red wine chocolate cake

After spending the past month laboring over studying for the GRE exam, and finally taking it yesterday, all I wanted to do today was relax. When free time abounds, I usually get the bug to start baking or cooking again.

I have a weakness for extremely simple recipes, standard things that have one special outstanding ingredient. This definitely qualifies – I’ve had chocolate cake a thousand times, but never one with red wine in it. I’ve had it in my “recipes” bookmarks for over a year now, and finally got around to slapping it together today. It comes together *really* fast and easily. The red wine gives it a delicious heady taste without tasting like alcohol at all.

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This is awesome with some fresh raspberries on the side, and would likely work great as cupcakes as well, with a ganache frosting, fresh whipped cream, or confectioner’s sugar.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake
From 17 and Baking
Makes a 9×5″ loaf

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (6 7/8 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2 5/8 ounces) Dutch cocoa powder*
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

*If you can only find Natural-process cocoa, leave out the baking powder and use 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.

Beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugars and cream until lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg until well combined, then mix in the wine, yogurt, and vanilla. The batter might look curdled, but don’t worry. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a spoon until there are no streaks of flour left, scraping down the sides of the bowl and being careful not to over mix.

Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake 60-70 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn it out.