Today’s recipe for a rich and decadent dessert from Oxheart in Houston, Texas. They make a delicious chocolate-juniper cake topped with crème fraîche. The toasted juniper berries bring a unique flavor to this cake. This is a marvelous cake to make when you are having a dinner party or for a birthday celebration. I mean who doesn’t like chocolate cake? The addition of the juniper berries just takes it over the top!
Oxheart’s Chocolate-Juniper Cake with Milk Jam Crème Fraîche recipe:
One of the things I like about this cake it that it stores really well. You can make this ahead in and freeze it. You know how it is when you are entertaining there are a million things to do and time gets away from you. Or at least it does for me. That’s why I am glad I could make this chocolate cake a couple weeks ahead of time and store it in the freezer. I didn’t know how the juniper berries would in the freezer, but it actually stores just fine.
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 teaspoons (heaping) juniper berries
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar plus more for coating
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
Directions to make the most amazing chocolate cake (with juniper berries)
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13x9x2″ glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Line bottom with parchment paper; spray parchment and set aside. Toast juniper berries in a small skillet over medium heat until aromatic, 2-3 minutes. Let cool. Finely grind in spice mill.
Sift flour, 1 2/3 cups sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and ground juniper berries into a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, oil, eggs, and 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. water in a medium bowl. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared baking dish; smooth top.
Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill in freezer until frozen, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 weeks ahead. Wrap in 2 layers of plastic; keep frozen.
Unwrap cake and invert onto a work surface; discard parchment. Using a long serrated knife, trim cake to form clean edges. Cut cake in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into 1 1/4-inch-wide bars.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour a layer of sugar onto a plate. Roll each bar in sugar, coating completely. Working in batches, caramelize cake in skillet, turning with tongs to brown evenly, about 30 seconds per side per batch (be careful; the sugar burns quickly). Serve warm, with Milk Jam Crème Fraîche.