Friday, October 06, 2006

Chocolate and Red Wine Cake

Fri 29 Sept 2006

Yes, you read that right. You can imagine my excitement when I spotted this recipe in the latest issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. Chocolate AND red wine in a cake? Oh, happy, happy union!

The recipe is in amongst those supplied by Tobie Puttock, who is heading up Fifteen in Melbourne. Now, I am pretty underwhelmed by Jamie Oliver - the accent, the hair, the endless 'lovely-jubblies' (no Jamie, you're not a Cockney), and the whole attitude of 'let's just chuck all this food together and it will be really simple'. This is not to say I have a problem with simplicity in cooking - cooking needn't be complicated, but I do think it should ALWAYS be considered. I read once that Raymond Blanc said that Oliver doesn't respect food. I kind of agree.

Here in the UK Oliver is more or less St Jamie, so I realise the above might be heresy. I do, however, appreciate that Oliver has probably managed to encourage a lot of people into the kitchen, and his crusade against dodgy school dinners has been a lot more effective than any political posturing - although I'm not entirely sure about his recent criticisms of parents who do feed their children crap.

Anyway - I digress. Tobie Puttock is heading up Fifteen in Melbourne. Like Oliver, he's also ex-River Cafe, so he's got a strong Italian influence, and in the Gourmet article talks about simple, Melbourne-oriented food (probably all nicked from South Australia then?!).

So - chocolate and red wine cake. How does it stand up? Would I pay for it in a cafe or restaurant? Let us see ...

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and baseline a 20cm spring form tin.

Take 150g of dark chocolate and, using the food processor, break it down into gravel sized pieces. Put to one side.

Take 200 g butter and mix with 250 g caster sugar and beat until pale. Add four eggs, one at a time, and 250 g of plain flour, mixed with 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 25 g of cocoa. When well combined add 100 mL of red wine (I'd try to avoid the incredibly nasty Como Sur Pinot Noir I used) and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Very last of all, add the gravelly chocolate and tip the mix into the pan. Bake for an hour (more like 1 hour 20 minutes in my case) until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan. Dust with icing sugar and serve with lashings of cream, creme fraiche, custard, icecream ... what you will.

The cake looked very impressive - it rose beautifully and was HUGE! As you can tell from the above, it was also very simple to put together.

I was, however, rather underwhelmed by it. I don't think the red wine added anything (erstwhile housemate suggested I make it again without the wine to see what we thought). I did really like the addition of the real chocolate bits. But the cake itself was just a, well, quick and dirty chocolate cake. Andy thought I sold it a bit short and said he really enjoyed it.

Would I be happy if I paid for it in a restaurant? No. Cafe - probably less of a problem. I'll make it again (and steal the gravelly chocolate for other cakes!) because it is quick and simple, and I suspect it would make pretty nifty cupcakes. More lamington drive or BBQ than dinner party!

tagged with: , , ,
Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!


Post a Comment

<< Home