So, darling LyB at And Then I Do The Dishes
chose the recipe that I have been probably most curious about in the entire book – Chocolate Armagnac Cake – which is an intense, fudgey, chocolate cake with liquor soaked prunes and ground nuts. It is the recipe where Dorie tells the story of being fired from her first job as a pastry chef at a restaurant in NYC, for, as she calls it, “creative insubordination.” I for one am grateful that Dorie has so much creativite and fantastic ideas. All the Playing Around
sections and information in BFMHTY
are probably one of my very favorite things about the book.
As the story goes, there was a cake Dorie was bored with making, so one day she improvised and changed things up a bit. Even though customers loved the cake, her boss fired her. She considers the fact that she got to keep the recipe ample trade now. You can read a great interview from Dorie where she tells this story here too.
So, the cake that we were to make was a Chocolate Armagnac Cake. Since we don’t usually have any alcohol at our house and I’m not a drinker, I had no idea what Armagnac is. So, I looked it up out of curiosity and found this. Either way, since I had recently purchased some dark rum to try to have on hand for baking I decided to stick fairly close to the recipe, but to trade out the Armagnac with Rum. I even had some of the those individually wrapped prunes on hand. I followed the directions and added in the alcohol and then flambed. So, I guess I only had a little bit of creativity here and I know Dorie wouldn’t ever look at it as insubordination on my part.
Yes, this week, TWDer’s around the world got fired for this cake as well. Ok, bad joke, but you know me and knew I had to go there! I really enjoyed this part of the process since I haven’t flambed before. It was awesome!
So, for me, making the cake was lots of fun. Flambeing was fun. My cake baked and set up quite nicely, but then I found out I was all out of chocolate – not a big shocker after the Daring Baker’s challenge for the Chocolate Valentino
last month (which is, incidentally, where you will find the Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream recipe
I used for the Caramel Crunch Bars
last week). I did have some milk chocolate left, but it didn’t substitute perfectly for me. My frosting was never close to being a glaze like consistency and the frosting was way to thick to spread very much at all. I basically spread a layer of frosting over the top of the cake, then I just melted some more milk chocolate and poured that over the whole cake. I should have taken pictures before the untempered chocolate started to bloom, but I didn’t, so there you go.
Overall, for me, this recipe was fun to make… but I didn’t like it at all. The alcohol flavor, even after flambeing and baking, was still extremely pronounced for me so it was just way to boozy for me to like at all. If you like desserts with those flavors, then I’m sure you would love this. The texture was lovely and I don’t think I would have minded the prunes themselves, but again, the overall flavor that was most powerful for me was the rum.