The Gleeful Gourmand: Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze

I was so excited to be invited to be a part of Blog Film Food (a monthly collection of bloggers who choose a movie and serve up a recipe to go along with it, making it a virtual dinner and movie) this month, and wow, did I luck out with the movie they chose: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I've always loved this movie, and Gene Wilder's turn as Willy Wonka will always be the best (though I did like Johnny Depp's version as well).

It's the type of movie that when it comes on TV, I have to watch it. I even used the clip of Veruca Salt singing "I Want it Now" to teach my son what the word "greedy" meant. But of all the characters, I've always loved Augustus Gloop the most. From the moment his blurry voice mumbled, "I feel sorry for Mr. Wonka. It's going to cost him a fortune in fudge," into the journalist's microphone, that boy endeared himself to me.

A mountain of dark chocolate snow capped with sugar.

I know we're supposed to think of Augustus as the epitome of over-indulgence and greediness, but when he discovers the chocolate river and Wonka tells him not to touch it because it must remain pure, I always felt empathy for Augustus. As a confirmed chocoholic myself, I really feel for the poor kid. There's a river of chocolate flowing right by you and you're not supposed to taste it? I mean, come on. Do you know what that must smell like? Chocolate, butter, and sugar all melding together, taking over all your senses. And you're not supposed to eat it. Right. Of course, maybe he shouldn't have gotten so enthusiastic that he fell in, but that's another matter.

Looks a lot like the chocolate river Augustus Gloop fell in, right?

So today I'm paying tribute to Augustus Gloop with this unbelievably delicious cake from Bon Appétit: The Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze. Yes. We're taking Augustus's true love, making a cake out of it, and then toasting his journey through the pipes of the Wonka factory with Fat Bastard's Pinot Noir.

The base for this cake starts by melting good bittersweet chocolate with butter and sugar in a double boiler. Here's where I deviate slightly. The recipe strongly recommends you use 70% cacao at the very least. But in your normal grocery store, finding high quality chocolate at 70% or higher can get rather expensive, especially since you need 16 ounces of it. I love dark chocolate (the darker the better), and I recommend Scharffen Berger for baking, and Green & Black's 80% cacao for nibbling. However, since you have to use so much of it in this recipe, I highly recommend going for Ghirardelli's 60% bittersweet bar. Yes, it's 10% less bitter, but I'm telling you - it does not matter. For your money, you're not going to find another big bar of quality bittersweet chocolate (each bar is 4 ounces) at such a decent price. Believe me, it doesn't affect the taste at all.

The red wine glaze is set and glossy and ready to be sliced into!

The cake is beyond decadent: dense but not heavy, all crinkled edges and a velvety goodness that practically melts on your tongue. The chocolate Pinot Noir glaze is sweet with a burst of tartness from the wine that prevents the cake from plunging over the side into the realm of way-too-sweet. It's truly a chocolate cake for all your senses.

On the Pinot Noir: Don't bother getting a bottle of expensive wine, unless you're celebrating something and you want to drink the rest of the bottle with your dessert. I used Fat Bastard's Pinot Noir, which was about $9 at my local grocery store, but I also recommend HobNob (an excellent Pinot Noir for a very fair price), or the excellent and excellently cheap Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir ($6 at Whole Foods).

I imagine that this is the cake Augustus Gloop would make for his friends as an adult while they sit around and chat about his adventures in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Make it for someone you love and watch as their eyes roll to the back of their heads in chocolate ecstasy. You can find the full recipe by clicking here. Then check out the links below to the other delicious bloggers participating in this #BlogFilmFood!

Kirsten Oliphant: Homemade Chocolate Bars Two Ways
Kelley at The Grant Life: Chocolate Covered Macaroon Bars
Jessica at Fun Family Journal: Samoa Caramel Corn
Brenda at Meal Planning Magic: Brownie Bites with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Topping
Kelli at Eat Pray Read Love: Salted Caramel Fudge 
Miranda at the Involuntary Housewife: Blueberry Truffles
Kristi at Moms Confession: Chocolate Ice Cream


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