Nov 11, 2012

Chocolate, Red Wine & Cinnamon

I realized I get feelings of anxiety when I know that there are certain ingredients lying around in my kitchen -namely eggs, butter, sugar- and not doing anything about it. It's particularly worse when it's just ONE egg sitting in my fridge. You see, typically, I use my eggs in pairs, or at the minimum two when baking. So one, on it's own, creates a sense of disequilibrium in my mind and the only way to re-establish any sense of balance is by using it. Can anyone relate, or am I just strange? Would it make more sense if I gave the example of let's say, seeing just a spoonful left at the bottom of a Nutella jar (pot of ice cream works too) and deciding to 1) build up superhuman courage and leave it in there or 2) decide, what the heck, I might as well eat it and get it over with once and for all! That's exactly my issue, but with the one-egg-sitting-in-the-fridge situation. 

And in my defense, I also had a bottle of red with just a glassful left in it. And some leftover chocolate. And it was cold outside and I didn't quite feel like leaving my toasty home. With all these elements combined, I found myself unconsciously walking towards the oven and turning it on. Simultaneously, I started to think about this recipe I had come across years ago when I was living in Paris: a pound cake recipe that called for red wine. I remember being intrigued by this but never got around to making it. This was my chance to find out how wine turns out in a cake, except I was going to do it freestyle and come up with a spontaneous combination that would warm up a chilly winter night. A few minutes of imagination concluded with chocolate, red wine and cinnamon. There it was. I had a good feeling about this one. 
Since I had just one egg available, I decided I'd make dessert for two and use individual molds- like those used for a souffle. I'd make something like a molten cake but not quite. 
I'd play around with the egg/butter/sugar/flour ratios to create a dessert with a cushiony exteriour holding a warm volcanic symphony of chocolate, red wine and cinnamon. 
I'd also dust it off with unsweetened cocoa, like a velvet blanket with a slightly bitter undertone.
And maybe enjoy it with some whipped cream, or ice cream...whatever your weapon of choice may be. Although, mind you, this dessert is fine consumed naked, just on it's own too. 
I'd consume it all, in guiltless spoonfulls, strategically in the evening, maybe as a midnight dessert, and let the chocolate, red wine and cinnamon combination cast it's spell as I retreat to my bed for a good, very good, night's sleep. 

Recipe for A Sinful Chocolate & Red Wine Winter Dessert
Makes 2-3 individual molds

1 egg
50gr butter
50gr semi-sweet chocolate (60% cocoa), chopped
40gr icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/2 cup (118ml) red wine
1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
40gr flour
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
Unsweetened cocoa (optional)
2-3 molds (as those used for a souffle or a moelleux)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
Melt the butter and chocolate together and then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the egg, sugar, red wine and cinnamon and mix all together. Follow with the flour and baking powder. Mix well. Transfer batter to individual molds and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, leave to rest for just a few minutes- say two or three- and dust with unsweetened cocoa. Dig in, directly from the molds.

Note: when the molds are filled with the raw batter, before baking, you may refrigerate molds for a few hours- up to overnight. This also presents the advantage of allowing early prep and baking just when it's time for dessert!

P.S:  I happen to really love me a powerful, full-bodied Syrah when it comes to red wines. Lately however, I have been finding tremendous pleasure in a good Argentinian Malbec. There are some fantastic ones out there, and as with many new-world wines, some excellent selections can be found at very reasonable prices. 


wine_guy said...

That looks just Wonderful!!
Funny, last month it was my birthday, and I kept wishing I was having a special dinner in your lovely kitchen. Now I really regret that I didn’t make it happen!!
Next year…
Is this the cake from the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook? She has a red Chocolate Wine cake recipe in there that has caught my eye. I’ve been wanting to make a Red Velvet cake but avoid the food colouring.

Marianna said...

Hi there! Well happy belated birthday then! Thanks for your comment- no this is a different recipe from SK with a different texture/outcome and use of ingredients.
You can use beetroot as a more "natural" food colouring I suppose...? Good luck!