Chocolate Cherry Red Wine Torte

August 11, 2016
Chocolate Cherry Red Wine Torte - A gluten-free cake filled with fudge rich chocolate, cherries and red wine. It isn't fussy, is naturally reddened, and intensely flavored

“After all, tomorrow is another day”     ~ Scarlett O'Hara | Gone with the Wind

Getting it Wrong 2-680x

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When it comes to parenting, I've been waiting years now for it to get a little easier to find my groove and make it look as effortless as other people do.

We live a world where perspectives are many, and opinions are many-er.  In the past, they were offered freely, and to be honest, I found it impossible not to bristle.

Certainly, all were meant with the best of intentions, but at the time, they only made me feel yet again like I was doing it all wrong.  What I really wanted to say was, with anything in life, it's impossible not to be wrong at times that I was trying my best.

That it's easy to stand on the sidelines looking in on a situation and declare it to be one way, only to

completely miss the mark.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

There are teenage years, and then there are teenage years.

It was during her freshman year of high school that she became lost, distant, out of reach.  Instinctively, I knew something was amiss, although seemed helpless to stop it.

“Hello, Ma'am?  Yes, calling to let you know she wasn't at school today.  Actually, she's only been here once the entire week.”  

I sat with school administrators and worked out arrangements

“Hello, Ma'am?  About your daughter; you see she's been in a minor accident.  Everyone's ok, but we'll need you to come and handle the paperwork.  Now would be good.”

Tried to talk with her

“Hello, Ma'am?  I'm sorry to call in the middle of the night, but you see, we have your daughter and her friend here.  We picked her up in a really rough part of town, with some pretty shady people.  Apparently, she drove a couple of hours to get here, without a license.”  

Took her to counselors

“Hello, Ma'am?  About your missing person's report, when did she run away?  Can you bring a recent picture down to the station?”

Chocolate Cherry Red Wine Torte - A gluten-free cake filled with fudge rich chocolate, cherries and red wine. It isn't fussy, is naturally reddened, and intensely flavored

Tried emergency shelters for teens

“Hello, Ma'am?  Iowa City P.D. here; we spoke a few months back, and it's about your daughter.  We picked her up again.  Yes, of course, we'll see you when you get here.  Should we meet at McDonald's like we did the last time?  You'll be here around 4 am?”

Sent her to live in Austin for a couple of months with my brother and his wife

“Hello, Ma'am?  Yes, your daughter's turned up.  She told us she's pregnant; you know that, right?”

Asked state agencies for ideas, suggestions, and begged for help

“Hello, Ma'am?  We're doing our best to locate her.  She hopped a Greyhound bus last night and went to Minneapolis.  After that, we're not quite sure.  We do see that her debit card was used in Washington D.C.  We'll keep you posted.”

Prayed with everything I had and broke out with hives from stress

Hello, Ma'am?  I'm with the Montana P.D.  I'm here with your daughter, and she tells us she'd like to stay.  She's seventeen, so I suppose technically you could arrange to have her brought back home.  Here, I”ll hand her the phone.”

And with that, she was gone.  I did the only thing I could, packed her things, and waited

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Photo Credit: Marc Johns

She came back into my life this spring.  A grown-up woman now, married with a toddler son.

“Now,”  I told myself, “Now you have a second chance.  Whatever you do, don't mess it up this time.”

And mostly I haven't, until this past week when I certainly did.  It was hugely unfortunate

At the time it was happening to me, I swore I'd never do it to someone else.  But there I was, declaring a situation to be one way, only to realize I'd completely missed the mark.  I'd bent the situation toward myself, through an outdated filter of who we both used to be.  I'd stood on my tiptoes to peer at it from afar and wound up sounding angry and arrogant

at best

When the dust had settled, my only hope was for the wrongness to fly quietly under the radar, “Nothing to see here.”

In the end, it didn't; and I'm far better for it

(to be continued .. )

Chocolate Cherry Red Wine Torte - A gluten-free cake filled with fudge rich chocolate, cherries and red wine. It isn't fussy, is naturally reddened, and intensely flavored

Today marks her twenty-first birthday.

Over the past few weeks, I've tried to decide on a cake that would be fitting of the beautiful and grown-up woman she's become

This fudge rich chocolate cherry-studded chocolate cake is topped with a chocolate red wine glaze.  It's crazy good and quick to make.  As a woman at a baby shower once said of the Extremely Moist Chocolate Beet Cake, it tastes expensive (although it's not)

We're obsessed with it

On to the essentials.  The wine doesn't, I repeat, doesn't fully bake out.  The cake will taste like wine has been added, although not in the way that it would leave you on the tipsy side.  Nonetheless, it probably isn't one I'd choose for, say, my grandson's birthday party.



~ Adapted from Lunds and Byerly's | Spring 2015

Chocolate Cherry Red Wine Torte


  • Cake
  • ¾ cup oat flour
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (dutch-processed is best)
  • cup potato starch
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • cup canola oil
  • 1 cup Cabernet wine (or any other red wine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ¾ cup frozen pitted cherries, thawed, but not squeezed dry
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Glaze
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 Tbsp Cabernet wine (or any other red wine)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil


  • Cake
  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Grease and line an 8" baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flours, cocoa powder, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and sea salt
  • Add the sugars and whisk until combined
  • Add the oil, wine, vanilla and almond extract and combine. (The batter will be thick)
  • Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips
  • Add to the prepared pan and smooth the top
  • Bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with just a touch of melted chocolate chips (The cake will feel pretty firm to the touch)
  • Let the cake cool completely in the pan
  • Once it's cooled, remove it from the pan by inverting it upside down onto a serving plate. Gently peel off the parchment paper

  • Glaze
  • In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, combine the chocolate chips, wine, and coconut oil
  • As the chocolate starts to soften, gently stir with a spatula until the wine and coconut oil are incorporated into the melted chocolate and the glaze is smooth
  • Continue stirring until the glaze thickens a little
  • Spoon the glaze over the chocolate, and using a spoon or spatula, spread it in an even layer. Gently spread the glaze so it drips down the sides of the cake but doesn't pool.
  • Refrigerate overnight, or even several hours, to make the cake's texture fudgier.
  • Before serving, if desired, dust with a little powdered sugar, and top with cherries
Serves: 12
Nutrition + Show
Calories 376
Total Fat 14.2g
Saturated Fat 5.5g
Carbohydrates 58.7g
Fiber 3g
Sugars 41.8g
Protein 2.7g
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  • Reply kathryn Maher February 23, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I love your blog and this recipe is to die for……….. will give it a go. gonna follow your blog now x

  • Reply Sabrina February 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Gasp, being parent mustn’t be easy… but as far as I remember being a teen isn’t either 🙁
    When we’re teen we hate our parents because they deceive us, even if not on purpose. We find out parents are not invincible, they are not always right, they’re humans and like it or not… it’s deceiving.
    With time, teen agers understand how hard living is, and they forgive their parents. When this happens, they are not teen anymore, they’re adults 🙂
    Great recipe!

  • Reply Freya Farrington February 23, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    That Tumblr photo makes me dizzy! 21st is such a fitting milestone to celebrate with this cake, classy, sophisticated and delicious I imagine!

  • Reply Miss Kim February 23, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Wow looks delish. And happy birthday to her. Being a teenager….the most confusing of times! My mom used to tell me that girls were 5x harder to raise than the boys. She said my brothers were a breeze.

  • Reply Maggie Unzueta February 23, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Red wine torte! Swoon! I’ve never heard of this, but it looks delicious. Pinning.

  • Reply Gunjan February 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    This simply looks divine. I could not resist but click your post. The photography is amazing.

  • Reply Elizabeth O. February 23, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Oh dear, I would like to give you a hug for all that you went through. You shouldn’t blame yourself. As parents we do the best that we could and give it everything we got until we’re done but the job is never done once you become a mother. I’m sure everything will turn out great, time heals all wounds. That’s a lovely cake, fitting for a strong woman.

  • Reply Shirley February 23, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    5 stars
    Wow looks delish and yummy. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. I will going to try this for sure.

  • Reply Veethee February 23, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    The Chocolate Cherry Red Wine Torte looks so delicious and creamy. I am definitely gonna try this when I am home alone. I am gonna eat it all by myself.. lol

  • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc February 23, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    5 stars
    I feel you. Parenting is not an easy task. One moment you are their world, the next moment, they want you totally out of their world. Sending you a virtual hug and praying that everything will work out well for you, your daughter and her child.

  • Reply Nina February 24, 2017 at 2:24 am

    Wow I love your honesty here. I feel like I’m along with you in the journey. I’m glad she’s doing better now and I hope you can continue to build a good relationship with her.

  • Reply Sabine February 24, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Good instructions on making the cake. Good parenting is important but not always easy. Sometimes you gotta be just happy if everyone eats their cake 😉 haha

    Have a good weekend!

  • Reply Tiina A February 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    5 stars
    That cake just looks so wonderful! I love the idea that it can be made glutenfree as well. Usually I need to modify the cake recipes to make them glutenfree, so it’s super great that this one is already glutenfree:)

  • Reply Memory February 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    5 stars
    I enjoy reading your blog so much. You seriously have some of the best recipes that I have ever come across. Chocolate and cherry, oh gosh how yummy that sounds and looks. Great job!

  • Reply kathryn Maher February 24, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    5 stars
    Hmmm ……being a mum of a teenager is never easy and there are usually twists along the way. You have certainly had your share of twists and turns and I hope that your journey for both you and your daughter is a smoother one now.

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus February 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    What a story, we always say that we will never do something in life but sometimes it is out of our hands and we have no right to decide. It is good that she is back in your life now and that cake to mark her 25th birthday is beautiful!

  • Reply Kusum March 6, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Oh my gosh, that cake looks so delicious and making me hungry now. Hope that you and your daughter have a beautiful journey ahead.

    xx, Kusum

  • Reply Surekha March 10, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I can’t tell you how much I love cakes, it makes me crave one now. Looks and sounds delicious and creamy

  • Reply Candy April 29, 2017 at 11:46 am

    We don’t drink so will find some way to make this with out the wine. Looks delicious and we enjoy chocolate and cherries.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey April 29, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Now that cake looks absolutely delicious, I really want to get better at making my own cakes. I’m going to have to try your meals.

  • Reply Jade Bremner April 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    This looks great. I’m planning my engagement party and think I might need to include this on the menu, the added wine makes it a perfect addition I reckon xx

  • Reply Joely Smith April 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    5 stars
    Life. A difficult, beautiful, horrible ride. Must be why so many love the thrill of a roller coaster. It allows you to feel so close to death but when you live through it you feel accomplished. I absolutely MUST make this dessert! A fine reward for surviving.

  • Reply Stephanie Jeannot April 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Well you know that chocolate fixes everything and this looks good. Great cake to celebrate the 21st year. A milestone at that. What a life you guys lived together but look, remember that the best is yet to come. And then, there’s always chocolate. 🙂

  • Reply Jessica May 1, 2017 at 7:46 am

    My kids are 6 and under. I’m not looking forward to the teenage years as far as attitudes go. Each stage of parenting has its ups and downs.
    This cake looks amazing. I love that it is made with wine!

  • Reply Tiara Wilson May 1, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Oh yum. With my birthday being this upcoming weekend, maybe I need to get to making this cake. The chocolate frosting looks absolutely moisturizing and the cake i’m sure is a hit!

  • Reply Emma Spellman May 1, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Wow! I have never seen a cake like this. It looks so yummy! My son loves cherries and his bday is coming up so will have to try to make one of these!

  • Reply Amanda Kee May 1, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve never attempted a torte before but this looks delicious, almost like a brownie with frosting. I need to give this recipe a try since I am a sucker for anything with chocolate in it. I would also love to try an adapted version with raspberries instead of cherries.

  • Reply Rika May 2, 2017 at 12:55 am

    This cake looks so tasty and adorable! I love cherry, never had it on a cake! Can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply Erinn Sluka May 2, 2017 at 10:44 am

    5 stars
    That looks delicious and I think I have all of those ingredients already. Great for a Mother’s Day treat

  • Reply David Elliott June 10, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    5 stars
    It would have been so hard to love someone like that and deal with all of that crazy. I know I am worried about my daughter as she enters into her teens. And whether she will keep talking to me or not. Just have to realize we cannot control them at that point. And hopefully be there to point them in the right directions should they seek your advice. It does look like you chose a pretty amazing and delicious cake.

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