Wine + Cake

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d go in a different direction than the usual “chocolate and wine pairings” route. This one is well worth it.

 

Some of us here at Weekly Tasting are professional pastry chefs, and our favorite desserts incorporate - you guessed it - wine. This Valentine’s Day, rather than getting your significant other (or yourself) a generic, last-minute heart-shaped box of overly-sweet chocolates from the pharmacy, we suggest putting in a little extra effort and instead, baking the best chocolate cake you’ll ever taste.

You’ll score some serious brownie points with this one (brownie recipe coming soon), though we won’t judge if you don’t want to share after you taste this cake. This is our go-to cake recipe and will easily become yours. Yes - it’s that good.


 

Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Chocolate Ganache


Cake Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1½ cups fruity red wine, separated + more as needed - we suggest something New World like Zinfandel or Merlot from California, Malbec from Argentina, or Australian Shiraz.
  • ½ cup neutral-flavored oil - we use grapeseed oil to tie everything back to the vineyard
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cake Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour or spray a bundt or fluted pan with cooking spray.

  • Using a fine mesh strainer or sifter, sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar and salt.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, 1 cup of wine, oil, and vanilla extract.

  • Pour ½ cup of wine into a glass. Sip. Repeat sipping as needed.

  • Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until all big lumps are incorporated - this is a thin batter so don’t panic at the consistency. If you find, yourself panicking, take another sip of wine.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with some moist crumbs. Ovens vary, so you may need to add a few extra minutes. We like to pull the cake out when it’s just barely baked so it stays super moist.

  • Finish your wine while you wait. Pour yourself some more as needed.

  • Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes then remove it from the pan and allow to cool fully.

  • Note: If you accidentally over-bake your cake, heat half a cup of wine (the same red if you have any left) with half a cup of sugar in a small saucepan until the mixture bubbles and the sugar is dissolved. Brush this wine syrup over your cake to moisten it.


 

Ganache Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup red wine - we suggest using the same wine used for the cake

Ganache Directions

  • Place cream and chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, zap for 30 seconds and whisk. Repeat until smooth. Let the mixture cool slightly then add the wine slowly and whisk until smooth.

  • Pour the ganache over the cake.


 

You can bake this cake into two 9-inch rounds or 12 cupcakes, but be aware that the baking times will vary. You can also top it with any frosting of your choice, as well as fresh berries. Enjoy this cake with a glass of ruby Port.