In winter, sandwich this cake with wine jelly, in summer substitute a simple purée of fresh raspberries.
2 cups flour
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter
1¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups well-rounded red wine
confectioners' sugar (optional for sprinkling)
For the wine jelly
½ cup Concord grape jelly
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine
two 9-in cake pans
makes about 5 cups
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2¼ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
No nutrition information available
1. Heat the oven to 350°. Butter the cake pans, line each pan with a round of parchment paper, and brush again with butter. Sprinkle the pans with flour, discarding the excess. Sift flour with the cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
2. Cream the butter in an electric mixer, beat in the sugar, and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then the vanilla, and continue beating 1 to 2 minutes. Sift a third of the flour over the butter mixture and fold them together, using a spoon. Fold in a third of the wine. Add the remaining flour and wine alternately in two batches.
3. Spread batter in the prepared pans and bake in the oven until the cakes start to shrink from the sides of the pan, 30 to 35 minutes; a metal skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Let the cakes cool 10 minutes in the pans, then turn them out on a rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile make the wine jelly: Melt the jelly with the wine over low heat, stirring gently until combined. Let it cool.
5. Shortly before serving, sandwich the cake with the cooled jelly. (optional: Sprinkle the top with confectioners' sugar and transfer the cake to a plate to serve.)
6. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.