Delicate to the touch, delicious to the taste, gorgeous to the eye … what more could we ask of a cake? When it comes to flavours, what could be more perfect than combining the most divine in food and drink – dark chocolate and red wine? I know, some things are just meant to be together, aren’t they? I’ve found over my lifetime love of cakes that baking has a beautiful habit of inspiring us to create compelling new tastes from old favourites.
A truly exciting cake recipe!
This recipe quite literally fell into my hands. Over Easter, I visited my parents up in Shropshire where my mother keeps her most treasured recipes in a very ancient index-card recipe box. The box had tipped over and hundreds of handwritten recipes on sheets of paper and small rectangles of card went flying over the kitchen table. As I was helping to put them back together, I found – in my sister’s writing from years ago – a recipe with the heading “Chocolate and Red Wine Cake” with the hastily-written subtitle, “a truly exciting discovery!”
We now know the health benefits of eating good quality chocolate and drinking moderate amounts of red wine. So I needed no further prompting to try out this interesting sounding recipe using two of my favourite ingredients. I used a good quality 70% dark chocolate and a full-bodied rich Shiraz. Although the original recipe was for a full-sized 20cm (8inch) cake, when trying out new recipes I often first make them as cupcakes and this recipe was no exception. Once baked, I topped all the cupcakes with chocolate ganache and a quick-to-make sugar rose, created using the roses galore mould that we stock here at Lindy’s Cakes.
The cupcakes were a complete success, so smooth and velvety that really they did melt in the mouth – a small yet cornucopic comfort food. Roll over ambrosia, this is the food of the gods!
Chocolate and red wine cake recipe
Makes approx 28 delicious cupcakes or one 20cm (8in) cake
200g Softened Butter
250g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs (beaten)
25g Cocoa Powder
250g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
100ml Red Wine
1tsp Vanilla extract
150g Good quality dark Chocolate, chopped
1) Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
2) Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, I use a handheld electric whisk to do this.
3) Beat in the eggs until thoroughly combined.
3) Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder and mix.
4) Stir in the wine and chopped chocolate and mix until well blended.
5) Bake for 20 minutes for cupcakes or 1 hour for a cake
6) Cool the cupcakes for a couple of minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
How will you present yours? I used pink cupcake cases to complement a pretty patterned plate that I simply had to buy in Singapore last summer. I think that presentation is very important – it helps to heighten the enjoyment of simple pleasures! Hope you agree…