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Foodie Thursday

Simon is joined by our resident chef Nigel Barden for another fabulous Foodie Thursday! Plus there's a brand new confession for the collective's conscience!

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Release date:

1 hour, 55 minutes

Last on

Thu 14 Nov 2013 17:05

Red Wine Velvet Cake With Whipped Mascarpone

Serves 16-20, makes 1 towering 3-layer 23cm cake


Prep time 20 mins

Cooking time 25 mins




225g unsalted butter, at room temp, plus more for tins

400g plain flour, plus more for tins

430g dark brown sugar

150g granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temp

530ml red wine (any kind you like)

2 tsp vanilla extract

130g Dutch cocoa powder (Nigel says use any cocoa powder if needs be)

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp table salt



450g mascarpone cheese

280g icing sugar

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract


3 x 23cm round cake tins




For the cake

1.Preheat your oven to 160C/fan, 140C/Gas 3.


2.Line the bottom of 3 x 23cm round cake tins with parchment, & either butter & lightly flour the parchment & exposed sides of the tins, or spray the interior with a non-stick spray.


3.In a large bowl, at the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.


4.Add the sugars & beat until fluffy, about 3 mins.


5.Add the eggs & beat well, then the red wine & vanilla.


6.Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven.


7.Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon & salt together, right over your wet ingredients.


8.Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula.


9.Divide the batter between the prepared tins.


10.Bake for 25 mins, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of each layer comes out clean.


11.The top of each cake should be shiny & smooth, like a puddle of chocolate.


12.Cool in tin on a rack for about 10 mins, then flip out of tin & cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.


13.If your cakes have domed a bit & you want nice even layers in your stack, you can trim the tops.


14.Use a long serrated knife, held horizontally & use gentle back-and-forth motions with your hand on top of the cake to even it out.


For the filling


15.In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone with the icing sugar, pinch of salt & vanilla extract at medium speed until the mixture is lightly & fluffy, 1-2 mins.


Assemble the cake


16.Place the first cake layer on cake stand or plate, & spread with one-third of the filling.


17.Repeat with remaining 2 layers.


18.Chill the cake in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.


Cooking note

This recipe makes a 3 layer cake with 3 layers of filling.  You won’t have enough to coat the sides – I liked the look of the cake stacked & open.  You can double the frosting recipe to cover it, but there is a bit of translucence to the whipped mascarpone & the cake is likely to peep through anyway. 


Nigel's Top Tips

  • If your cakes have domed a bit & you want nice even layers in your stack, you can trim the tops by using a long serrated knife, held horizontally with gentle back-and-forth motions with your hand on top of the cake, to even it out. This debris proves 

  • Make sure your eggs & butter are at room temp.


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