Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Valentine's Bundt Cake with Red Wine
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup dark chocolate coating
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 pinch salt
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup ground almonds
After weeks of rain and grey, ice and snow, one cold stormy day after the next, is there anything as comforting in the midst of winter's tristesse as the scents of vanilla and melting chocolate filling the kitchen and wafting through the apartment, and the first bite of a fluffy cake that is still a little warm?
Generally not much of a baker, here I was, mixing and melting, covering the whole kitchen with flour and sugar, juggling eggs and spices, to produce the perfect Valentine's cake. To begin with, I put the red wine (I used a nice fruity Italian one) in a pot and heated it with the cloves and cinnamon stick, then removed the stick and let it cool down on the side. For anyone who's ever made mulled wine, this was easy enough.
The first challenge came with melting the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, actually not so much the melting itself but later on the accident-free removal of said boiler from the, hm, boiling water. So for the time being, I let it sit there and melt, while embarking on the least fun part of the process, the separating off the egg whites from the yolks. Struggling with blasphemous thoughts (why do we have to do this? can't we just mix it all together? how important is this fluffiness thing really... oh well, I separated them, slippery little &@***%^##, the egg whites in one bowl, the yolks in another.
To the now oh so peaceful looking yolks, I added half of the sugar, a pinch of salt, the vanilla sugar and also gradually the wine and butter-chocolate mix (yes, I did get some small burns, and yes, there were drops of chocolate-butter in several unusual spots of the kitchen afterwards) as well as the flour, baking powder and almonds, beating the dough until creamy.
The rest of the sugar was mixed with the egg whites and beaten for a time so long that even with an electrical mixer, my arm was sore in the end. But the silvery-foamy cream I was able to fold into the rest of the dough was worth every effort, hello fluffiness!
Now again back to the easy part - I filled the whole thing into a buttered form, put it in the oven at 320 for approximately and hour and waited for the aroma to flood my apartment and put me out of my "gosh it's only mid-february and i'm already so sick and tired of winter" misery. Happy belated Valentine's Day everyone!
Life is good!