by Beth Heiserman
When I was at the farmers market, as I mentioned in last week’s article on Sauvignon Blanc, I came across the most tasty and delicious blood oranges. All week long I’ve been enjoying this juice. Yesterday I was reading articles on my phone and came across a recipe that I had to try. It was an olive oil chocolate cake with blood oranges, which is a vegan recipe. Of course, I did alter the recipe that I used. I don’t like when people add water to cakes; all it does is water down the flavor of the cake. Always add buttermilk or wine or juice to increase the intensity of the flavor of the dish you are making.
Every time I think of blood orange, I think of our 2013 Quinn’s Zin. Reyes 2013 Quinn’s Zin won silver medals in the 2016 Los Angeles International Wine Competition, 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, plus a silver and 87 points in the 2016 Toast of the Coast Wine Competition. It also received a bronze medal in the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition. This California old vine Zinfandel has aromas of boysenberries, cocoa and nutmeg. It has distinct flavors of blood orange, pink peppercorns, and boysenberries for a fruity finish. It pairs well with salmon with a blood orange glaze, rice pilaf and roasted broccoli. Of course, you must finish this tasty meal with the brownie. This can be the perfect spring dinner. This month, we will taste Quinn’s Zin in the Reyes Winery Tasting Room.
This chocolate cake is absolutely decadent. The original recipe called for a glaze, but after tasting it without a glaze, it really didn’t need anything else but maybe a tad of powder sugar sprinkled for decoration. I am not sure if I can truly call this a cake, so I’m going to call it the most decadent fudge brownie I’ve ever had with amazing aromatics. This morning, as I was finishing this article, I was upset. But after speaking with two friends and having a healthy portion of my brownie for breakfast (with some of my blood orange juice), I could tell that my blood pressure was lowering by the second. The enjoyment that I had from this dessert made me forget that I was upset.
Blood Orange Chocolate Brownie
5 blood oranges (1 cup Blood orange juice and the zest)
½ cup olive oil
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup Reyes 2013 Quinn’s Zin
1 ½ teaspoon cardamom
1. Zest the blood oranges and mix with olive oil in a bowl for at least 60 minutes. I let it rest for 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt.
4. Slowly mix in the sugar.
5. Then follow with the olive oil (with the zest) and the blood orange juice and Reyes 2013 Quinn’s Zin.
6. Whisk it until the batter is mixed.
7. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9×9 square pan or a 9 in. round cake pan with non-stick spray.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, and insert a toothpick in the center. It is ready if it comes out clean.
9. Let it cool and serve with a glass of Reyes 2013 Quinn’s Zin.