Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cake of the Week: Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Well isn’t this a classy cake fit for a cocktail party? 

I don’t usually bake with alcohol, but this cake was just too alluring for me to pass up. Red wine and chocolate are the decadent stuff of romance novels and date movies and depressed dumpees, am I right? (This recipe would probably be more fitting to post near Valentine’s Day, but in Mollie-world every day is a good day for chocolate!)

If you prefer to skip the red wine, you can substitute buttermilk in this one-bowl super-simple cake. Though the wine adds a nice interesting flavor – the cake doesn’t taste alcohol-y, just like a chocolate cake with a bit of a hmmmm what is that? intriguing sort of kick. I made this for my Hunger Games Dinner Party -- it's very easy to transport since you can just make the whipped cream when you arrive. 

You could serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar, or fresh strawberries, or whipped cream (yummm!).

Red Wine Chocolate Cake (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup red wine, any kind you like, OR buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder (if you only have regular unsweetened cocoa powder, use: ½ cup cocoa powder plus ¼ teaspoon baking powder)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup chilled heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh strawberries (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment, and either butter and lightly flour the parchment and exposed sides of the pan, or spray the interior with a nonstick spray and dust with flour. 
  2. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and yolk and beat well, then the red wine and vanilla. 
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together, right over your wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula. 
  4. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be shiny and smooth, like a puddle of chocolate. 
  5. 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. This cake keeps well at room temperature or in the fridge. 

Whipped Cream:
  1. Chill a bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before starting the whipped cream.
  2. Beat cream until soft peaks form.
  3. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until stiff.
  4. Dollop and enjoy!

  • Slice fresh strawberries and pile on top of the cake.