The fruit of the wine provides a wonderful foil for the dense, dark chocolate.
By Kathy Bechtel
This recipe was recently featured in an article in La Cucina Italiana magazine, entitled Italy’s Best Desserts. The author is Francine Segan, a food historian and the author of a new book, Dolci: Italy’s Sweets. I loved the article, Francine offered some very traditional sweets that included some wonderfully unique flavor combinations. Her background as a food historian shines through as she shares the story behind the recipes, something I try and share with our guests during our cooking classes on our culinary bike tours.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
- 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 5 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate (80% or more), melted
- 1 cup dry red wine
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together four, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and ½ cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time, scraping bowl as necessary. Add chocolate; beat just to combine. In 3 additions, add wine to butter mixture, alternating with flour mixture.
- In a large bowl, using a clean whisk beater, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining ¾ cup sugar and beat until the whites are firm and glossy.
- Using a spatula, gently fold whites into batter just until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth top with spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Transfer cake to wire rack; let cool in pan 10 minutes. Run a knife around pan to loosen cake, release from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.
Kathy Bechtel’s obsession with food and cooking began as a teenager. After years following a traditional career path as a telecommunications engineer, she left to attend culinary school and wine training, and is now combining her passions for food and wine, the outdoors, and travel as owner and Culinary Tour Director of Italiaoutdoors. In this role, Kathy leads small bicycle, skiing and walking tours that explore the authentic regional cuisines, local products and undiscovered wines of Northeastern Italy.