Over the last few years I have been involved in testing the idea that you can put virtually anything in a chocolate cake. Prunes, cinnamon, ginger, even mashed potato. (The mashed potato one is really good, actually, but involves about six separate bowls. Definitely a special-occasion recipe.)
Thus far, however, I had never entered the realm of alcoholic chocolate cakes. A recipe in Food & Wine magazine and a half-bottle of leftover wine in the fridge changed all that. I present to you Chocolate-Red Wine Cake, with apologies to my UK readers for the American measures. 1 cup is 8 fluid ounces. Use a measuring jug.
Chocolate-Red Wine Cake2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups dry red wine
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan (I used a 9" springform tin with a ring insert).
Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until incorporated. Ad vanilla and mix for 2 minutes longer.
Sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt. Alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 min until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 min, then turn out onto wire rack.
When cool, dust with icing (confectioner's) sugar and serve with whipped cream.
I don't, unfortunately, have a photo, but this is good. It has a decided reddish tinge and winey flavour. Rent a rom-com and invite some girlfriends over.
For a more masculine cake, it's gotta be Guinness. I'd been meaning to try out Nigella's chocolate Guinness cake for a while, and was kicked into action by discovering a chocolate stout pudding recipe on another blog. So, two good reasons to buy some Guinness.
The Nigella recipe is here, and here is the finished product (without icing as Graham isn't a fan of creamy stuff).
It wasn't quite as "resonantly ferrous" as promised by the author, but having finished the remains of the can, I can tell you that the drink tasted somewhat watered down compared to a pint in an Irish bar. If you have a pub round the corner that will pull you half a pint, go there for your raw ingredient. It's a very easy cake to make, although I would mention that where Nigella says "whisk", obey her instructions. I used a wooden spoon, and this is why my cake has small white bits of unmixed flour in.