Sunday, April 18, 2010

Iron Chef Wine: Port Wine Chocolate Cake

I make a creamy cheesecake that my brother requests on his birthday every year, and I make an apple pie that is the essence of America, baseball, and blue jeans. However, as delicious as those to recipes are, that was the extent of my baking.

Yesterday, for our fourth Iron Chef competition (more details to come on Iron Chef nights later), I tackled a new baking challenge. It taught me that cream of tartar sauce is found among the spices and not among the liquid baking ingredients, that separating eggs is not nearly as intimidating as I had thought it to be, and that Bundt pans create works of beauty.

Here’s the recipe (from
Port Wine Chocolate Cake Recipe


  • 10 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup port wine
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In the top of a double boiler, melt unsweetened chocolate and 3/4 cup butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10 inch Bundt or tube pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar together with an electric mixer on High speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually stir in the 3/4 cup of port wine and flour. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture.
  3. In a clean bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons sugar, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Quickly fold in walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until tested done with a toothpick. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Cool completely.
  5. To make the glaze: In the top of a double boiler, over lightly simmering water, combine chocolate chips, 1/2 cup butter and corn syrup. Stir frequently until chocolate is melted. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup port wine and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. Pour glaze over the cooled cake.

I bought the unsweetened chocolate squares not realizing that 8 ounces came in a box, not the 10 I needed, so I was 2 oz. short when I made it. This didn’t seem to hinder the final result, though.
Note, this is by no means a healthy recipe. This cake was rich and decadent, something for special occasions or something for when you have to pull out the big guns for cooking competitions. Hopefully, if you try it, there won’t be people voting who don’t like chocolate, who will pull down your average score!
Happy cooking,

(Click here for printable version)


  1. you also learned that port wine isn't something you drink multiple large glasses of! :o)

  2. This picture looks better than the one I took. And, it was indeed a very rich and decadent dessert! :)