This was the birthday cake for my friend Kristen here in Tucson. Kristen is a great cook (the woman makes homemade pasta and a mean meatball), a wine lover, and, as any lady, a whore for chocolate. I had no other choice but to make this chocolate cake with red wine, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and strawberries.
The egg whites make this cake airy, while the sour cream keep this cake moist. The butter just makes it fattening and delicious. Cinnamon, red wine, and strawberries all pair so well with chocolate that I thought I'd give this master combo a go, and the result was good -- I mean, really good (though I could be biased because 1. I made it, and 2. I had a few glasses of wine before I tried it...). And you can't beat fresh berries!
Chocolate Malbec Cake
adapted from Cooking with Wine
yields 2 8-inch cake rounds
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups red wine (I used a Malbec, if you couldn't tell...)
Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter the cake pans, line each pan with a round of parchment paper, and brush again with butter.
Sift flour with the cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
Cream the butter in an electric mixer, beat in the sugar, and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg whites, one by one, and then the sour cream and vanilla, and continue beating 1 to 2 minutes. Sift a third of the flour over the butter mixture and fold them together, using a spoon. Fold in a third of the wine. Add the remaining flour and wine alternately in two batches.
Spread batter in the prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Let the cakes cool 10 minutes in the pans, then turn them out on a rack to cool completely.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (same recipe as the Owl Cupcakes)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons milk
Beat butter and cream cheese. Add sugar, cinnamon and milk and beat for 2 minutes. Spread on anything.