It’s National Chocolate Week, although every week is chocolate week in this household. Nevertheless, this seems a good time to post a showstopper chocolate cake.
This chocolate red wine cake was one of the first recipes I made from Charlotte Pike’s Easy Baking in her Hungry Student series of cookbooks. I made it back in July as my birthday offering to my work colleagues. The cake is a plain unadorned one, although I can assure you that the taste is by no means plain. However, as it was a celebratory cake, I created a chocolate red wine icing to top it and decorated it using chocolate fingers. Sadly, like the chocolate amnesia cake, I forgot to write down exactly what I did and I can no longer remember.
However, recently, I had the perfect opportunity to make one again and remind myself just how good it was. I was set a challenge of creating a Home Bargains Showstopper and was sent a selection of goodies to help me on my way. I was thrilled when a box arrived in the post packed full of all sorts of baking paraphernalia; it reminded me of a Christmas stocking as I excitedly pulled out one thing after another. The theme was definitely pink and what girl doesn’t like pink? There was a three layer pink cardboard cake stand, a pink heat mat, pink cupcake cases, pink hearts and pink marshmallows. Luckily, there was a fair amount of red in it too and red is the colour of my kitchen. I immediately fell in love with the red strawberry apron and oven glove and was pleased with the two red silicone cake moulds and cookie cutters. And it was indeed a home bargain as the whole lot would have cost less than £14. Products are available online or at 300 Home Bargain stores across the UK.
Strawberry single oven glove – £1.49
Top Cake love hearts – 79p
Red strawberry apron £1.99
Red cookie cutters – 99p
75 cupcake cases – 79p
Red silicone cake mould (8″) – £1.99
Vintage Dream cupcake cases and picks – 99p
Stainless steel palette knife – 99p
Silicone trivet – 79p
Pink spotty cake stand – 99p
Measuring spoons – 59p
Mini marshmallows – 59p
Then along came the first Cornish Clandestine Cake Club event I’ve been able to attend in a very long time and the theme was vintage. Held at a Cornish winery, it was more of a “vin” theme than a retro recipe one, but it was left up to us to choose. The chocolate red wine cake was a must. This time I made use of some dark cranberry chocolate that was in need of using and added it along with some cranberries soaked in red wine. I donned my lovely new apron, got out the new oven glove and cake decorations, washed the cake moulds and palette knife and set to, making up a filling and topping recipe once again. This time I wrote it down.
This is how I made:
Chocolate and Cranberry Red Wine Cake
Poured 125ml red wine into a jug.
Added 50g dried cranberries and left to soak whilst getting on with everything else.
Melted 125g dark chocolate (half Dr Oetker 72% and half cranberry 52%) in a bowl over hot water, then left to cool a little.
Creamed 250g unsalted butter with 200g caster sugar and 50g molasses sugar until pale in colour and airy.
Beat in 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Beat in 4 eggs, one by one, adding a little of the flour mixture towards the end.
Sifted in 250g flour (half wholemeal, half white), 1 rounded tsp baking powder, 4 rounded tsp cocoa,1 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of Himalayan pink rock salt and stirred gently.
Stirred in the wine and cranberries a little at a time.
Stirred in the chocolate until just incorporated.
Divided the mixture between two 20 cm cake moulds and baked at 180°C for 30 minutes when the cakes were well risen and a tester inserted in the middle came out clean.
Chocolate Red Wine Cake for CCC
Creamed 120g unsalted butter with 250g sifted icing sugar.
Sifted in 40g of cocoa and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Stirred in 75 ml red wine and beat vigourously until light and airy.
Sandwiched the cakes with half of the filling and slathered the other half on top.
Decorated with pink hearts and Dr Oetker pink sugar and shimmer balls.
Moist, tasty and easy to bake, this has become one of my favourite chocolate cakes. The addition of wine soaked cranberries was inspired, though I say it myself and added piquancy and a hint of luxury. Mine was not the only red wine cake at CCC, but CT reckoned that it stood up well to the competition. In fact, in an unguarded partisan moment, he declared it to be the best cake there.
The winery, Knightor, near St Austell and the Eden Project is housed in an old stone barn that has been spectacularly renovated. As ever, there were some fabulous cakes made by the indefatigable home bakers of Cornwall. Thanks to our mistress of ceremonies, Ellie, for organising another splendid CCC.
Hello, I’m Choclette. I’m a vegetarian whole food recipe developer. I have a sweet tooth and a passion for baking and chocolate. Welcome to my award winning blog. Here you will find nourishing home cooked food with a twist as well as wholesome foodie tales.