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Thursday, August 25,2011

Dark Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Pinot Noir Chutney

By Danette Randall

 

People, people, people. This week you are going to be so happy with my creation that you might just want to name a street after me.

Dessert Diva Drive sounds like a good idea to me, where the road is paved with chocolate and signs are carved out of crystallized sugar. I don’t mean to go all Willy Wonka on you, but I am so thrilled with this dessert, the sugar is going straight to my head. How does Dark Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Pinot Noir Chutney sound? Fabulous, right?

One of the key ingredients is my new favorite wine, and you all know, I love my wine. It brings out the best in this dessert, and after a glass or two, in me as well (ba dum chaa). It is a 2008 Pinot Noir from LaVelle Vineyards in Elmira, Ore. This wine is so special that the winemaker (Matthew LaVelle) dubbed it Matthew’s Reserve.

Now, the cake. Oh, the cake! It is a moist dark chocolate ring of love. I used the Pinot in the batter, and, my, how it richens the flavor. Their Pinot Noir is a fruit-forward wine with nuances of cherry, vanilla and violets, which complements the dark chocolate magnificently. Think of the health benefits of this tasty treat. Red wine, dark chocolate and blueberries, holy good-for-your-heart heaven!

The chutney really takes this pairing over the top. The base is, of course, the blueberries. Made with the Pinot, nutmeg and allspice, it has a warm, take-me-home-country-road kind of feel. And, of course, I top it off with homemade whipped cream.

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it, and invite me over when it’s done.

Dark Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Pinot Noir Chutney

Chutney

3 cups blueberries

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. allspice zest from one orange

1/4 cup Pinot Noir

In medium sauce pan, combine blueberries, water, brown sugar, nutmeg and allspice. Mash blueberries up with ingredients on medium to medium-high heat. Add zest and Pinot. Bring to a low boil. Turn down heat slightly. Let simmer 15 minutes until chutney starts to thicken. Let cool down, and store in refrigerator.

Cake

2-1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. instant espresso powder

1 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1-3/4 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup Pinot Noir

8 ounces dark chocolate (chocolate chips, chunks or bar)

Preheat oven to 350. Wrap foil around the bottom and up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Grease pan.

In medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Heat one cup of water until just hot.

Add 2 tsp. espresso powder. Stir, set aside. In large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla, mix well. Place dark chocolate on top of batter. Pour prepared espresso over chocolate. Slowly stir until chocolate melts a little in batter. Stir in Pinot Noir. Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture. Mix until well combined. There will still be some chunks of chocolate in batter.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool. When ready to serve, unlatch springform pan, remove ring. Slice cake and put on individual plates. Top cake with a dollop of blueberry chutney. Enjoy!

Note: Serve this with whipped cream and a dust of powdered sugar.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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