I don’t know what it is that draws me to posting so many sweets on this blog. Obviously a raging predilection for sugar pushes me in that direction, but I think there’s also something very structured about baking that I enjoy. As much as I appreciate the free flowing nature that comes with cooking, I know that baking requires rules to follow. Steps to obey. And if you adhere to the standard guidelines, you will most likely end up with something good. Here’s a recipe that follows many of the standard chocolate cake rules with just a few changes here and there, and the final result is a red wine chocolate cake. Well, make that a sangria chocolate cake.
Last year, I attended an event hosted by Romy of Romy Raves and sponsored by Eppa Sangria. Back at home, with two bottles of the antioxidant-laced red sangria on hand, I wanted to do more than just drink them. Every month, I meet with a group of wine-loving women, and an upcoming get together was the primary reason I decided to use one of those bottles in a chocolate cake. Chocolate cakes can go wrong if they don’t have enough elements to add and maintain moisture during baking, so this cake recipe includes a good amount of butter, eggs and brown sugar. To play up the red blend’s antioxidant-rich mix of super fruits (pomegranates, blueberries, acai and blood orange), I added a dash of pomegranate molasses and blood orange zest to the batter. This chocolate cake also includes a mix of spices that you might find in a mug of mulled wine.
With spring on our doorstep and summer just around the corner, the sangria season is nearly here. If you find yourself with a bit leftover in one of your bottles, here’s a great way to use it up.
- Non-stick floured baking spray
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon blood orange zest, packed
- 2 cups flour
- 1 ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup red sangria
- 1 ½ tablespoon pomegranate molasses, optional
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick floured baking spray.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy, approximately 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and orange zest.
- In a separate, medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the sangria and pomegranate molasses, if using. Slowly incorporate half of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the sangria mixture. Repeat, mixing until just combined .
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for an hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester poked in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Cool completely.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving.