian cooking we do at home, we only ever occasionally add a splash or rice wine here or there in our stir fries so I was a bit surprised when I first learnt about Western foods, that there was quite a lot of alcohol in a lot of the recipes I wanted to attempt! A lot of stews I wanted to make required red or white wine for depth of flavour, some required beer in the marinades to tenderise the meats- there were even cakes which required beer........all of which I'd love to try some day!



The extent of my alcohol usage in the kitchen is a bit of rum in my ice-cream batters to make them smoother and small amounts for soaking cakes in- so I did have quite a collection of bookmarked recipes I've never tried due to not having the alcohol required in the recipe. Most of them are recipes for savoury stuff like stews and other comfort foods I've been pretty intrigued about (since I haven't really tried much of them) and I'd originally planned to make one of them, until I came across this even better idea: red wine chocolate cake!!

I'm not actually a fan of wine in generally, much less red wine but this recipe received rave reviews online, the cake looked amazing and the idea of wine in cake sounded pretty interesting so I gave it a go.


The cake is pretty simple to make, just like your average chocolate cake recipe and whips up pretty quickly too. I made mine into individual cakes (using my friand pan since it was the only one which would fit into my small oven!) and sandwiched them with a bit of ganache.....because chocolate cake always tastes better with ganache ;)

Texture-wise, I was a little dissappointed as the texture is quite ordinary, perhaps a little on the dry and crumbly side though it's still enjoyable. Taste-wise, the cake retains a strong red-wine taste which I thought I wouldn't like, but it turns out that whilst it's noticeable, it's not too strong, so it ends up complimenting the chocolate taste quite well! I would've liked the cake to be more chocolate-y but that's my fault because I used Cadbury chocolate powder, which I find gives a very mild chocolate flavour.

The cake doesn't actually use up much red wine, which means I have plenty more to experiment with!! Yay! Any suggestions?  :)



Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Note: I halved the recipe and made them into around 10 friand shaped cakes

225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
400g plain flour
430g dark brown sugar
150g granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
530ml red wine (any kind you like)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
130g Dutch cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon table salt

Make the cake. Preheat your oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/Gas 3. Line the bottom of three 23cm round cake tins with parchment, and either butter and lightly flour the parchment and exposed sides of the pans, or spray the interior with a nonstick spray (I used a muffin/friand pan). In a large bowl, at the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat well, then the red wine and vanilla. Don't worry if the batter looks a little uneven. Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together, right over your wet ingredients. Mix until three-quarters combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula. Divide batter between prepared tins. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean. The top of each cake should be shiny and smooth, like a puddle of chocolate. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.

I then covered and sandwiched mine in ganache but they're also good without it!

15 comments:

Amelia said...

Hi Von, how you doing? Love your delightful red wine chocolate cake. The texture look soft and moist.. and I sure love the topping. Mind if you send me 2 pieces. LOL

Have a nice day.

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Ooh haven't made a cake with red wine before! Sounds intriguing especially with the cinnamon to accent those spicy notes. lol

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You said...

These chocolate cakes with red wine look both lovely and tasty!

Monica said...

I've never tried red wine in cake so this is very interesting. I like your choice of ganache - I agree that it's totally the way to go with chocolate cake! : )

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

Red wine and chocolate are a perfect pairing. Great job with this cake Von! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Hope to see you again soon!

Navaneetham Krishnan said...

Being another typical Asian, I only use Chinese wine for dishes, that too a little splash. I am aware how much wine is popular in Western dishes. Yet I seldom add, what more when I hardly bake.

Lovely and tempting choc cake with the wine factor for extra flavors.

Treat and Trick said...

Great photo and this combo looks super yummy! Thanks for your lovely comment Von...

Lia Teixeira said...

Hi Von,
Fantastic chocolate cakes. I have a similar recipe and I'm very intrigued by the flavour.
Cheers,
Lia.

CQUEK said...

The whole family loved these, they were all gone within an hour!

Rosita Vargas said...

Luce muy bueno con chocolate y vino una exquisitez,abrazos.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

I love the idea of red wine cakes. Not sure I ever tried that but I can imagine it gives a nice little flavor. Will try.

sprinklesandsauce said...

Great recipe! We have never tried red wine cake before. Now we have a good reason! Thanks!

Joanne said...

I've put red wine in cake before! It adds such a nice, subtle fruity flavor!

grace said...

i don't care for red wine either, so this might be the only way i'd ever consume it with gusto. :)

Violeta Pasat said...

I always have alcohol in my kitchen :)for baking cakes,of course!but I've never tried wine in desserts.One day I will try your recipe.These chocolate cakes look irresistible.

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