It's very, very cold. Comfort food is a necessity, a matter of life or ... well, life, but a decidedly less sweet life. This is a recipe for a thick, dark, moist chocolate cake, that's more like a chocolatey gingerbread than a light, fluffy sponge. Best of all, it uses up the last quarter of a bottle of wine ... We always seem to have a open bottle of wine in the fridge because, as light-weight drinkers, neither of us (nor both of us together) can manage to finish a bottle of wine, and the thoughts of doing so become less and less appealing as the days pass.*
* NB: This cake doesn't taste of wine and is suitable for children and teetotallers - the wine just makes it juicy and moist. Fear not!
- 170g soft butter
- 170g sugar (I usually use brown sugar, but you can use white)
- 4 eggs
- 270g plain cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g grated plain or dark chocolate
- 3 large heaped spoons cocoa
- 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
- (optional: 1 teaspoon of ginger)
- grated rind of 1 lemon (I often just add a large spoon of lemon juice instead)
- 100ml red wine
In a large bowl, mix the butter till smooth, then add the sugar and mix well. Add the vanilla and lemon rind. Mix in the eggs, one at a time.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, (ginger,) and cocoa bit by bit, mixing as you do so.
Mix in the grated chocolate and add the red wine. Mix well and pour into a lined cake tin - I use a 24cm/9.5 inch spring tin.
Bake at 180°c (approx 356° F) for 45 mins or until you can pierce the cake with a toothpick or skewer and it comes out clean. Leave to cool before sprinkling with icing / powder sugar or covering with melted chocolate or chocolate frosting. This cake can be made the day before it's needed, as it "settles well".