Chocolate Cake Soaked in Rutini Dulce Encabezado Malbec Wine, Light Pistachio Cream, Poached Apricots, and Spiced Cocoa Syrup

Adapted by
May 2011
Yield: 10 Servings


Chocolate Cake
330 grams unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
400 grams granulated sugar
240 grams eggs
80 grams cocoa powder
140 milliliters boiling water
380 grams all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 pinch sodium bicarbonate
180 grams sour cream
Malbec Wine Syrup
400 milliliters water
100 grams granulated sugar
4 grams agar agar
3 sheets gelatin
300 cubic centimeters Rutini Dulce Encabezado Malbec wine, or Port
Light Pistachio Cream
250 milliliters whole milk
60 grams granulated sugar
20 grams pistachio paste
60 grams egg yolks
25 grams cornstarch
3 sheets gelatin
30 grams unsalted butter
300 grams heavy cream
To Assemble and Serve
chocolate triangles
Poached apricots
Spiced dark chocolate syrup
Edible flowers


For the Chocolate Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a standing mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla, and sugar. Beat until thoroughly blended and the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporates. Combine the cocoa powder with boiling water. Remove from the heat, and beat it into the butter mixture. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and bicarbonate. Add alternating portions of the flour mixture and the sour cream to the cocoa mixture until it’s all incorporated; beat well to combine. Pour the batter into a parchment paper-lined square baking pan, measuring 30 centimeters x 40 centimeters x 4 centimeters. Smooth the batter with an offset spatula, and bake about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto a rack, and peel off parchment. Re-invert the cake, and let it cool completely top side up.

For the Malbec Wine Syrup:

Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, and continue cooking until the liquid is clear, about 3 minutes. Remove the syrup from heat, add the agar agar, bring the mixture to a short boil again, and transfer to a bowl. Soak the gelatin sheets in the wine, add them to the syrup with the wine, and stir to combine. Pour the syrup on the top of the Chocolate Cake, and let soak until the syrup is completed absorbed. Put the Chocolate Cake in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

For the Light Pistachio Cream:

In a medium sauce pan, combine the milk, 30 grams of the sugar, and the pistachio paste. Bring the mixture to a boil. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and the remaining sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about half cup of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Stir in the remaining milk. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Whisk the mixture until it thickens, and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the mixture from heat and pour into a bowl. Soak the gelatin sheets in water, shrink them, and add them to the hot milk mixture. Stir in the butter, and cover with a plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pistachio cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool. Whisk the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks, and fold in the chilled pistachio cream.

To Assemble and Serve:

Cut the cake into squares, and with a pastry bag and a Saint Honoré tip, pipe the Light Pistachio Cream on to the top of the Chocolate Cake. Put one piece of the Chocolate Cake onto a plate, and top with a chocolate triangle. Spoon poached apricots and spiced dark chocolate syrup onto the plate. Finish the plate with a few flower petals.