Sunday, 6 December 2015

Red Wine Chocolate Cake


 Is it December!, no way, didn't we just bid 2014 adiu?,  good God! this years flown past like no other in my thirty odd ones... phew...

Come December its time for Christmas, I've always been a lover of this festival (or as my better half would put it, 'addicted'), I studied for twelve years in a convent school, and as Christmas closed in, our school premises resonated with carols being sung, christmas crafts being done, gifts being exchanged, old clothes and books being donated to the needy, mangers being built, the story of the birth of infant Jesus being enacted in a skit, and the crem de la creme a Christmas Party on the last day of school, before it closed for christmas break.

Wow that paragraph summed up at least two thirds of my childhood happiness.

Over the years I eagerly wait for December, largely to deck up my home and my christmas tree with shiny baubles of gold, red and green, and also because it brings some respite from the sweltering Mumbai heat, but most of all because all supermarkets are filled with rum laden goodies this time of the year, ummm....... whats not to love about December then?


 Two weeks ago, we had our cousins visiting our home, post which all of us set off to a weekend getaway to Nashik, to sample the wines at the very popular Sula Vineyards.

That I always make desserts for guests is well known, but this time I thought of making a wine cake to commemorate our upcoming trip, this is when I chanced upon a really quick and easy recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog, written by the lovely Deb Perilman

Effectively combining both cocoa and wine flavours, this recipe is a real star, If you are looking to divert from your usual rum and fruit cakes for the season (or you didn't pre-soak your fruits!), this cake could be a great alternative. I insist you make it a part of your culinary repertoire.

So what are we waiting for Christmas?


Heres how you make it:
Serves 6

You will need:

85 grams butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup red wine,(any kind you like - I used port)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (133 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (41 grams) cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method:


  • Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celcius. (356 F)
  • Cream the butter and both the sugars in a mixing bowl till pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
  • Next add in the egg and vanilla extract and whisk well.
  • Now add in the wine. (The mixture will look like it has curdled, but that's okay, and due to the acidity in the wine.)
  • Next add in all your dry ingredients and incorporate them by gently folding into the wet ingredients.
  • Pour the batter into a pre lined baking tin and bake for 20 to 25 mins.
  • Allow to cool in the (switched off) oven (with its door slightly ajar)  for 10 mins, before transferring onto a cooling wire rack.
  • Garnish with flakes of white chocolate and some fresh fruit, alternatively dust with some icing sugar.
  • Serve warm or cold.
Enjoy!

A Few pictures from our weekend getaway to Nashik...

Flowers in bloom at Savana Agro Farms.
At the Wine Shop - Wine maturing in wooden casks - Bottles at our Wine tasting tour.
A lone palm tree at sunset - Villas at the Savana Agro Resort -  The Sahyadri's majestically overlooking the Waldevi river backwaters.

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