It all started because I bought a bottle of wine. A bottle of chocolatey red wine. This is not some kind of flowery word campaign to describe the essence of chocolate that balanced out the strong tannin flavor, no – this wine legit tasted like chocolate. This is not to be confused with chocolate wine (you people who drink this, who are you?), this was red wine that had been chocolatefied. As soon as I took a sip I knew: this wine is not for drinking, this wine is for cake making.
I have exactly one from scratch chocolate cake in my arsenal. One. AND IT IS THE FINEST IN THE LAND. Ahem. Sorry. Had a Josh Lyman moment there. Anyway. This cake recipe that I have tucked away is the brainchild of Edna Mae and is a product of that generation because, yes Virginia, there is shortening in this cake recipe. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I took my darling grandmother’s cake, made a few modifications, and well … got it drunk.
Yes, you read that correctly. I contributed to the delinquency of a cake. I will not apologize for this offense, because oh my stars is this cake good. It’s rich. It’s deeply chocolatey. It’s dense, and a bit fudgey. Add a bit of whipped mascarpone and you have one heck of a dessert on your hands.
Red (Wine) Cocoa Cake with Whipped Mascarpone
3/4 cup red wine, full bodied or chocolate red wine
6 TBSP butter
1/4 cup shortening
6 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
8 oz mascarpone, room temperature
2 TBSP powdered sugar + extra for dusting
Preheat oven to 325º.
Combine wine, butter, shortening and cocoa in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil (as soon as you notice it bubble, remove it from the stove … you don’t want to cook out the booze).
In a bowl combine the flour and sugars (you can either do this in a mixing bowl by hand or use a mixer, up to you – I’ve made it both ways) and pour the heated wine mixture over the flour mixture, add a dash of salt and stir until combined.
Next add in the baking soda, baking powder, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla – stir until combined.
Pour batter into a greased 8-inch cake pan (I actually used a 6-inch pan because my great grandmother’s cake stand is a teeny thing) and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a baking rack before serving. Before serving dust cake with a bit of powdered sugar.
FOR THE WHIPPED MASCARPONE: Using a mixer with a paddle attachment whip mascarpone and powdered sugar together until fluffy.