Chocolate Red Wine Cake is a fantastic twist on a simple chocolate bundt cake: rich, not at all too sweet, a little tangy and seriously chocolatey; everyone who tried this loved it!
I have been wanting to make a chocolate red wine cake for a long time now. Something about the combo sounded really good and really right to me–and I see them around enough that I knew my instincts had to have some basis in fact. Much like serving red wine with red meat, chocolate is an ingredient that can stand up to red wine, and vice versa, allowing each to complement the other.
Red wine is an interesting ingredient–it hold no appeal for me straight, but it makes so many dishes and desserts better. More interesting, deeper, a bit tangier. Happily the same is true here. Everyone in my family loved this cake, especially my kids, who both prefer slightly less sweet desserts. The red wine adds moisture, tang, depth and general happiness. We all wanted the cake with whipped cream. And you cannot beat adding that much melted bittersweet chocolate to the batter–you know the cake is going to be good then!
I adapted this chocolate red wine cake from a recipe in Delicious Magazine; I chose not to glaze the cake, as with all of that melted chocolate in the cake, it just seemed unnecessary. A sprinkle of powdered sugar with whipped cream worked just fine. (I confess to using canned–but real–whipped cream, which does not photograph as nicely, which is why I left it out of the pictures.)
I don’t know what I was more excited about–the cake itself or or the pan I finally got to use! I am so in love with this box shaped pan–unique, sophisticated, basically everything I love about bundt pans and the way they do all of the work for you! No fancy hand work required, just a liberal application of baking spray.
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 3 cups +2 T (400 g) AP flour
- 1/4 cup (18 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 2 cups (1 lb, 452 g, 4 sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 cups (440 g) sugar
- 8 eggs
- 400 g dark chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled (I used 72% cacao bittersweet, and I highly recommend you use something equally strong)
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup dry red wine-- anything is fine as long as you would be ok with drinking it
- powdered sugar for dusting
- lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan thoroughly with baking spray. Be prepared to also spray some mini loaf pans or muffin wells, etc. Set aside.
Whisk together the sea salt, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
Cream the butter with an electric mixer (I prefer a stand mixer). Add the sugar in 5 additions, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl intermittently, beating on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes total.
Add the eggs one at a time, once again scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl intermittently. Beat well to incorporate each one before adding the next.
Beat in the melted chocolate.
Beat in the vanilla.
Fill a 2 cup measuring cup with the milk and red wine. Add the liquid and the four mixture to the bowl, mixing on medium speed, alternating between the two. Begin and end with the flour mixture. I usually break it down to about 3-4 liquid additions and 4-5 dry additions.
Finish the batter (it will be thick) by folding it by hand to make sure it is completely incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan/s (see notes above on pan sizes).
Bake for about 60 minutes for a 10-12 cup pan--obviously for smaller cakes, begin checking earlier, around the 20 minute mark for mini loaves. Let your nose be a guide as to when to check--when the cake is done, it will be pulling away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted into the center of the pan will come out clean.
Let the cake cool for 5-15 minutes on a cooling rack (5 minutes for mini loaves, 15 minutes for bundt pans). Then invert the cake onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
When the cake is cool, dust it with powdered sugar before serving, and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
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