Mulled Wine Chocolate Cake

Only four days until christmas eve. And as every year, I'm knee-deep in end-of-year errands and work, so I haven't done as much baking and christmas preparation as I hoped. However, when I get the time, like today, I'm really trying to make it count. So bam! Mulled wine, chocolate cake, and christmas music all loaded in one day. 

Usually I make this cake with just red wine, and the idea to use mulled wine just recently occurred to me while I was at the chistmas market, warming my hands to a cup of sweet sweet 'Glühwein' as you call it here. 

This year we will spend christmas at our place in the Oderbruch. Last weekend we tiled the bathroom and installed the bathtub. Kitchen is ready too. And to be honest, a little quiet, a warm bath, a crackling fireplace and the fresh air outside is really all I need for christmas this year. Well and of course delicious food :-) And as a little christmas special, I will post some pictures from our renovated space soon. So stay tuned. 

Ingredients

  • 150g spelt flour
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp cacao powder
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2tsp mulled wine spice* 
  • 200g muscovado sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 250g (vegan) butter
  • 4 organic eggs (or 4 flax/chia eggs for a vegan version)
  • 150ml + 50ml mulled wine** 
  • 75g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 70g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 orange
  • 150-250g icing sugar

* This can be easily made by mixing: 1bsp ground cinnamon, 1tsp ground cloves, 1/2tsp ground cardamom, 1/2tsp ground ginger, 1/2tsp ground star anise

** For 250ml red wine I use 2 tsp of mulled wine spice plus 1 extra cinnamon stick.

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Gradually add an egg at a time. 

2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, ground hazelnuts, salt, vanilla, mulled wine spice and cacao. 

3. Gradually add the dry ingredients and the 150ml mulled wine to the batter until everything is fully incorporated and there are no lumps left. 

4. Grate the zest off the orange. Chop the chocolate into small bits. Now add the orange zest, chocolate and chopped hazelnuts to the batter.

5. Pour the batter into a buttered cake tin and bake for 45-50min. until a skewer comes out clean. 

6. In the meantime, prepare the mulled wine icing. Squeeze the juice from half an orange and mix with the mulled wine. Sift the icing sugar. Gradually add the icing sugar to the liquid until you get a somewhat gooey, semi-fluid icing. 

7. Let the cake cool down a little before taking it out of the tin. Let it cool down completely before spreading on the icing.