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A Festive Christmas Dessert

Mulled Wine Chocolate Cake by Diva Boutique Bakery

If you regularly follow Wines Direct on Instagram, you’ve seen Fionnuala Harkin taste our wine from her little Wine Shed in West Cork. In a recent tasting, Shannen Butler Keane from Diva Boutique Bakery of Ballispittle joined her in the Wine Shed. After hearing about all the deliciously fun confections she had going on for Christmas, we just had to ask if she would share a recipe with us to pair with one of our wines. Shannen went above and beyond and created a chocolate red wine cake designed to accompany our chosen wine perfectly. Not only does it pair perfectly but it is actually in the cake and embodies the taste of Christmas — introducing the Mulled Wine Chocolate Cake. We are so honoured to have her design a recipe around our wine and delighted to be able to share it with you this Christmas.

Shannen uses a red wine reduction with a cinnamon stick, star anise and orange peel and adds it to the frosting. Yes, there is wine in the frosting!

christmas dessert

Shannen Butler Keane 📸

Mix dry ingredients:

2 cups caster sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 2/3 cup AP flour

1.5 cups cocoa powder (unsweetened)

3 teaspoon baking soda

1.5 teaspoon baking powder

1.25 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix together the following wet ingredients:

4 large eggs

1.5 cup greek yogurt

1/2 cup full fat milk

1 cup red wine

3/4 cup sunflower oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup hot water

Heat oven to 160°C

Grease and line with parchment 3 9” baking tins, oil parchment and sides of tins well.

Mix dry ingredients with hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment.

Combine all wet ingredients in separate bowl with whisk, EXCEPT FOR HOT WATER, when combined add to dry ingredients , mix until combined, then slowly add the 1/2 cup hot water. Mix until combined, about 1 minute.

Divide evenly between the 3 baking tins. Bake for 30-40 min. Check with toothpick in the centre to test for doneness. The cake should also be pulled away from sides of the tin. Let cool for 1 hour then turn out.

Mulled wine chocolate frosting:

In saucepan:

2 cups red wine

Spices of your choice

I used 2 star anise

2 cinnamon stick

5 slices orange rind

Reduce wine on moderate flame until thickened.

On ban Marie:

12 oz 70% chocolate drops

Simmer until melted

Let cool slightly

In stand mixer or handheld mixer:

1lb butter

2 cups icing sugar

2 tablespoon milk

Mix butter and icing sugar until pale

Add 2 tablespoon milk, mix until incorporated

Mix in melted & cooled chocolate

Once chocolate is combined add in wine reduction

Mix until just coming together, be sure to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, so that all butter is combined with the chocolate and wine.

Spread on cooled cake

Ice as desired, decorate with dried or fresh fruits.

Serve with your red wine and enjoy all the oohs and ahhs this showstopping cake will receive.

christmas dessert

Shannen Butler Keane 📸

Langa Frenesi

Langa Frenesi is produced organically by Cesar Langa, the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend eases the heat of the Spanish sun. There are ripe and juicy red fruits with a suggestion of cinnamon spice making it a perfect pairing with this recipe. And as if that is not the icing on the proverbial cake, listen to what esteemed Wine Critic, Jancis Robinson, MW, had to say about Langa Frenesi, “The wine is spiced with a green leafy touch, red fruit, toasty oak and dark chocolate aromas. It has a touch of freshness with lean acidity accompanying the fruit charge. I liked the palate profile fresher than the average Catalayud. The wine is herbal and chocolatey, with cocoa notes.”


Diva Boutique Bakery

Shannen Butler Keane is the owner of Diva Boutique Cafe and Diva Bakery and Deli in Ballispittle, West Cork. She is from Seattle but has made her home in Ireland for over 20 years. It has been said that Shannen is “way ahead of the curve when it comes to food fashion.” The bakery is home to award-winning seeded sourdough boule, lemon meringue tart and mince pies. Diva is a small bakery, and everything is baked in small batches throughout the day. From beautiful and unique layer cakes to freshly baked sourdough bread, scones, cookies and tarts. The bakery is the winner of the McKennas Guides Top 100 and Cafe of the year for 2020. Diva Bakery is currently offering Christmas online orders for collection.


christmas dessert

@sixdutchessfarm 📸