Lemon Wine Cake with Wine Sauce and Lemon Frosting

Copywrite 2001 Adeh DeSandies
Adapted from Natasha Lay

Lemon Wine Cake: (from Natasha)
1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup pale sherry
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs ( up to this point, this should roughly line up with the ingredients on the back of the box, with sherry instead of water)
zest of 1 lemon (don't be afraid, that's just the outside of the lemon, its where they hide all the flavor)

Heat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk together ingredients until smooth. If you are unfamiliar with zest, it is the outer part of the lemon skin. It's the yellow stuff before you get to the white stuff. The easiest way to zest a lemon is to take a cheese grater, and rub the lemon along the small holes in the grater. Do this right over the bowl you are adding it to, so you catch all the juice that comes out of the zest. Make sure to not get too much of the pith, or the white stuff, cause it's really bitter.

Lightly grease a bundt pan and pour in cake batter. Bake at 350 for 45 min, a toothpick stuck inside should come out clean.

Wine Sauce:
2 cups red wine (whatever you happen to be drinking that night)
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pomegranate syrup (optional)


In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer with the cinnamon. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Turn down the heat and reduce wine by 50%. Stir in the pomegranate syrup and continue reducing. The sauce should not be completely watery, but not thick either.

Note on pomegranate syrup: Unless you usually cook with pomegranate syrup, I suggest you go without it. I am working on a more accessible substitute. If you must know, it is a Mediterranean condiment you can find in most Greek or Middle Eastern grocery stores. It is a very tart, deep red syrup that can be used to add a sour sweet component to any dish.

Lemon Frosting:
Juice of one lemon
Powdered sugar


Juice the lemon into a bowl. Stir in powdered sugar until the mixture is quite thick. I would say that it takes at least 1.5 cups of sugar. We'll talk about how thick it needs to be later.


Plating (putting it all together):

This is the fun part. The cake is your canvas and the sauces your paint. Feel free to add various props to the mix. I will describe my favorite plating technique here, but don't use mine, come up with your own art!


Slice the cake into a triangle, approx 1.5 in. in width in the back part. Lay it sideways on a small plate. Pour some wine sauce over the end of the cake and then on one half of the plate. Place several blackberries around the side of the cake with the sauce. Drizzle frosting from left to right over the entire plate, covering sauce, cake, and blackberries in a criss-cross formation. This creates a beautiful contrast between the dark sauce and the white frosting, and the wine sauce darkened cake and the white part of the cake. The frosting should be thick enough so that when it lands on the cake, it does not get absorbed, but hardens on top of the cake.

Again, this is just how I do it, just to give you a starting point. I would encourage you to make your own creations. Maybe add peaches and vanilla ice cream, or try different plating arrangements. You could even add different cake flavoring and different juice for the frosting.

This dessert is sweet and tart and will definitely delight your guests. They'll never know how easy it was to make such an impressive looking dessert.

Makes 10? servings.

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