PROJECT RECIPE: Red Wine Chocolate Cake

I LOOOOOVVVE red wines.

Perhaps I was a little over-excited by the red wine on markdown at the grocery store a few weeks back. Sometimes you should not buy red wine from the bargain bin. If the price of wine seems too good to be true, it probably is. Lesson learned.

This tastes like grape juice. It probably is. But I hated throwing it out. So I dug out some recipes I had saved in my binder that called for leftover red wine. Because I hardly know what that is…


I printed this recipe for Red Wine Chocolate Cake off a long time ago from Smitten Kitchen. I love this blog, by the way, and since I printed this off, Deb has published a cookbook, which I am dying to get my hands on. You should check it out, for sure.

What struck me, besides the use of red wine in cooking, which I am always a fan of, was the story she includes with the post. It’s about September 11th and meeting her future husband. Worth a trip over to the blog entry for that alone. What a touching story.

So, with more than half a bottle of yucky red wine and a rare free Saturday night, I set out to make this cake. It’s probably the best use of a bad bottle of wine I’ve found. Sweet and tangy, moist and fluffy. Even this wine, which is most definitely not ideal, pairs so wonderfully with the rich cocoa. I can’t imagine how much better this would be with good wine.

PROJECT RECIPE verdict: It’s a keeper. Should I ever find myself with leftover wine and needing a quick dessert, I know where to go. It was easy and quick. I didn’t make the mascarpone topping because I didn’t have the ingredients on hand. And I planned to simply dust the cake with powdered sugar, but when it came time to do that, I realized I didn’t have any powdered sugar. And after smelling it bake for 30 minutes, I didn’t want to wait any longer by making some quick ganache (which I had ingredients to make) to top it with. But it’s really good without. And since I’m someone who doesn’t like overly sweet stuff, it’s perfect, if you ask me.


I couldn’t resist having a piece with a glass of milk while it was hot.

The recipe only called for 3/4 cup of wine, so I pretty much still have a half a bottle left. I have another recipe for blackberry cabernet cupcakes, which I might try. And the rest will go into a big batch of bolognese. A pretty good way to use up wine if you ask me.


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