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Chocolate and Cranberry Red Wine Cake

Chocolate Red Wine Cake for my Birthday

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
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.

Clever design – hic!
Black Forest Gateau made by Nat of HungryHinny
Boozy Coffee and Walnut Cake
Tuck in if you dare
Sadly not the plate I took home
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    16th October 2013 at 7:26 am

    I definitely want to have a go at making this, I’d seen a few recipes for red wine chocolate cake before but tasting yours and Ellie’s has confirmed that it actually does work!

    • Choclette

      16th October 2013 at 7:27 pm

      It was good to taste Ellie’s too – both good, both quite different.

  2. belleau kitchen

    16th October 2013 at 7:10 am

    I’m so intrigued as to how it tastes. It looks glorious of course and the perfect celebration cake. That CCC looks like a heart attack waiting to happen!!

    • Choclette

      16th October 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Ha Dom, you should get along to one – every CCC is a heart attack waiting to happen!

  3. Alida

    16th October 2013 at 10:02 am

    Wow! Looks amazing! Interesting the addition of red wine. All the cakes look gorgeous, I wouldn’t know what to choose!

    • Choclette

      16th October 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks Alida. I was quite intrigued the first time I made it, but the red wine really works. I guess it has the same sort of compounds as chocolate and thus must be a super healthy heart cake too 😉

  4. Foodycat

    16th October 2013 at 10:54 am

    That sounds like a wonderful alternative to Christmas cake!

    • Choclette

      16th October 2013 at 7:31 pm

      Now that is a splendid idea, although I keep thinking I’d like to try a whisky cake.

  5. Susan Lindquist

    16th October 2013 at 12:43 pm

    MY burning question … what type of red wine did you use? This is such an interesting recipe!

    • Choclette

      18th October 2013 at 7:39 am

      A bottle of fairtrade Argentine Malbec. Although the first time around I used a bottle of red that was undrinkable but was fine in cooking.

  6. Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce

    16th October 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Absolutely love the sound of this. I love mixing alcohol with food! It always makes things interesting. There’s a bake sale coming up and I might just have to give this a try! If not, then it’s a perfect recipe for Christmas time.

    • Choclette

      18th October 2013 at 7:41 am

      Thanks Hazel, I suspect this would go down really well at a bake sale as it sounds a bit intriguing and it does taste very good too. Otherwise, it would make a very good alternative to a traditional Christmas cake.

  7. Kate@whatkatebaked

    16th October 2013 at 9:05 pm

    My husband, a big wine lover is reading this over my shoulder begging me to make this cake!!

    • Choclette

      18th October 2013 at 7:41 am

      Oh, go on Kate, you’ll both love it 😉

  8. Sarah | The Sugar Hit

    17th October 2013 at 5:39 am

    YUM, that sounds gorgeous! I have never had red wine in a cake before, but the combination sounds like heaven.

    • Choclette

      18th October 2013 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Sarah. It works surprisingly well with chocolate in a cake and also ensures the cake is nice and moist.

  9. Sally Sellwood

    17th October 2013 at 5:59 am

    This sounds really interesting. I wouldn’t necessarily have put chocolate and red wine togegther like that – red wine can make me react a bot oddly these days, but I am tempted. It looks fantastic as do all the cakes!

    • Choclette

      18th October 2013 at 7:44 am

      A little red wine distributed amongst all that cake is nicely diluted Sally, you can taste it though. And it really is a very nice cake.

  10. mike clark

    18th October 2013 at 9:10 am

    All the Cakes are looking awesome and the perfect celebration cake. It works amazinely well with chocolate in a cake and also ensures the cake is nice, tasty and yummy. I wouldn’t know what to choose?

    • Choclette

      20th October 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Always spoilt for choice at Cake Club 😉

  11. Louise @ cake and calico

    18th October 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Oh yum! I’ve never thought about wine and cake together: now it seems so obvious! All these cakes look fab…

    • Choclette

      20th October 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Louise. It’s always fun making new discoveries and this was a really good one.

  12. Rachel Cotterill

    19th October 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Cranberries are so perfect with chocolate. Delicious 🙂

    • Choclette

      20th October 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks Rachel. Soaked in the red wine, those cranberries were even better 🙂

  13. Johanna GGG

    20th October 2013 at 9:48 am

    chocolate and wine are such a classic combination – sounds like a great cake and am glad you rescued it from the depths of your amnesia – the CCC looks like such fun and so yummy

    I have nominated you for a meme that I thought you might enjoy if you have the time –

    • Choclette

      20th October 2013 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks Johanna, it’s nice and easy to shed any cake eating guilt when everyone around you is eating cake too?

      I’ll be over to check out your meme as soon as I can. Thank you for thinking of me 🙂


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