Drink it. Bake it.

Our guest writer today is Heather Slade, who, when not working her butt off managing dental offices, or boy-child parenting, or complaining about the state of the world, or getting lost in science fiction novels, can be found devouring chocolate over a glass of Okanagan red. 

Drink your wine and eat it, too

By Heather Slade

Nothing soothes my soul at the end of a long week, even a long day, like wine and chocolate. Living in a household of non-drinkers, this poses certain problems. 

There is no limit to the amount of chocolate I can consume single-handedly. In a perfect world, it would always be Bernard Callebaut, but Roger’s, Purdy’s or even a Kit-Kat will do. My poor son learned, at a tender age, to hide his chocolate or store it at his grandparents’ house if he hopes to have a bite for himself. In theory, those family-sized chocolate bars are for, well, families. Not here. I can stealthily nibble my way through a family bar just while cooking supper. No leftovers here.

With wine, however, we all know that once that bottle has been open for awhile, it won’t taste the same. Oxidation turns wine into vinegar awfully quickly. So, one can either down the whole thing and be the sad, sole drinker in a sober group and resenting the headache the next day, or, drink a respectable glass or two and cork that sucker up the best you can. Neither of these is ideal.

My solution? Drink some, bake some. Chocolate cake is delicious, but the addition of red wine and super easy preparation produces divine-enough-to-devour-on-a-Tuesday-night red wine demolisher. Add whip cream from a spray bottle if you want to get classy about it.


Okanagan Red Wine Chocolate Cake 

Preheat oven to 350° 


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Raven Deep Dark Red wine 


Butter 8” square pan. 

In mixing bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. 

Don’t taste-test this stage, blech.

In stand mixer (or large bowl, using handheld electric mixer) beat butter with sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 4 minutes. 

Stop. Taste. This is one of my favourite taste-testing stops along the way. 

Add eggs one at a time, beat until incorporated. Add vanilla, beat for 2 minutes longer. 

Stop. Taste. Pretty darn good tasting stop, although ‘they’ say you shouldn’t taste-test with raw eggs. Taste test at your peril. I do.

Working in two batches, alternately fold in dry ingredients and wine, until just incorporated. 

Stop. Taste. Extra delicious tasting now that the wine is in.

Scrape batter into prepared pan, bake for 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Let cool completely. I always laugh at the idea that I would leave this to cool completely. The pan is still warm by the time the cake is completely devoured.

This tastes great with a glass of, you guessed it, red wine.

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Welcome to Spirited Endeavours, your go-to column for delightfully tipsy romps through the world of wine, craft beer, and spirits - with a primary focus on our own delectable offerings here in the Okanagan. 

Each issue is written by a guest writer with something exciting to share, each topic truly a spirited endeavour.

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