Easy-to-Make Cherry Chocolate Red Wine Cake

…that even rhymes!

Bishkek Food Hacks: Ovenless Red Wine (or Coffee) CherryChocolate  Cake

Noooooooo!

We all know it: Cake in Central Asia doesn’t quite compare.  It’s never dense or rich, just mildly sweet, somewhat dry, and definitely over-fluffy. A foray into any Narodnie will impart the impression that cakes in Kyrgyzstan are beautiful creations.

Napoleon Cake

Napoleon Cake

But it’s just the illusion of styrofoam-frosting. Unless you want a mouthful of dry, chemically-marshmallow, don’t try.  There’s no satisfaction in eating something that’s both bad for you and tastes fake. (One very special exception: Obama Bar does have good Napolean, which is  far superior to the US funeral variety and E’s favorite)

Our new apartment also doesn’t have an oven, so making a cake can create somewhat of a quandary.
But today I remedied this problem with red wine cherry chocolate cake with walnuts.  Dense, delicious, definitely chocolatey, and the tart burst of cherry was perfectly complimented by the dark tones of wine and soft, slightly bitter walnuts.  Did I mention that I made this in a microwave?
So, if you have access to a microwave and a Harodnie, here’s how to make rich faux-gourmet chocolate cherry cake:
IMG_0627
Ingredients for two:
(Follow this or any basic mug cake recipe, plus cherries and walnuts, swapping out the milk for 1-2 Tbs red wine)
5 Tbs flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1-2 Tbs unsweetened bitter chocolate
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1/4-1/2 dark chocolate bar, cut into slivers or small chunks
Pinch nutmeg, possible cardamon
10 walnuts, crushed
1/2 cup frozen cherries
I added shredded coconut, but it would have been smoother without
– Wet Ingredients –
1-2 Tbs greek yogurt
1 egg
1 tsp oil
1-2 Tbs red wine (or coffee, if you don’t have an already-opened bottle of wine)
Instructions:
1. Place walnuts on bottom of a large coffee mug/small bowl (if you plan on flipping it upsidown for presentation)
2. Mix together dry ingredients
3. Add frozen cherries and mix in
4. Add wet ingredients.  Mix minimally (mixing too much will make it very chewy)
5. Microwave on high/medium high for *about* 90 seconds.  Stop when the top is solid.
Top with yogurt, or a drizzle of honey.
As you can see, I forgot to take a photo before we started, because I didn’t know how good it was)), and unfortunately the photo does not capture the rich beauty that is this cake. So try it, leave comments, and let me know of anything else you’ve discovered to be possible in a limited Bishkek kitchen.
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