Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Red wine, chocolate and strawberries.  It sounds like a rather romantic combination, filled with deep rich flavors to enjoy with a significant other... But actually, to me it sounded like a perfect combination for a relaxing evening all to myself.  Afterall, what woman doesn't enjoy being able to relax in sweat pants while sipping some red wine and watching a chick flick?  On Friday after work I had opened a bottle of Italian red, and though I could have simply finished the bottle of wine, that sort of gluttony isn't smart, so instead I had some left over on Saturday.  I wanted to do something with it other than drink it though, so I decided that it would be wonderful in a chocolate cake. 

I have used red wine in this way before, and it was wonderful!  The wine contributes a deep complexity to the chocolate flavor in the cake that is amazing!  But I decided that the cake needed to have strawberries as well to make it even more wonderful.  A strawberry upside down cake!  Afterall, I had never heard of a chocolate upside down cake, and a strawberry one with jammy berries atop dark rich red wine flavored chocolate cake sounded amazing! 

I made a small six inch cake perfect for a single girl to enjoy in a few servings, but perfectly sharable.  I confess though, that I ended up eating the whole thing yesterday, as it was more delicious than I could have imagined.  It was beautiful, the red glossy berries arranged atop the dark deep chocolate cake, but not too beautiful to devour.  The flavors were amazing, moist rich dark chocolate cake with a red wine undertone and sweet jammy berries to set off the was heavenly! 

As I sat in peace and quiet last night enjoying the delicious cake with a little more of the left over wine all to myself I was truely in my happy relaxed place.  I have included the recipe below if you would like to enjoy some as well!  And if you are nice, I suppose you could share some with that someone special. Otherwise, it is ok to be selfish once in a while!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Red Wine Strawberry Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 6 inch cake

1 6 inch cake pan

1 1/2 Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
1/4 cup Tbsp maple sugar
1 cup halved (or quartered if large) strawberries, or enough to cover bottom of pan

3/4 cup plus whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use ghirardelli)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup red wine
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Spray a six-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. pour butter into bottom of pan, and scatter over 1/4 cup maple sugar.  arrange strawberries cut side down on the bottom of the pan, filling all holes until bottom is completely covered.  Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk oil, wine, and vanilla extract together in small  bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended.  Whisk in vinegar and stir quickly (pale swirls will be in the batter, which is the baking soda reacting with the vinegar, which allows the cake to rise since there are no eggs). Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Cool cake about 20 minutes in pan on rack, then cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter, berry side up.   

*if you double the recipe you can bake this in a 9 inch pan, but the baking time will take at least 15-20 minutes longer if not more depending on your oven. 


  1. Red wine, chocolate & strawberries-who could ask for anything more!

  2. One word sums this one up-Triplelicious -if that is a word. Three great flavors packed into a cake, bet this one didn't last long. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Oh my goodness, that cake look amazing!!! I am loving this idea!!!

  4. Crumbs. I was also on my own this weekend and definitely could have done with sharing this with you (as well as the Italian red). What an amazing cake! Chocolate, red wine and strobs. Who would have thought and in an upside down cake? You are brilliant, Amy! Yep, tripelicious is a great word, flourtrader ;-)

  5. Our family makes our own wine so I always have some on hand for delicious things like this! Also I have to admit that I have an obsession with upside down cakes this season.

  6. What a fabulous combination of flavors, Amy! I can see why it was SO irresistible!

  7. Okay, I don't know what other dessert has my name all over it more than this!! And full of antioxidants, too! LOL!

  8. I don't think I've ever used red wine in cake before... this looks amazing! Beautiful cake!

  9. amazing! beautiful. i wish i could eat it.

  10. I love red wine and chocolate! Strawberries makes this cake even better! I made a chocolate cake with strawberry poached pears that was awesome! Something about fruit and chocolate, no??? :D

  11. It's OK to be selfish sometimes, especially with something this delicious.