Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pimped chocolate red wine cake

If there are 2 things in life that are meant to be together, it's chocolate and red wine. How many bad days are sorted out by a combination of these 2 magical things? Cake can sometimes fix a crap day too. If you know a monumentally shit day is coming up, then you'd better stock up on red wine and chocolate. and cake. 

Or better yet...

Make chocolate red wine cake!!

It is REALLY good. Moist, not too sweet and rich enough to feel good, but not too rich to make you feel sick. It's fab with ganache. Its just fab. 

This was my contribution to the first meeting of the Clandestine Cake Club. I had read about this cake club on facebook and other blogs, and thought well, why can't we be the first CCC in Australia? So I put it to my dear friend Carolanne, and we held our first meeting in April. Basically, people come bearing cake, and it very specifically states it must be CAKE - not cupcakes or brownies or tray bakes or pies. Cake. The Clandestine Cake Club started small - but its quality not quantity, and that, we had in spades! All the cakes were fabulous, Liv from Col Panna made a BRILLIANT apple pie cheese cake (which S devoured when he got home!), which was layered with caramel, pecans, cheesecake, and stewed apples. It was a OMG moment. Bri from Eat Meets West made a caramalised pear and apple semolina cake, which I had never had before. I loved the texture of the semolina, and found that it was even better the next day! Carolanne from Carolannes Kitchen made a bit of a layer cake extravaganza! Olive oil sponge with orange blossom water, coconut sugar, persimmon cream and delicious ganache. WOOAAH!

The other cakey contributions!

Each meeting has a theme and ours was autumnal fruits, as we wanted to be seasonal and take advantage of all the wonderful fruit we have at the markets at the moment. I chose to adorn my cake with pear and glaze it with the Maggies Place fig jam I got from my Urban Locavore box, being that pears and figs are at their peak right now!

This recipe will make one roughly inch high cake. Considering this was the Clandestine Cake Club, I upped the cake a notch and made the recipe twice, and sandwiched the 2 cakes together with dark chocolate ganache. It was a delicious tweak! I used the ganache recipe from Maggie Beers Harvest book, that goes along with the chocolate fig cake.

This recipe was adapted from the one I found at Smitten Kitchen. There are a few recipes floating around on the net, all pretty similar, so far, all great!

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 generous cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1) Preheat the oven to 160°C, and non stick your tin (I just gave my silicon mould a spray with canola oil). 

2) In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it forms ribbons. Add the egg and yolk and beat well, then the red wine and vanilla. At this point, the cake will look a little split, but its all good, it'll come together!

3) Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and cinnamon together, and add to the wet ingredients. Mix gently until combined, then spread batter into the greased tin/mould. 

4) Slice up a pear into half cm slices, and arrange them gently on top of the batter in any pattern you like.

5) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer  comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack. If you're using a silicon mould, wait until its completely cooled before turning the cake out.

6) Warm up a couple of tablespoons of fig jam in a small saucepan, and brush it over the cooled cake.

If you wish to add ganache just make sure the cake is fully cooled! The cake does not rise a huge amount, so I would make 2 cakes if you're looking to layer them - however would love to know how you go if you just cut one in half!


  1. I really wish i could blink and my screen could turn this into a reality.
    AND i really love the word autumnal!
    Looking forward to more CCC!

    1. You should come to the next one! We always have SO MUCH cake!

  2. Sounds like a fab club to be a part of and with your cooking skills you definately fit right in. Those cakes look devine!

  3. oh man, we nearly died afterwards!! SO MUCH CAKE! so worth it. You guys should def come, its a fun afternoon! We may or may not be introducing a bit of liquid bubbles match our disposition HA! But thanks both for your kind words, the real winner here though is cake. and Weight Watchers.

  4. What a gorgeous cake :) It looks so moist and delicious!

    1. This is one of my go to choc cake recipes, its really nice! Easy and delish :D