I think we all have a couple of recipes that evoke such happy memories that making them always puts us in a happy place. This is my “happy” recipe. Growing up, I was lucky enough to spend summers with my aunt and uncle on their farm in a small town in Germany. For a girl from NYC, these summers were magical and the beginning of my love affair with Europe.
Despite all the work my aunt had on the farm, every Friday freshly baked cakes were made for the weekend. One of my favorites was my aunt’s Red Wine Cake. The hazelnuts, chocolate and red wine give this cake a rich flavor and makes it the perfect comfort dessert.
When I got married, my aunt gifted me with her recipe, as it had now become my husband’s favorite cake as well! Today, it is a family favorite and the recipe needs to be doubled or tripled to keep everyone happy. I don’t mind though, the smell of my kitchen on baking day brings back many happy memories of my aunt and my days in Germany.
Ingredients (makes one large loaf):
2 sticks (225g) butter
1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup (100g) ground hazelnuts
½ cup finely chopped chocolate or mini chocolate morsels
2 cups (250g) flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup (125ml) red wine
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease and flour a large loaf pan (I prefer a 12”x4” pan)
- Cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add and beat eggs until fully incorporated.
- Add all dry ingredients (ground hazelnuts, chocolate, flour and baking powder) alternating with the red wine. Do not over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Test with a toothpick to ensure cake is fully baked as baking times may vary.
- When done, remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a baking rack.
- When fully cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar and voilà!
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