A Sweet Recipe for Valentine’s Day

IMG_4746Chef, entrepreneur and cookbook author Daniella Malfitano (LAS ’08) concocted a sweet treat for the DePaul community in honor of Valentine’s Day. Learn more about Malfitano below, and be sure to check out her digital cookbooks, as well as her PBS television series “Delicious Discoveries with Daniella Malfitano.”

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to taste and experience food in ways that have changed and evolved throughout my lifetime. My love and passion for food came about at a very early age as a result of two defining elements: my Sicilian-American family heritage and my upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, as an adult, I often find myself wanting to prepare dishes that honor my home-away-from-home with certain ingredients and flavors that remind me of where I came from. This recipe for Chocolate Cabernet Sauvignon Cake does just that! The moist and rich cake pairs perfectly with the tangy and slightly sweet topping of mascarpone cheese frosting. And the combination of wine and cocoa make this a robust and romantic offering for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day—or really, any day of the year!

Chocolate Cabernet Sauvignon Cake with Sweet Mascarpone Frosting and Red Grapes

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 ounces chocolate, broken into pieces
½ cup boiling water
2 sticks (8 ounces) butter at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup medium- to full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon
One 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 box (16 ounces) powdered sugar
Red grapes, halved, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350º.

In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the cocoa powder and chocolate pieces.

Whisk in the boiling water until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until blended.

Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until just combined.

Add the chocolate mixture and the wine in alternating batches, mixing well between each addition until the batter is smooth.

Divide batter between two greased cake pans, filling each about three-quarters full.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

Lightly beat the mascarpone, then add the powdered sugar and beat until creamy. Remove the cooled cakes from the pan, spread each with icing and decorate the top with any pattern of grape halves.

Want additional inspiration? Check out other DePaul Magazine recipes here and here.

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