Friday, February 13, 2015

Month-of-Mini-Desserts: Red Wine Chocolate Cake

This is for our Valentine’s Day dinner tomorrow (but DH had to sample one to rate it for today’s post). Red wine and deep dark chocolate are a classic pairing, and this dessert for your sweetheart will send a clear message of love.

I adapted this Red Wine Chocolate Cake from Martha Stewart’s recipe. So if you want the real deal, here it is.

Since I was making mini-bundts, I didn’t want a whole cake, so I halved the recipe. I have three sizes of bundt pans: the mini three-bite bundt, the small bundt that I cut in half for us, and the regular bundt pan everyone owns.

Even so a dozen+ mini-bundts is too much for the two of us, so I am going to freeze some (glaze on) for later eating. I hope it works. My freezer is filling up with desserts that I hope to serve after this month is over!

The cake batter was very thick, and yes, the wine will curdle the milk, but that’s okay! This cake isn’t hard to make, but it does take paying attention as you will have several things going at once. I changed her directions to how I put everything together.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze
(makes 12 mini-bundts and 2 small bundt cakes)

½ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 whole egg + 1 white, lightly beaten
1 cup flour + 1 tablespoon
½ box sugar-free black cherry gelatin (heaping 1½ teaspoons)
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
½ cup red wine (I used pinot noir)
¼ cup milk

Wine glaze
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup red wine
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for serving
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Red Wine Chocolate Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°.

You are going to need on each of small, medium, large bowls.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, gelatin, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. When chocolate is melted remove from the pan of water and let cool 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine red wine and milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs. Beat well. Mix in the cooled chocolate.

When chocolate is well-blended, add wine mixture and flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat well, for about 3 more minutes, using a spatula to scrape down batter from the side of the bowl.

Spoon batter into prepared 12 mini-bundt and 2 two small bundt pans. Bake for 20-22 minutes and test with an inserted toothpick. Bake up to 25 minutes, if required.

Red Wine Glaze:

Add butter, wine, and confectioner’s sugar to a medium sauce pan.

Whisk ingredients constantly as you bring to a boil.

You are making a reduction, so occasionally tilt the pan. When the wine sauce is glazing the bottom of the sauce pan, remove from the heat.

Whisk in vanilla. Set aside until time to glaze the cakes. Spoon glaze evenly over the warm bundt cakes and let sit to absorb some of the glaze. Pick up each cake so the glaze spreads across the plate. Set cakes back down on the glaze so they absorb from the bottom, too.

DH’s Rating: Mixed Tongues!
Well, now this is interesting and never has happened before. He thought the chocolate cake was good but nothing special taste wise, but he did like its density. With its name he expected it to be more distinctive. It was just a very good chocolate cake. The wine glaze, however, was a treat! I can see putting that glaze on lots of different things I make (pound cake and fruit drizzled with glaze and so on). It’s odd how that flavor doesn’t match the cake.

My recommendation (and I don’t do this often): Don’t go to all the bother with Martha’s cake; make your own favorite chocolate cake but do make the red wine glaze! On the other hand, if you like a denser cake, then this is the recipe for you.


  1. I always liked this cake, Very neat.

  2. I wish it had a more distinctive taste. The texture was definitely different. Thanks for stopping by and for giving me a new cookbook title! I need more cookbooks! Not! But "need" and "want" are synonyms, right?