Chocolate and Cabernet Sauvignon Italian Cake


Serves 6
  • 3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon wine
  • 3 crushed juniper berries
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups fine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablepoons butter cut up in small pieces
  • 1 cup all purpose flour - sifted
  • 4 eggs - room temperature
  • 1/8 cup Rum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons Apricot jam + 1 tablespoon hot water


1 _ Pre-heat the oven to 300ºF with rack in the middle.

2 _ Butter and flour a 10 inch diameter springform pan.

3 _ In a pan over medium heat, put the wine, the crushed juniper berries and the cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and infuse for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the berries and the cinnamon.

4 _ Put the wine back in the pan over medium low heat and add the sugar, butter and the chocolate powder. Stir to dissolve the sugar and completely melt the butter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

5 _ Seperate the egg yolks from the whites, putting the egg whites in a bowl of a stand mixer.

6 _ Lightly beat with a fork the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of sifted flour. Add 1/4 cup of the wine mixture to the egg yolks, mix and pour the eggs in the pan with the wine and sugar. Stir to mix well.

7 _ Set aside 2/3 cup of this mixture that will be used to glaze the chocolate cake.

8 _ In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the egg whites to hard peaks.

9 _ Sift the remaining flour with the baking powder in a bowl. Add the wine, sugar and egg mixture and mix just enough to incorporate everything. Add the Rum and lastly fold in the egg whites very lightly with a spatula.

10 _ Transfer the cake mixture to the buttered and floured springform pan and bake for 40 minutes.

11 _ Put the apricot jam and the hot water in a pan over medium low heat and allow to warm up to thin it.

12 _ When the cake is baked, put it on a cooling rack, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and unmold. Spread the apricot jam on top of the cake which should be still hot, and finally pour the reserved chocolate glaze over the apricot, spreading well with an icing spatula. Allow to cool completely.

13 _ Serve with a light creme anglaise, some blueberries and raspberies.