Desserts: Cakes, Biscuits, Treats, Jams Italian Regional Recipes

‘Drunk’ Cake – Traditional Red Wine Dessert from Molise

When you cut yourself a slice of this cake, a fragrant and mouth-watering sauce will ooze out: melted chocolate and good red wine are the main ingredients for this spongy dessert that will literally inebriate you. Because this cake doesn’t require any butter, but only olive oil, it’s very light and perfect for those who don’t eat dairies.  

This cake is a traditional specialty from Molise, the second smallest Italian region after the Valle D’ Aosta. Located in between the more famous Puglia and Abruzzo, in the southeast of Italy, albeit influenced by the bordering regions, Molise’s culinary tradition is full of surprising, flavourful dishes made with simple ingredients.

The best choice of wine for this cake would be the Tintilia wine, which is actually produced in Molise; should you not have any available, any other full-bodied wine will do – just make sure not to use one that is too light, too fruity or sparkling.


Serves 6 (fills a Ø24 cm cake mould) | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 40-45 mins

  • All-purpose flour: 220 g
  • Demerara or White Granulated sugar: 150 g
  • Dark chocolate or cocoa powder, unsweetened: 70 g
  • Baking powder: 16 g
  • Tintilia or Nero D’Avola or Montepulciano D’Abruzzo red wine: 150 ml
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 50 ml
  • Eggs: 3

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Sift the flour and mix it with the baking powder in a bowl. Beat the eggs in another bowl and put both aside. If you’re using dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder, cut the chocolate in small pieces.

Put the sugar, the cocoa powder or the chocolate, the wine and the oil in a sauce pan; heat them up over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring carefully to mix the ingredients. Make sure not to bring the sauce to a boil.

Keep a glass of the sauce aside as you will need it at a later stage.

Pour the remaining sauce onto the flour and stir until the mixture thickens, then add the eggs as well and keep stirring until the dough is smooth, runny and has a homogeneous texture.

Use some oil to grease a cake mould and lightly flour it. Pour the dough into the mould and bake it at 170°C for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. You can use a toothpick to check if the cake is ready. Prick the middle of the cake: if the toothpick comes out dry, the cake is ready.

Whilst the cake is still warm, place it on a serving plate and use a straw to open some small holes into the cake’s surface. Take the glass of sauce you set aside earlier and pour a third of it inside the holes. Use the remaining two thirds to glaze the cake.

Tip: To get a shiny glaze and a deliciously runny filling, the sauce must be fluid. If it looks a tad too firm, re-heat it slightly before using it.

Allow the cake to cool down a bit before serving it.

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