Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chocolate Armagnac Cake--The Cake that got Dorie Fired!

This cake has a wonderful story:  on Dorie's first job as a pastry chef, she got bored making the same two items every day for several weeks.  So she decided to modify the whiskey/raisin cake by soaking cut up prunes in Armagnac.  The cake was a fantastic success--except it was not the cake that was advertised on the menu.  So Dorie was fired for "creative insubordination."  Amazing!

I've wanted to make this cake for some time and finally had an occasion--an invitation to join friends for dinner and the admonition to bake only "if it makes you happy."

I love Dorie's recipes although many require multiple steps.  I think most of her recipes are "four-bowl" recipes.  This lovely, fudgey, chocolaty cake required a whopping eight bowls but it was well worth it!

You chop the prunes, then simmer them in water. (First pot.)

When most of the water has evaporated, you pour in the cognac and light it!  Can you see the blue glow?

When the flame subsides, pour into a little bowl and allow to cool. (Second bowl--forgot to take a picture of my cute little blue pyrex bowl!)

Grind up pecans in the bowl of the Cuisinart (bowl #3) then mix with flour and salt in bowl # 4.

Melt the chocolate, butter, and a bit of water in a double boiler. (Fifth bowl.)

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in another bowl (that's number 6).

Stir in the chocolate mixture, then the nut mixture, and then the prunes soaked in cognac.

Beat the egg whites in bowl #7.

Fold the whites into the cake batter.

Pour the batter into the springform pan (does that count as a bowl?  I don't think so.) and bake.  Allow to cool completely.

Make the glaze in bowl number 8 and smooth it over the cake.  Beautiful and intensely delicious!

1 comment:

  1. This cake is totally awesome. It is worth every bowl and every calorie!