Red wine and chocolate tend to play a starring role in most Valentine’s Day celebrations, and not just because they’re totally yummy. It’s because they’re both believed to be edible aphrodisiacs — red wine contains resveratrol (which helps boost blood flow), and chocolate is full of seratonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal. So a slice of our seductive torte will more than set the stage for an extra sensual Valentine’s Day, especially when served with juicy, sugar and wine-poached figs. There’s a reason they’re thought to be the original forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, you know!
Chocolate Red Wine Torte with Wine Poached Figs
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup of dry red wine
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of table salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 pint of fresh figs
½ cup of dry red wine
¼ cup of sugar
For the cake:Preheat the oven to 325°. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment, then grease and lightly flour the parchment and exposed sides of the pan.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the oil and sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and yolk and beat well, then the red wine and vanilla.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together, right over your wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula.
Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
For the figs:Add wine and sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat, and gently cook, stirring, until sugar has melted. Bring to a simmer and add whole figs. Lower heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Serve slices of the cake with the poached figs and a drizzle of the reserved syrup.