01 09 10

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I am a big fan of Smitten Kitchena blog written by Deb Perelman, a New Yorker with a very small kitchen.  The things this woman can turn out would be amazing even with a lot more square footage.  Deb often has recipes for things, like this chocolate cake, that just speak  to me.  Come on.  When have you evert thought of putting red wine in a cake batter and doesn't it just sound divine?

So, we had something to celebrate in our house the other night.  Kate got another star on Tennis Recruiting (don't ask) and I wanted to make it special for her.  The other day Kate had noted, when she saw this recipe on my desk, that it sounded good and that I should make it.  I am so proud.  My 16 year old daughter has recipe radar.

Anyway, I am sure that there are those of you who might question baking a boozey cake for a 16 years old.  It is true that a primary ingredient in this cake is red wine and that red wine maintains some of it's alcohol even through the baking process.  But it is also true that this cake sounded really good and my view was that she could have a small piece and Ted and I could eat the rest.  Problem solved.

This is a decidedly adult cake.  The tastes are very sophisticated and subtle and not your average chocolate cake.  The texture of the cake is to die for.  And, because it's pretty rich, a small piece is very satisfying.  The whipped mascapone and heavy cream added a nice contrast to the richness of the cake and I would definitely encourage to go for the extra calories and make it.  You only need a little dab and it really completes the cake.

The celebration was a huge success.  Kate loved the cake and so did Ted and I.  I think I'll have another piece.  It's got to be cocktail time somewhere.

Recipe:  Red Wine Chocolate Cake
(Smitten Kitchen)


6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (179 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) white granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup (177 ml) red wine, any kind you like
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (133 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (41 grams) Dutch cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (this is a great place for that fancy Vietnamese stuff you stashed away)

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup (118 grams) chilled heavy or whipping cream
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment, and either butter and lightly flour the parchment and exposed sides of the pan, or spray the interior with a nonstick spray. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and yolk and beat well, then the red wine and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together, right over your wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be shiny and smooth, like a puddle of chocolate. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack. This cake keeps well at room temperature or in the fridge. It looks pretty dusted with powdered sugar.

Make the topping: Whip mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla together until soft peaks form — don’t overwhip. Dollop generously on each slice of cake. It can also be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to Kate. And this sounds like a very celebratory dessert. hr