Medical science over the last 20 years has praised the heart health benefits of dark chocolate, olive oil and red wine, all in moderation of course. S0 I would think that a cake containing all three of these could, or should be labeled a super food, along with chia seeds, quinoa and kale.
And the good news is such a recipe does exist. A few weeks ago, courtesy of a visitor to our Kitchen Studio, I discovered a chocolate cake recipe that includes all three, and well, living in a region where two of these ingredients are locally produced, in excellent supply and of outstanding quality, I figured it would be worth giving it a crack for a lunch we were hosting later that day.
I had to fiddle with the recipe, firstly it was designed to yield a massive cake so that needed adjustment and because it was originally Spanish there were some subtle ingredient changes required, but nothing drastic. Preparing it turned out to be as simple as making a packet mix, and after a slow bake for about 25 mins, it came out of the oven as a dense, moist sponge, all rich and chocolaty, even slightly boozy with a whiff of fresh baked bread.
Most of the cake was quickly demolished during lunch but the left over’s were packed up and sent home with our co host for his family. Clearly it was a hit because very shortly after I had a call asking if I’d share the recipe? The answer was of course yes, after all, in one way or another, sharing recipes is pretty much what I do these days.
Diligently I typed up the recipe from my rough notes and edited calculations, promptly flicking them off, quite pleased with myself that this unusual cake not only worked so well, but had proved so popular. However, reality burst my bubble when my friend called the next day to say what she made came nowhere near the cake I had sent over. Of course I ran the recipe again to test why it failed so and it soon became apparent something was very wrong.
The result was a chewy, soapy mass of gloop (my friend was much kinder with her description) and this threw up some big red flags. It was very clear that I had transcribed the recipe incorrectly because it was way too sugary which accounted for the chewy toffee like character, it had too much raising agent which was clearly responsible for that soapy, chemical trace. So back to my original jottings and on further investigation I discovered that I had listed twice as many dry ingredients (the original quantity) to wet (my modified recipe) Getting measurements like this wrong when transcribing a recipe is something for which many of my chefs in the past have felt my wrath ….. whoops!
So, egg on my face and a big lesson learnt, never give out a recipe before testing it personally from the final edited version!. But I’m happy to say all is well now, and here is the correct recipe, exactingly tried and tested as evidenced by the photos above and below. To paraphrase the title of a song by Melbourne band My Friend the Chocolate Cake “I’ve got another recipe (and this time it’ll work)”
Ruby Red Wine Chocolate Cake
¾ cup plain flour
2 tablespoons corn flour
½ cup cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
½ teaspoon fine salt
1 cup caster sugar
½ cup red wine
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- Sift flour, cocoa, raising agents and salt together and add to caster sugar, mix well
- Combine all wet ingredients in a vitamiser or with a stick blender
- Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix vigorously with hand beaters or a whisk for 60 seconds, mixture will be quite thin and pourable and will form its own level.
- Pour into a prepared 16cm spring form or sandwich pan and bake at 170c for 20 minutes or until it springs back to the touch.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes then remove from pan and allow to cool (it helps to keep the cake flat for decorating and finishing if you invert the sponge while cooling so that the top is on a flat surface)
- To serve, simply dust with icing sugar and serve with fresh berries and Jersey cream or sandwich with apricot or raspberry jam.