Man, who else has a case of the Januaries?
I know that a new year is supposed to bring a whole host of new resolutions and new goals, but honestly, I'm just exhausted. Screw work, screw blogging and screw going to the gym. All I want to do is put on my polka dot sweatpants, camp out on my couch and watch episode after episode of Friends while drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate.
It turns out that red wine and dark chocolate are some of the only indulges I can have on this pesky new low-carb diet that I'm on. Ugh, I know, I said the d-word... but honestly after a week straight of eating three awesomeepicdelicious cookies a day and a mostly food-related trip to Texas, it was much needed. Don't let my Instagram fool you — currently my life is filled with nothing but spinach salads and eggs (which is probably why I've got such a bad case of the Januaries).
But oh well. At least I can still have red wine and dark chocolate.
A few months ago, Bridlewood Estate Winery asked me to create a recipe that would pair well with their pinot noir. I don't have much of a wine palette, but Bridlewood's wine definitely brought to mind fruit flavors like raspberry and cherry, but a little bit more tart and almost peppery. I thought that this little bit of a kick would go well with dark chocolate, as well as bring out the hints of caramel and toffee in the wine.
To keep the wine and dark chocolate pairing as pure as possible, I combined the two in a flourless Swedish chocolate cake recipe. Apparently incredibly moist, gooey chocolate cakes are a staple in the country — its Swedish name is "kladdkaka", which translates roughly to "gooey" or "sticky" cake in English. All though there are many variations of the recipe available, the basic premise is the same: a chocolate cake made without any leavening of any kind, resulting in a brownie-like cake with a soft, gooey center. In this case, red wine was added to the cake to keep it moist and gooey while giving it a hint of boozy, fruity goodness.
Some baker's notes:
- Because this cake doesn't use any leavener, it's really hard to tell when it's finished baking in the oven. Even though it looks like it's finished baking, be sure to cook it for the exact time that I listed in the recipe! Also, it's completely normal for the cake to sink in the center and kind of give off a flaky, crusted top (see Swedish blogger Call Me Cupcake's version, or Top With Cinnamon's) because of the lack of leavener in the cake — so don't panic if that happens!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces 72%-cocoa dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 (F). Prepare a 9-inch springform baking pan by spraying liberally with cooking spray and lining the base with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper.
- In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of boiling water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), combine 1 cup unsalted butter and 8 ounces coarsely chopped dark chocolate. Melt, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir occasionally. When both the butter and the chocolate are fully melted, remove from heat. Gently whisk in 1/3 cup red wine, and set on a wire rack to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine 4 large eggs, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Whip on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
- Once the egg and sugar mixture is light and fluffy and has doubled in size, gently fold the cooled chocolate mixture (from the 2nd step) into the egg and sugar mixture until the batter is fully incorporated and is a uniform chocolate color. Transfer the batter to the prepared springform pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, before running an offset spatula or butter knife around the cake pan. Remove the side ring of the pan from the cake, and allow to cool on the wire rack.
- Serve with fresh whipped cream. As the cake cools, it will deflate and sink slightly — a fresh, warm cake will have a chocolate lava cake texture, while a cool cake will have a dense, brownie-like texture.