Monday, October 3, 2011

Red wine chocolate cake

Oh my, it's Monday already?!  Where did the weekend disappear to?  Mine was fun-filled with anniversary celebrations, a night out with my coworkers, and then the family came over to eat & watch 'Dumbo'.

When I first saw this cake, I knew I had to make it for our anniversary.  Strange thing is that I'm not a wine drinker.  Insert gasps and tongue-clicking here.  I know, I know.  I wish I was.  I've always felt that my vodka cocktails are never as sophisticated as a glass of red wine.  Well, guess what?  Turns out that I might just happen to really appreciate wine.  I've just been drinking the wrong stuff.  My friend went to Italy & brought me back a bottle of AH-MAZING red wine.  Duke & I drank it with dinner for our anniversary & I think I enjoyed it more than the meal.  I had just been drinking the cheap wine all along, and c'mon, who really likes the cheap stuff?

Just so happens that the "cheap stuff" is perfect for this romantic, unassuming cake.  Slightly boozy & totally delicious, this cake comes together quickly & easily.  I love the aroma of red wine you get when you are cooking it and more so, when you open up your airtight container to serve it.  Make the frosting right before serving though for taste & presentation sake.

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (179 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) white granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup (177 ml) red wine, any kind you like*
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (133 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (41 grams) Dutch cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (this is a great place for that fancy Vietnamese stuff you stashed away)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup (118 grams) chilled heavy or whipping cream
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the cake: 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. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and yolk and beat well, then the red wine and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven. 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. 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. 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. It looks pretty dusted with powdered sugar.
Make the topping: Whip mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla together until soft peaks form — don’t overwhip. Dollop generously on each slice of cake. It can also be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.



  1. Looks amazing as always! Can't wait to try some of your marvelous baking.

  2. What a gorgeous cake! This looks delicious! :)