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Sunday Magazine Recipe: Pinot Noir Chocolate Cake

The inclusion of pinot noir in this cake might seem strange, but it creates an unusual and highly decadent dessert. This recipe is inspired by the perfect balance of tart and sweet of blackberries which complement the chocolate and wine in the most harmonious way. The result is an almost aromatic, cake with a moreishly fudgy texture.

Pinot noir chocolate cake with blackberries

Serves 12

100g butter, softened
150g soft brown sugar
2 organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
70g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup pinot noir
100g 70% dark chocolate buttons
180g frozen blackberries

For between the layers
3 tbsp good quality store-bought berry jam (ideally blackberry)

Ganache
100ml cream
100g 70% dark chocolate buttons

Topping
2 tbsp cocoa nibs
generous pinch sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180C fan bake. Line 2 x 22cm cake tins with baking paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla. Sift in flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Mix until just combined. Add wine and chocolate chips. Stop your mixer when all of the ingredients are combined but do not over-mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the two tins. Dot half your blackberries into each tin, making sure to push them right into the batter.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, make the ganache. Heat the cream in a saucepan until small bubbles start to appear on the surface. Take off the heat and drop in the chocolate. Stir until it is melted; the ganache should be thick, smooth and glossy. Chill the ganache for 20 minutes to allow it to set a little.

Once the cake is completely cool, spread some jam onto one layer and place the other directly on top. With a tablespoon, spread the ganache neatly onto the top of the cake.

Sprinkle with cocoa nibs and sea salt and serve immediately with whipped cream.

Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Photo: Emma Boyd.