Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile. ~ William Sokolin
Recently, I received an invitation from Gingerclaps to review a bottle of Four Seasons "Shiraz" Wine.
Initially, I was a little hesitant to accept the offer, as even though I do enjoy my occasional glass of wine, by no means do I consider myself an expert on them. But then on second thoughts, I accepted, thinking it would be a great wine to use for baking - an area I hadn't explored much.
Its true!! I have not cooked with wine much. Basically, because of two reasons: firstly and foremost, having kids around, it would have been highly inappropriate to feed them food cooked with wine and cooking a separate dish for them did not really seem very appealing to me and secondly, hubby has always felt that "Why waste a good wine in cooking food when you can enjoy it much more drinking it?"
So this offer seemed like an excellent opportunity for me to try out something new. 
Christmas right around the corner, I thought it would be perfect to make a things bit merrier by baking a cake with it and that too a chocolate cake as according to me chocolates and wine make a great combination. The cake turned out awesome. It baked perfectly, was extremely light and moist with the wine giving it a lovely intense flavor and much as I tried the kids from having too much, I failed miserably. The kids loved it!! (For them, it is like tasting the forbidden fruit)
Infact I had planned to save the cake for the 26th (It is a special day as we complete 20 years of our marriage) and decorate it with swirl of roses but alas!! it was so soft that I soon gave up the idea. (I wish I was a bit patient and waited as today, the cake was perfectly firm after a couple of hours in the fridge), so to make a 'special' cake is another thing to do on my list.
As for you all, this is the perfect cake to indulge in. After all it is a season to eat, drink and be merry. Cheers!!
Can Christmas be complete without chocolates and wines?
Ingredients (Recipe adapted from the Smitten Kitchen)
150 gms unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup plus 1 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food." - W. C. Fields
Preheat oven to 160 C. 
Spray a 9-inch round pan really well.
In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat again for 4-5 minutes till light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one by one and beat well till completely incorporated. Add the vanilla essence and then the red wine. #Your batter will look a little strange and separated at this point but it will become okay later on.
Sift the flour, cocoa,baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together right over the wet ingredients.
Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into a prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be shiny and smooth.
Cool in a pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool on a cooling rack. Dust it with some icing sugar before serving. (Unlike me, do this only when the cake is completely cool or else the powdered sugar will absorb in the warm cake.)

About Four Seasons Shiraz Wine (information obtained from their website)

Type : Still Red Wine

Grapes :Shiraz

Origin : Baramati, Maharashtra, India

Style: Dry

Tasting notes:

Colour : Dark ruby red with black cherry hues.

Aroma : Crushed raspberries abound, combining with spicy and smoky notes and a subtle hints of violet. 

Palate : This rich, full-bodied wine has a nice amount of complexity offering fruit and spice on the palate and a pleasant finish with smooth velvety tannins.

Serving suggestion: Enjoyed best at 16 - 18° C with barbequed red meats and game. Its spicy character makes it an ideal accompaniment to Indian cuisine.

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