I’ve noted may times throughout this Twelve Recipes of Christmas series that Christmas is all about sweets and booze. So why not combine the two into a perfect holiday dessert?
It has been almost three weeks since I purchased my copy of the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and I had yet to make a recipe from it. I went through on day one and tagged everything that excited me but with the holidays, nights out and Christmas shopping, dinner at home has been dominated by glamorous forms of takeout. I needed a dessert to bring to my cousin’s for Christmas eve and figured it was the perfect opportunity. As I flipped through the cakes and pies, I kept stopping on Smitten Kitchen’s red velvet cake. I was a bit disappointed. This amazing book filled of creative, inspiring recipes and then there’s red velvet cake. How boring and amateur. I was almost a bit embarrassed for the cookbook. After about the fifth time I stopped on the recipe I finally saw it for its full glory: Red WINE Velvet Cake! My world turned upside down. There was booze! I’ve baked with beer a lot but never wine. And my favorite part as I read through Deb’s introduction to the recipe, “This is my favorite birthday cake for grown-ups, and yes I do mean grown-ups, because the wine does not fully bake out. (You’re welcome.)”.
Always important to sample to alcohol to make sure its okay for guests
I almost choked at the amount of sugar in the recipe. Because it got added in so early, and it was the first time making the recipe, I was hesitant to cut it as much as I normally would. After tasting the complete batter, however, I wish I had edited myself a bit more. As for the icing, I was excited to use marscapone for the very first time. I ended up increasing the amount of icing, to guarantee I would have enough to add thick fluffy layers in between each cake piece. I added a few tablespoons of heavy cream because the icing was too dense, even for spreading and I found that I only really needed about half the confectioners’ sugar recommended.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 c lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 c red wine (I used Cupcake’s Red Velvet…seemed appropriate)
- 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
- 1 1/3 c Dutch cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 24 oz marscapone cheese (3 cups)
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream, as needed