brace yourselves, winter is coming! and along with it hot drinks, christmas spices...and mulled wine of course!
well this year, s. didn't have the patience to wait til winter to have some mulled wine, but not in the way you would imagine! we (m. & a.) nearly fell of our chairs when she told us she wanted to make a chocolate cake with a mulled wine flavoured whipped cream! we were not convinced right away, to say the least (even though the thought of mulled wine is always tempting!).
a. is currently in berlin so needless to say m. was sooooo happy to be the one to experiment s.' crazy idea. wish you could have seen her face just before putting the first bite of cake in her mouth!
but against all odds, this cake was delicious! maybe a bit surprising at first, because you really have the impression to "eat" mulled wine, but still, delicious. after a few bites, you'll want to find yourself by the fire on a long winter evening, reading a good book, rolled up in blankets...!
we added cranberries to the chocolate cake to add extra flavours and texture. needless to say cranberries go perfectly with dark chocolate and mulled wine whipped cream!
for one medium cake:
for the cake:
80 g sugar
200 g good quality dark chocolate
4 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
3 tbsp red wine
60-80 g (depending on your preferences) dried cranberries
for the mulled wine whipped cream:
8 cl red wine
2 cl orange juice
80 g brown sugar
1 green cardamom pod (or a pich ground cardamom)
1 cinnamon stick
a pinch of black pepper
2 pinches whole nutmeg, finely grated
3 whole cloves
150 g whipping cream
1 tbsp mascarpone
prepare the mulled wine syrup:
place all the mulled wine ingredients (red wine, orange juice, sugar and spices) in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. increase the heat and bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes. let simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium heat. the mulled wine should then have the thickness of a syrup, but still be liquid (careful, you're not supposed to end up with a caramel!).
remove from heat. pass the mixture through a strainer and let cool completely.
prepare the cake:
preheat the oven to 175°C (350 F).
using a bain-marie, melt chocolate and butter.
remove from heat. add sugar, the 4 egg yolks and red wine. whisk until combined.
beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm. whisk1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture until smooth. then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
incorporate dried cranberries.
butter and flour a round pan. pour the batter in it.
sprinkle some more cranberries on top.
bake for 30 minutes, until a knife comes out clean (we used a medium-sized baking pan. if you're using a large one, you can start checking after 20-25 minutes).
prepare the whipped cream:
whip cream and mascarpone into whipped cream (until peaks form).
using a spatula, incorporate gently 2 tbsp of cold mulled wine syrup until combined. repeat the operation adding syrup to taste.
spread the whipped cream over the cake (the cake should be getting cold, but not completely cold. careful though, if it's too hot the whipped cream will "melt").
sprinkle some cocoa powder on top.
serve right away!
piece of advice:
usually it's good to let cakes that contain whipped cream rest in the fridge for a while. it allows the flavours to combine. however, we found that this one was much better at room temperature, or with the chocolate cake just slightly warm (but not too much, otherwise the whipped cream will "melt" as we explain above)!
better to put less whipped cream on the cake than too much, otherwise the mulled wine flavour will be too obvious