You know that voice. Even if it’s via text, you know it.
Like a mother recognizing her baby’s cry, you know your best friend’s tipsy tone. You know it, and you love it because you love her and all the memories that slight slur conjures.
In the case of my wine-sipping friend, those memories span to a time when we didn’t even drink, to celebratory glasses on a 21st birthday (while taking in a spectacular view), to too many cachaças poolside in Argentina, to fancy southern sipping while on a Bonnaroo-bound roadtrip, to wedding toasts!
As my wine-sipping Sandra put it, our best friend trio is “ride-or-die.” One by one, each of us is hitting the big 3-0, and we’re spending each of those birthdays together, with wine in hand. I couldn’t let Sandra’s 30th pass us without a little something rich and fancy [cake, I am talking cake], and I thought, “why not have our wine and eat it too?” Here’s to the brilliant woman who is always by our side to listen, to laugh and to love!
Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Honey Whipped Mascarpone
Yield: two 9-inch cake layers
1 cup (2 sticks) organic butter, softened
1 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
2 large organic eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 cup organic greek yogurt
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup organic cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch springform pans (or bake, cool, rinse & repeat if you only have one).
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.
Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
Beat in the wine and yogurt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add to wine mixture slowly, mixing until just incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan(s) and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake bounces back slightly.
Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Honey Whipped Mascarpone
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
In a medium mixing bowl, whip mascarpone, heavy whipping cream, and honey until soft peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use.
Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Add a large spoonful of the mascarpone filling to the surface of the cake. Use an offset spatula and a lazy suzan cake stand [ideally] to spread and smooth the topping, adding more as needed. Top with the other cake layer. Add a dollop of mascarpone topping to the surface. Garnish as desired (I used morello cherries).
May our lives be filled with many more tipsy phone calls, tear-inducing fits of laughter, and CAKE!