Tuesday, March 3, 2009

TWD - Chocolate Armagnac Cake

Armagnac? Armagnac is a grape brandy from the Gascony region of Southwestern France. Its closest relative is cognac, which is also grape brandy. I had to google to figure it out! After checking my booze stash, I realized I was fresh out of Armagnac. I also sadly lack cognac, brandy, and scotch whisky, all suggested substitutes for Armagnac. The closest thing I have? Bourbon whisky. Wild Turkey. Close enough. :)

Dorie's cake also calls for prunes. Prunes are not a staple in my pantry and since I am not going out for liquor - I am most certainly not going out for prunes. As recommended, I sub raisins for prunes. Raisins soaked in Wild Turkey Bourbon Whisky. Yee haw ... I'm going to countrify Dorie's fine french dessert!

I think I'm ready to get this cake going but realize that, once again, I don't have the proper sized pan. You'd think that I would just throw in the towel at this point. I don't have several key ingredients and I don't have an 8-inch springform pan. I'm not a quitter and I refuse to let baked goods get the best of me! A few days ago, I saw an episode of Good Eats on the Food Network where Alton Brown uses a regular 2-inch tall cake pan instead of a springform pan so I decide to improvise by covering the bottom and sides of the cake pan with parchment paper. I am happy to report that it worked like a charm!

The cake came together easily enough and looked beautiful when I removed it from the oven. It tasted great ... except for one small thing ... I don't like dried fruit co-mingling with chocolate. Like a 3 year old, I picked the raisins out of my cake slice. The bits of cake without raisins were fantastic! I plan on making this cake again and using the prunes as directed. I think they will disappear into the cake and I will be happier with the texture. The chocolate glaze that tops the cake is thick and rich and decadent!

Thanks Lyb of "And then I do the dishes" for choosing this months recipe for Chocolate Armagnac Cake, also known as the cake that got Dorie fired. You can read that story and find the cake recipe on pages 278-281 of "Baking: From my home to yours".

This is how I like my fruit and chocolate. Neighbors. On the same plate but separated by dollop of sweetened whipped cream. No touching!
Don't forget to check out the rest of the TWD bakers to see their twists on this cake.

20 comments:

Megan said...

Ha ha - fruit and chocolate aren't allowed to touch! I feel the same way, which is why I left the fruit out.

natalia said...

Ciao ! You are right the prunes disappeared (I left them soak all night).

Amanda said...

Wow it looks gorgeous! I enjoyed this cake, but it was an awful lot of dishes!

Jennifer said...

Gorgeous job...the fanned strawberry is beautiful, too!

Sarah said...

We also got the butter/parchment idea from watching Alton's show a few days earlier! Small world. :-)

pinkstripes said...

Your cake looks gorgeous. How funny, I can picture you picking out the raisins.

chocolatechic said...

Looks wonderful.

I didn't realize that it was grape brandy.


I used French Brandy, and it wouldn't burn....waaahhh...

SUGAR B said...

Ms. Kimberly Johnson! Your cake looks divine! I love the strawberries. I am going to dive in and eat that off your plate. YUMMY!

Erin said...

Your cake looks so pretty with the strawberries!

SiHaN said...

oh.. pity though. I relished in the raisins that were sticking out ever so often throughout the cake. Nonetheless, great job!

margot said...

Your cake looks delicious; I'm impressed you didn't give up.

Amber Marie said...

I also ate mine with strawberries - it was a great combo...although mine were touching :)

The Food Librarian said...

Great looking cake! The cake really pops next to that yummy strawberry!

Teanna said...

I'm not a fan of fruit and chocolate either! But your cake looks delicious!

carmencooks said...

haha, i know what you mean - i'm not a big fan of the dried fruit + choc either. looks great!!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Your "countrified" version sounds like the original version to me! It looks perfect and that glaze does too!

TeaLady said...

I don't know what looks more appetizing - that fudgy cake or that fat luscious strawberry. Great job on this one.

Pamela said...

Pretty! It looks delicious and the strawberry looks lovely, too.

LyB said...

The prunes do melt into the cake really well. I can't wait to try it with raisins though, I don't mind my cake and fruit sharing the same space. ;) Your cake looks great! Thanks for baking along with me!

Kayte said...

Your cake looks so beautiful, and the strawberries and cream just set it off to perfection! I laughed and laughed at your post...Wild Turkey and raisins...LOL. Very fun, thanks for the giggles. And, your cake is truly gorgeous.