This is a recipe slightly adapted from ”Décors et recettes de Noêl – traditions d’Alsace” which I recently got my hands on!
Also called Gateau au vin rouge or Roewin un Mûesbollekûeche, it’s a deliciously easy and moist chocolate cake perfect for freezing and defrosting later when needed.
It’s another of my favourite – “mix everything together and bake” recipes and is really simple and tasty.
The red wine doesn’t give a strong taste, it’s very subtle and the chocolate vermicelli means that the chocolate is evenly dispersed and doesn’t sink to the bottom!
200g soft butter
200g plain flour
1Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 sachet of baking powder
100ml red wine
100g chocolate vermicelli
How to: Put everything into the processor and whiz until you have a smooth cake mixture.
Pour the mixture into a grease proof paper lined cake tin, I used a circular 20cm tin but it’s also often made in loaf tins. Bake at 180°c for 1 hour then test with a skewer to check if it is fully baked. When the skewer pulls out clean, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
As with all chocolate cakes this one can be decorated with any kind of icing. It’s not a very sweet cake so the touch of icing on the top is a little extra. It’s also delicious served with cream or custard.
Wrap well and freeze when cool (un-iced) if there is too much or it’s been made in advance.
This year I made a galette filled with a mixture of frangipane and soft apple pieces.
Pretty similar to the traditional galette des rois but with less almond paste and lots of apple!
Ingredients (for 6 big people):
2 rounds of puff pastry or about 500g of puff pastry
80 g ground almonds
80 g sugar
1 large egg
80 g of butter
2 tablespoonfuls of créme fraîche or natural yoghurt
3 apples, peeled, cored and cubed
1 egg yolk to brush onto pastry before baking
A lucky charm (a figurine, a fève) to hide inside the cake
How to : Place 1 pastry round on the baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Sauté the apples in a little butter and a tbsp of brown sugar until softish. Leave to cool. Meanwhile mix all the other ingredients (almond powder, sugar, egg, butter, créme) together in the processor or in a bowl until you’ve got a thick paste. Mix the apples into the paste then spread the mixture over the pastry circle, leaving about a 2cm gap between the mixture and the edge of the pastry. Position the charm somewhere in the mixture – preferably towards the edge of the circle to minimize the chances of finding it when cutting the cake later.
Paint round the pastry edge with warm water, lay the second pastry circle on top and press the edges together well. Use a knife to gently score the pastry which will leave a nice pattern when baked. Paint the top pastry with beaten egg to ensure the cake is glossy when it comes out of the oven. Finally, to avoid the cake swelling up or drying out, pierce a small hole in the center to allow air to escape. I read somewhere that the galette should then be chilled for 20 mins or so before being put in the hot oven as the sudden temperature change makes the puff pastry rise more evenly, so I put mine in the fridge and then baked it at 210 ° C for approximately 25 minutes (check the cake after 20 mins, but don’t hesitate to leave it for up to 35 mins if necessary). It can be eaten warm or cold, on its own or with ice-cream, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine…
If it’s December 5th or 6th then it’s time for manela!
Here are this years’ wee men, I used the same recipe as always
All delicious and just waiting to be dunked in hot chocolate!
This apple cakes makes a nice change from apple tart and is very quick to make. I found the recipe in an Alsatian cook book “Kougelhopf & Cie”. It’s made in a tart tin or a cake tin (dia 23cm) so it’s wide and flat – like a tart.
Like all my favourite cakes, this one is quickly made, without any fussy creaming or 101 steps!
This lemon ricotta cake is deliciously lemony !
It’s fairly big and dense, nothing airy about it and it’s the perfect way to use up that forgotten tub of ricotta! There’s no cheesy taste at all, the ricotta simply makes it moist.