Red Wine Chocolate Cake w/Cherry Lavender Compote


Well, it's been a while! In the interim, we have moved to a larger home and I've been dealing with all the responsibilities of being an adult. I guess it had to happen sometime. Figuring out loans, getting through a ton of paperwork to close on our place (as Joe said by the 20th page of signing, we could be signing over our first child at this point, we wouldn't even know it), dealing with movers, transferring all our services, changing addresses with all our accounts, I've felt exhausted every day and in bed by 10pm like an old lady.

On the upside, we have a fabulous new kitchen, we finally have our own washer/dryer (words can't describe how much this means to us after drying our clothes all over our apartment), and I am getting granite counter tops soon! Although it's been tough to deal with all the grown-up annoyances, I'm so looking forward to many dinner parties at our new table in our proper dining room, and making some great memories here.
And, it's less than a year to go for our wedding! 

On to the cake. I love cake.
I made this for Sauce a while back and it was devoured so quickly at a dinner party, especially with the compote I added to it (the first time was with some fresh cream, which was delicious too, but the compote added a touch of sweet floral notes).

Sometimes you just need something chocolaty, you know? On top of that, this has a healthy dose of red wine in it, just to elevate that chocolate flavor. It adds a sort of "je ne sais quoi" to it. This is the just the thing to whip up when you're having a classy dinner party, a girl's night in, or when you just want something romantic for you and your sexy better half. It's a sassy comfort food, almost like a true red velvet cake.

This recipe is largely a classic chocolate cake except buttermilk is replaced with red wine, but the result doesn't necessarily taste boozy. Instead, it’s a dense, moist, and richly flavorful.

Any red wine, regardless of price point or type, produces a unique flavor. I’ve used a Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a Malbec; even the Trader Joe’s “Two-buck Chuck” tasted great in this cake. 
And the best part: You already have an open bottle of the perfect dessert wine pairing.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 9-inch cake

6 Tbsp. room temperature butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
¾ cup red wine
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour
½ cup high quality cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
¼ cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
2 cups heavy cream
Cherry-Lavender Compote (Recipe follows.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-inch cake or pie pan with nonstick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar 5 minutes, until combined. 
Add the egg, yolk, red wine and vanilla separately, beating well between each addition. 
Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool before turning it out of the pan and dust with powdered sugar.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream and ¼ cup powdered sugar together with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. 
Serve with the Red Wine Chocolate Cake, along with the Cherry-Lavender Compote.

Cherry-Lavender Compote
1½ lbs. cherries, pitted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Juice of one-quarter a lemon
½ tsp. lavender extract
A pinch plus 1½ tsp. table salt, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Coarsely chop the cherries and toss in a large bowl with the lavender extract, cornstarch, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and 1/3 cup granulated sugar. 
Adjust the sugar to taste.


  1. This CAKE, Amrita: gorgeous. Congratulations on the move! Moving is tough: you're right, so much to do and sign and change and shuffle fun, but when you're finally there and settled, it's way better. And nothing compares to having a washer and dryer IN the house. :)

  2. Thanks Shannon!!


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