Monday, August 22, 2011

World's weirdest food festivals and red wine chocolate cake

Red wine chocolate cake with golden syrup chocolate sauce
Food Diary (August 21, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with nectarine, flax seeds and sunflower seeds
Lunch: Chickpeas in tomato sauce with semolina
Dinner: Presunto da Pá Fumado (Portugese smoked ham) with oat molasses sourdough, chickpeas and semoline

Red wine and chocolate cake – do they go well together? 

Red wine and chocolate cake brings back just one memory for me, sharing a bottle of red wine and a slice of chocolate cake with an ex. We both have a sweet tooth but we decided to share a slice of large chocolate cake. Two persons, one slice of cake, should be no problem, we will win this easily. But we were wrong, we had to throw in the towel and left the restaurant defeated. It was one of the biggest slices of chocolate cake I had ever seen. However we had no problems finishing the bottle of wine, and I think we had more afterwards, probably to drown our sorrows.

Based on my mixed experiences with red wine and chocolate cake, I nevertheless decided to combine the two together into a cake. The result is a cake that has excellent flavor, really moist with almost a fudge like texture. And better still, there’s leftovers sitting in the freezer. The recipe is available here.

Today's Favourite Photo
Chocolate Banoffee Tart

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: MSNBC
Interesting post titled “World's weirdest food festivals”. First on the list is the La Tomatina in Spain, the world's largest food fight. It is rumored to have originated as a local brawl. The event held in August attracts some 45,000 people who throw more than 250,000 pounds of overripe tomatoes at one another. The free-for-all lasts for an hour. Participants squash tomatoes before throwing them since it hurts less that way, and many wear masks since tomatoes can make eyes itch.

Another bizarre food activity takes place at the Tunarama Festival in Port Lincoln, Australia. The festival’s main attraction is the World Champion Tuna Toss Competition, where contestants sling 20-pound tunas. The record of approximately 40 yards was set in 1998 by a pro: former Olympic hammer thrower Sean Carlin.

The BugFest held by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh involves a Roach Race 5000 as well as eating bugs. I didn’t think this was particularly weird, bug is normal food in many countries.

The Aussie’s feature with another throwing competition, melons this time. The festival takes places in Chinchilla, the "Melon Capital of Australia". In addition to melon throwing there are sporting events such as seed spitting and skiing with feet embedded in the fruit.

I am sure there are many more weird festivals not included in the list. I know that in Kyrgyzstan they have sheep eating competitions where contestants attempt to eat a whole sheep. Kyrgyzstan and few other countries in the vicinity play polo with headless animals, mainly sheep. The sport, known as Kok-Boru, involves teams of horsemen competing to throw the headless body of a sheep into their opponents' goal. 

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  1. Yum! I'm going to try this cake later this week. What a great recipe!

  2. How interesting! Red wine in a cake and chocolate to boot ... my 2 fav ingredients! They have red wine with a chocolate bouquet so why not a chocolate cake with a red wine bouquet, eh?
    Sorry to be a downer here but I can't agree with those festivals when there is so much hunger in this world. I'd rather doubt the tuna can be eaten after being abused so much and I thought they were running low in numbers and overfished?

  3. Red wine and Chocolate in a cake - very nice! I will have to make this as this would be well yummy! also, guilt-free 'cos packed full of goodness from the red wine and the chocolate :-) beautiful recipe

  4. i love the red wine chocolate cake :). i've always wanted to be a part of the tomatina in spain!! :D i didn't know they squashed the tomatoes first. i'm gonna tell that to my students!

  5. Wow! Red wine and chocolate in a cake?? Bring it on! It sounds (and look) moist and delicious!!! :-)

  6. We like red wine cake...actually it's one of popular cakes here. The syrup makes the cake even richer and better.

  7. thanks for the recipe link - ive always wanted to make a wino choco cake. yumm cant wait!

  8. Oh I love this cake, and must check out the recipe!!

  9. Oh my!! The cake looks divine!! I've been to La tomatina before and it sure was an experience!! it was painful though as some of the tomatoes thrown weren't really ripe yet.

  10. I am definitely trying that cake! It's just the kind of edgy thing that I would love to get my hands on!

  11. yummychunklet: good luck, curious to hear how it turns out

    ping: The tuna is canned (battering makes it more flakey) while the tomatoes become sundried tomatoes and tomato sauce:) Just kidding, point taken, it’s the perception that there is hunger while food is being used for sport and eventually wasted. However from the practical perspective the amount wasted is negligible if we consider that about 40% of good food is thrown away by consumers in US and many other countries. Though this is not done openly so it sounds less bad

    Shilpa: Exactly, an antioxidant packed cake, eat guilt free:)

    Junia: make sure your students squash the tomatoes first:)

    Manu: thank you, it was delicious!

    Angie: I didn’t realize it was popular, I suppose it might be more popular in wine growing regions

    Anna: I like the name wino choco cake

    Nami: thank you, it is a nice twist to the regular chocolate cake, plus it sounds more interesting I suppose!

  12. Love the red wine chocolate cake. Of course they would go good together but I have never really thought about it before your post though. Delish!

  13. What a unique cake! Ive seen lots of baking recipes that use beer or liquor but never wine!

  14. National Geographic did a spread on La Tomatina a few years back and I remember how much fun it looked! I'd love to go around lobbing tomatoes at people :)

  15. That tart looks to die for...and I don't even like chocolate! I know my friends would love me if I made it for them though. :)

  16. That chocolate cake on top hooked me in. I'm all for festivals that celebrate the act of joyfully throwing food at each other! I mean, we did that and had fun as kids so why stop as adults?

  17. sigh - does it get more decadent than chocolate cake with red wine?! And, no purple lips from drinking it - i'll take it in cake form please!

  18. Oh what people do for 'entertainment'

  19. oh, my---that red wine chocolate cake looks positively dense and decadent. and the pairing makes perfect sense!

  20. Kitchen Belleicious: thank you for the thumbs up!

    Erica: same, its rare to see wine being used in baking

    Parsley Sage: exactly, and unripe tomatoes for some people!

    Caroline: really, you don't like chocolate!

    Foodiva: hahaha, nice one. Such festivals give adults the opportunity to relive their childhood!

    Ashley: I didn’t think of that!

    Cheap Ethnic Eatz: exactly, and we are talking about grown ups here!

    Nancy: thank you

  21. Peachie: oops, unripe tomatoes are less fun to eat, and painful too!

    Joanne: great to hear, hope it turns out great

  22. Wow! If it was a "standard" chocolate cake, I would just say how yummy it looks, but now I really have it on my "to do" list! Thank you for another creative recipe! It sounds very original and the fudge part is certainly for me!
    Some food festivals are so weird, I am wondering if they don't discourage people from eating. I especially hate those where people try to eat as much food as possible the quickest possible.
    Throwing a headless goat sounds like from Borat film ;-)

  23. There are a lot in US one is the rocky mountain oysters festival, I guess you know what those are.

  24. I think I've heard about chocolate and red wine cake only once before... I love the idea of the two put together. Many flavonoids = very healthy?! Ha! I am in Barcelona right now and still wondering whether to go to Tomatina on Wednesday or not! It's a free event but really quite expensive to go, unfortunately.