Sunday, March 22, 2009

The other chocolate cake

I'm playing catch-up.  I've been baking (and taking pictures!), but I just can't seem to get my act together enough to blog about some of the stuff.  Bread, in particular, seems to like to sit in my drafts folder (there are 2 or 3 posts in progress).  So of course I'm here, writing about cake instead... =)

For the first Tuesday in March, the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was for Chocolate Armagnac Cake.  It was chosen by LyB of And then I do the dishes.  When I said here that my cake would be a bit late, I didn't mean by almost three weeks!  And actually, I did make the cake about a week later, but it just didn't make it to the blog until now...

The reason why I didn't make the cake on time was that I had just barely finished my cake for the February Daring Bakers challenge.  So I was interested to see how the two would compare.  The DB cake only had three ingredients--chocolate, butter and eggs.  Dorie's cake had a few others in addition to those three--pecans, flour, salt, water, Armagnac (or  Scotch), sugar and prunes.  Yes, prunes.  Not what you might expect to find in your chocolate cake.  

You start by cutting the prunes into bits.  Then you cook them with some water to plump them, add the alcohol, and set them on fire.  That was fun. =)  Since I didn't have any Armagnac or other brandy, I went with Scotch (on hand from the Butterscotch Pudding).  It burned nicely--quite the show.  The chocolate was melted with the butter and a few tablespoons of water.  The egg yolks was whisked together with the sugar, then the chocolate and prune mixtures were stirred in.  Finally, the egg whites were beaten and folded into the chocolate batter.  The whole things went into an 8-inch springform pan to bake at 375 degrees F for 28 to 32 minutes.  I pulled mine out at 31.  It was pretty much done, but I probably could have let it go a couple minutes longer.  

Once the cake was cooled, it got topped with a glaze made from more chocolate and butter as well as some powdered sugar.  It reminded me a lot of the glaze from the Chocolate Cupcakes, though the proportions are slightly different.  I chose to spread mine just on the top of the cake, and had fun swirling it around.  

The verdict?  I would definitely make this again!  I actually liked it a lot more than the DB cake.  It was a lot more interesting.  I love fruity chocolate (not with fruit in it, just with a fruity character to it), so I really enjoyed the combination of the prunes with the chocolate.  My cake was a bit too soft in the center, but I chilled it and it was fine.  Jamie polished off quite a bit of the cake, and Brianna even liked it!  I didn't tell her about the prunes, but I know she likes them anyway. =)  

For those who still haven't tried this one, the recipe can be found here on LyB's blog.  And I should be more on time for this week's TWD!


  1. I was more partial to Dorie's cake as well. Amazing how much moistness the prunes add. Looks delish!

  2. I'm so glad you liked it! Your cake looks perfectly moist and delicious. Thanks for baking along with me! :)

  3. I am so glad you all enjoyed this cake, Di! Seeing yours is making me want to make it all over again. This is one of my top three TWDs so far. Interesting to hear that you liked this better than the DB cake -- it's always fun to hear the comparisons!

  4. I'm glad you liked it. Your cake looks wonderful. Thanks for the delicious reminder. :)

  5. It was really good, wasn't it? I'm glad you got the chance to try it.

  6. I loved this cake, too; it's very high on the Dorie list and on the chocolate list. Yours looks perfect. My impression is that it's easy to undercook this, but would be difficult for it to end up dry! I'll bet it was tasty with the whisky. If you ever get Grand Marnier, it gives a nice orange-y fruity flavor. I know exactly what you mean about the drafts folder - I am so far behind on my bread posts that I think next week is going to be bread week.