Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Red Wine Cake

On my mother's side, I am of German heritage.  I always wish that I had take German as a subject at school instead of the book-keeping that my practical mother persuaded me to take instead - I haven't used the book-keeping, and the German would at least have been interesting from a personal perspective. Learning a second language as an adult is quite difficult (I know, having done a year of Italian classes), so it is unlikely that I will take up learning German now.

However, that doesn't mean that I can't explore my German heritage in other ways.   For almost two years, I have possessed a book called German Baking Today by Dr Oetker, with the best intentions of baking delicious German treats.  Sadly, I have been quite lax about doing so, and the book has sat on my shelf unused - until now.

I was looking for something quick and easy to bake this week, so I selected Red Wine Cake from p24 of German Baking Today.   It is a tasty cake without being sickly sweet - it contains rum and red wine (yeah!), almonds and chocolate.  With that set of ingredients, how could you go wrong?

This cake seemed to be popular at work, as it was all gone in a couple of hours - a good litmus test for baked goods, I think.

To make this cake, you will need:

250 butter
125g sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
4 eggs
4 teaspoons rum
250g plain flour
3 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
150g grated chocolate (I used coarsely chopped chocolate)
100g chopped almonds
125ml red wine

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease and flour a 30cm x 11cm loaf tin.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.

Beat the butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat until the butter and sugar are well combined.

Add the eggs to the mixture, beating in one at a time.  Beat in the rum. 

Using a rubber spatula, alternately fold the dry ingredients and the wine, chocolate and almonds into the batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and level off the top with a metal spatula.  Place the cake into the preheated oven for 70-75 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Once the cake has baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before unmoulding it onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Dust the top of the cooled cake with icing sugar if desired.  Slice and serve.