Chocolate is a mystical confection, conjuring feelings of love, passion and reward. It’s perfect any day of the year, but especially for Valentine’s Day. Science confirms that chocolate possesses superpowers—it can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and control blood sugar. Today, we’re celebrating all things chocolate with a Vegan Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Blackberry-Red Wine Sauce and Dark Chocolate Ganache.
Dark chocolate is loaded with anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting antioxidants and flavonoids, a special plant nutrient found in cocoa beans. The treat also contains small traces of the chemical phenylethylamine (PEA), the so-called “love drug” that promotes the brain chemistry of being in love. Read more on chocolate’s health benefits.
Chocolate’s health benefits are the mere icing on the cake; today’s recipe is about pure pleasure. This red-wine infused dark chocolate cake comes together in under an hour, with no mixer required. With no eggs or butter, it’s naturally vegan. As the cake bakes, it’s easy to cook up a simple one-pot blackberry-red wine sauce and four-ingredient chocolate ganache.
The main liquid component of the cake batter is a fruity, light-bodied pinot noir, which enhances the sweet notes of the cocoa. To mirror the sweetness, I used an extra-virgin olive oil in place of butter or eggs. The final touch was a good handful of dark chocolate chunks to add even more depth and chocolate richness.
As the cake baked, I prepared a simple blackberry glaze. I crushed fresh blackberries in a pot with sugar and added a splash of water and fresh lemon juice. After the sauce simmered and thickened, I stirred in a touch of pinot noir that I’d used in the cake batter. I set the blackberry sauce aside to cool and then turned my attention to the simple chocolate ganache.
What’s there to say about chocolate ganache? It’s magic—a dark concoction of silky, liquid chocolate that can be used as a topping, filling or as the basis for truffles. My chocolate ganache is 100 percent vegan, swapping in unctuous cashew milk for the usual heavy cream. With just four ingredients, it’s the perfect accompaniment to my vegan Red Wine Chocolate Cake.
Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Blackberry-Red Wine Sauce and Dark Chocolate Ganache is an easy, show-stopping dessert for your your favorite loved one. Or, go ahead and make it just for yourself! With no animal products in the recipe, the cake is completely vegan, but 100 percent delicious. Pair this cake with a glass of ruby port, whiskey or your favorite red wine. Happy Valentine’s Day, loves!
- Red Wine Chocolate Cake
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 cup red wine
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks (vegan)
- Blackberry-Red Wine Sauce
- 2 pints blackberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 8 ounces 70% dark chocolate (vegan), chopped
- 8 ounces cashew or almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- Fresh blackberries, for garnish (optional)
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking dish or 9-inch springform pan with parchment, and then grease and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, mix together vanilla extract, cider vinegar, olive oil and red wine. Stir wet ingredients into try ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into cake pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pan.
- To make the Blackberry-Red Wine Sauce. Place blackberries, sugar, water and lemon juice into a saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until boiling, crushing blackberries with back of spoon. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Continue to crush blackberries to desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in red wine.
- To make the ganache, put dark chocolate in a heat-safe bowl. In another bowl, heat cashew milk 2-3 minutes in the microwave or until hot, but not boiling. Pour hot cashew milk over chocolate and allow to sit 5 minutes to melt chocolate. After five minutes, stir chocolate and cashew milk mixture until smooth ganache consistency. Stir in vanilla and vegan margarine. Allow to cool slightly before use. If mixture becomes too thick after chilling, warm gently in microwave and add additional cashew or almond milk if needed.
- Remove cake from pan and top with Dark Chocolate Ganache. Garnish with fresh blackberries. Serve with Blackberry-Red Wine sauce on the side.