This delicious dark chocolate cake flavored with Barolo Chinato and served with whipped cream and raspberries is a truly romantic treat for an amorous occasion.
Chocolate, the so called natural “love drug” and one of the top ten aphrodisiac foods, is definitely an excellent choice when celebrating this holiday. The feeling eating chocolate produces is the same you feel as when falling in love so … let’s eat more chocolate!!! In fact, several compounds present in chocolate have been linked to one’s mood and pleasure, such as phenyl-ethylamine which has amphetamine-like stimulating properties and tryptophan, related to serotonin, a substance associated with ecstasy and happiness. In addition to its “love effects”, dark chocolate – rich in antioxidants – provides other beneficial properties such as reducing your levels of free radicals, which are responsible for cellular damage, aging and cancer.
This delicious food is obtained from the tropical tree Theobroma Cacao, which has been cultivated in central and south America for at least three millennia. The Aztecs thought it gave strength and power to their warriors. In the past chocolate has been considered more medicinal, rather than the delicious treat it is today.
In this recipe, the chocolate’s aroma blends well with the distinct flavor of Barolo Chinato, a Barolo wine flavored with a variety of herbs and spices, including quinine bark (china in Italian, pronounced KEY-na), and sweetened with a touch of sugar. As a dessert wine Barolo Chinato is a perfect match for rich sweets, especially those with chocolate like this superb cake. So when making the cake, save a glass (better yet, save 2!) to enjoy with your cake. And now, food meets art! Chocolate is not only a delicious treat; some artists use it as an expressive material in their work. If you like video performances please take a look at my dear friend and great artist, Ciriaca Erre’s video “Can I have another question?” A passionate and emotional modern Medea. Enjoy it!!!
TORTA AL CIOCCOLATO E BAROLO CHINATO (BAROLO CHINATO CHOCOLATE CAKE)
Preparation time: 1 ½ hours Baking time: 45-50 minutes Servings: 6-8
250 g (1 2/3 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
260 g (1 ¼ cups) granulated sugar
30 g (8 tablespoons) cocoa powder
250 g (1 3/4 cups) pastry flour
15 g (1 tablespoon) baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs separated
150 g (5 ounces) dark chocolate (70%)
240 ml (1 cup) Barolo Chinato
250 g (2 cups) raspberries
250 ml (about 1 cup) heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 165°C (325°F)
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside
3. In a large bowl cream the butter with sugar and cocoa using an electric mixer. Beat in the egg yolks one at the time
4. In a double boiler, heat wine slowly and melt chocolate. Cool for about 5 minutes
5. Add the wine-chocolate mixture to the butter and mix well with a spoon
6. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter
7. In a medium bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until firm and glossy
8. Gently fold whites into the batter using a spatula until there are no more white streaks
9. Grease and flour a 25 cm (10 in) spring-form pan
10. Pour in the batter and bake for about 45-50 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean
11. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack
12. Wash raspberries under running water. Gently dry them with paper towels. Set aside
13. In a medium bowl combine cream and powdered sugar, and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Decorate the cake with whipped cream and raspberries.
Note: You can substitute Barolo Chinato with another sweet or fortified red wine such as Marsala, Port or Sherry. -Paola