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November 17, 2013

red wine chocolate cake.

I recently bought this wine - it's called Sweet Red and total college budget level (Carlo Rossi anyone?). Wine is definitely growing on me, especially red. I mean no big deal that I can't pair it with food or make any knowledgable comment about it whatsoever, but I'm slowly learning!

So this Sweet Red. I tried it, and was like, yeah it's totally sweet! Then I looked at the label and was like oh yeah. It's totally less than 10% alcohol. So it's sort of like juice. Right?

Ha ha. Kidding. But that's more sugar than I would want in an occasional drink with dinner. So I decided that it must be put into cake. It made perfect sense to me. And apparently to Deb from Smitten Kitchen, too, because that's where I found the recipe for this delicious cake.

Started "Wine & Dine" a little early ..

I went to a "Wine and Dine" this past weekend. It was a casual, potluck style dinner with various types of wine - white, red, and pink. There was Bulgarian food (apparently the original spanakopita, sans spinach), Italian food, salad, and dessert! This cake + a funfetti cake.

Batter will look curdled! Have no fear, it turns into the next picture ....

The night was fun! The red wine cake was a hit. It was super moist, but not too heavy. I usually prefer some texture & contrast - a little vanilla ice cream or macerated berries would've been really nice. But everyone loved it, and it is still great as is! I wasn't able to take a picture of a slice, but you can see from the top that it's definitely not dry.

Still SLIGHTLY chunky looking, but turns out perfect.

The almost entire cup of wine in there probably helps. Hey, if you're gonna feature an ingredient in the title of the name, there better be enough in there to warrant it!

If you ever end up with a red wine you don't particularly enjoy, or if you have one you enjoy so much you'd love to have it in other forms, try this recipe out! Pro tip - the quality of ingredients will most likely stand out in this cake, so use that good wine, cocoa, or cinnamon you have laying around.

Chocolate Red Wine Cake
from here. I didn't make the topping, and I added mini chocolate chips to add fudginess to the cake.
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, unsalted and softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup red wine (any will work!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-processed will result in a darker cake)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour bottom and sides of a 9" round cake pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugars together well, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Beat in egg and egg yolk. 
  4. Add wine and vanilla. Batter will look curdled and uneven. It's okay.
  5. Sift dry ingredients (flour - cinnamon) over the wet ingredients. Fold in. Alternately, whisk all the dry ingredients together, and fold in. Add chocolate chips gently, if using. 
  6. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 25 - 30 minutes. Knife inserted in center should come out clean. The center will look shiny and smooth, with minimal jiggling. Do not overbake!
  7. Cool in pan 10 minutes, and then remove to let cool completely. Tastes good at room temperature, would probably also taste good chilled. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if you feel so inclined. 

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