This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection was picked by Lyb of And Then I Do the Dishes. She selected the Chocolate Armagnac Cake - The Cake That Got Me Fired. Now with a title like that, it must be interesting! The cake is a chocolate cake with prunes soaked in Armagnac. I didn’t have Armagnac, so I substituted Grand Marnier. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly.
I read through this recipe and discovered that I would be trying a couple of new things. The recipe has you cook the prunes with some water, then add the liquor and light it on fire. Cool! I hadn’t ever done that, so I thought it would be fun. I lit the mixture and it was a lovely flambé. I was surprised how long the flames continued to burn, so I finally put a lid on the pot to extinguish the flames. See my lovely flames?
I also had to fold beaten egg whites into the batter. I never have much luck with this, so I’m always a little afraid when I have to do that. Typically I deflate the egg whites too much and the cake doesn’t rise as much as I’d like. I did my best with this and it seemed to turn out ok. You never really know until you cut the cake.
The cake was really moist; I guess it could have baked a little longer. It was very fragile coming out the pan, in fact it crumbled a little when I removed the bottom of the pan. I let it cool overnight and then glazed it the next day. I was really happy when I cut the cake and it was a great texture. I don’t think that the eggs got deflated as the cake was fluffy (buy gooey). It’s quite boozy, despite burning off the alcohol in the Grand Marnier.
This cake is really rich and really good. You can’t really taste the prunes, as they sort of just melt into the cake. The chocolate glaze makes the chocolate flavor very pronounced. I think that this cake would lend itself well to so many variations. I guess that is what got Dorie in trouble in the first place, as she substituted her own ingredients rather than making a recipe as expected. You could try different liquors and it might be interesting to add some citrus zest. The cake has ground pecans in it, but you don’t taste them at all. Overall this is a fabulous cake, one that I definitely recommend!
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 279-281.