With exams finished and work yet to start, I decided to spend the afternoon of my birthday making a Smitten Kitchen cake I had been eyeing for awhile. As always, her recipe works like a dream. The quantities listed below are doubled from SK’s original recipe as a result of the two layers. Instead of topping the cake with SK’s recommended mascarpone icing, I filled the cake with red wine raspberry jam and sprinkled some powdered sugar on top. The raspberries shone against the rich chocolatey flavour of the cake, and the hint of red wine echoed the wine in the cake. Other filling possibilities include SK’s mascarpone icing, other fruit preserves or jam, or simply crushed fruit mixed with a bit of crystallized ginger.
Red Wine Chocolate Layer Cake
12 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup red wine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup red wine raspberry jam
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl, whisking until fluffy. Whisk in the eggs and yolks; once combined, add the vanilla and wine. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Once the mixture is 3/4 combined, switch from a whisk to a rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a fork or kebab stick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in their pans for 10-15 minutes, then remove them from their pans and let them cool completely on a rack.
Set the lower layer on a plate. Spread a thick layer of red wine raspberry preserves (or other filling) over the lower cake layer. Place the upper layer on top of the lower layer, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately, or store covered in the fridge if serving later. Enjoy!