from one generation to the next
One of my favourite wine makers is Charles Melton in South Australia’s Barossa Valley. Charlie is the quintessential Aussie primary producer, hardworking, layback, self effacing and passionate about his product.
The Charles Melton label produces only red wine. They are red wines of outstanding quality, ranging in style from a predominantly Grenache rosé to a luscious, unctious dessert wine labelled “Sotto de Ferro”.
Made in the style of vin santo, muscadelle and pedro ximinex grapes are hand picked, then the bunches are hung in a corrugated iron shed for up to eight weeks to naturally dehydrate. When the juice is considered to be sufficiently concentrated, the grapes are pressed in a basket press for a low yield of juice which is then yeasted and fermented in old barrels for 18 months. When fermentation is complete the wine is then barrel aged for a further 4 years before it is bottled.
As part of my October “in my kitchen” post I featured a bottle of “Sotto de Ferro” that was waiting for me to make a chocolate dessert. This well travelled bottle came on our trip to Western Australia, padded against bumps and accidental breakage in an old thick woollen sock. The time was never right to open it, until now. Barely sweet, my flourless walnut chocolate cake with a hint of coffee is just THE perfect excuse.
This recipe was adapted from a post for a flourless chocolate cake from blogger “the Cooking Chook.” The first time I made this luscious cakes I lined muffin tins to make individual serve cakes. They needed just 20 minutes in the oven.
Chocolate, Coffee and Walnut Cake
60mls strong espresso coffee
180g dark chocolate, 70% cacao
2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
4 eggs separated
1 scant cup castor sugar
2 cups walnut meal
Pre heat the oven to 170C. Butter a 20cm round cake tin and line with baking paper.
Put the coffee, chocolate, butter and cocoa into a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and place over a low heat. Warm until the butter and chocolate are melted, stirring frequently and taking care not to over heat the mixture. Set aside to cool.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chocolate mixture, then the walnut meal.
Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, then fold half into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
Pour into the cake tin, smooth the top then bake for 50 minutes or cooked when tested with a skewer.
Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before releasing the spring. Dredge with Dutch process