City Palate

The Travel Issue - March April 2017

Merlot Chocolate Cake
May/Jun 2009
This dense chocolate cake is fabulous drizzled with the mulled pinot noir reduction (see the clafouti recipe). Serve wedges of cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with the reduction, or poke the surface of the cake all over with a bamboo skewer and drizzle the reduction over it while the cake is still warm. Adapted from Epicurious, October 2001.

2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1- 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. butter
1- 3/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 -1/4 c. full-bodied red wine, such as merlot
1/2 c. good-quality chocolate chunks (optional)
Icing sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a Bundt pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, whisking well to get rid of any lumps of cocoa. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until pale yellow and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Add about a third of the flour mixture and stir with a spatula just until incorporated; add half the wine in the same manner, then another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the wine, and the rest of the dry ingredients, along with the chocolate chunks, stirring just until blended.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top is springy to the touch. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve dusted with icing sugar. Serves 16.

Desserts