This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by LyB of And then I do the dishes: Chocolate Armagnac Cake. The story behind this cake is funny. Dorie had just started her very first job in a professional kitchen when she decided to switch up the chocolate whisky-raisin cakes. Instead of ground almond, Dorie used ground pecans. She also swapped out the whisky raisins for some prunes flambéed in Armagnac.
Apparently the new and improved cake was very good and "caused quite a to-do in the dining room." Instead of being praised for her ingenious idea, Dorie was fired for "creative insubordination." I suppose her boss is now regretting that decision ;)
So I was excited to try this recipe. Unlike a lot of people, I don't have an aversion to prunes and actually went and bought some for this cake. The prunes impart a very subtle flavor to the cake, but I felt they were more noticeable texture-wise instead of flavor-wise. I cut them into pretty small pieces, but with each bite of the cake, there was a bit of chewiness from the prunes. It wasn't a bad thing, in my opinion, but if you're a cake or brownie purist and don't like anything in them, you might want to steer away from this recipe :) My husband couldn't even tell that there were prunes in this cake, so don't let them deter you from making this cake! If you really don't want to use the prunes, then go ahead and use raisins or dried cherries.
People are always nervous when we come to a TWD recipe that requires dried fruit to be flambéed. (Ok, I will admit that the first time I did it, I was worried I might set my hand on fire.) But it's really easy and after you do it a few times, you'll see there is nothing to worry about. I got some super flames this time, and was able to run and grab my camera in time to catch about five seconds of this spectacle on video!
French Chocolate Brownies, actually.
Thanks LyB, for choosing this cake. If you would like the recipe, you can find it here. Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see what everyone else thought about the cake that got Dorie fired!
* Recipes notes
- I used semisweet chocolate chips instead of bitterwsweet chocolate.
- The easiest way to cut the prunes into little bits is with kitchen scissors.
- I used a 50ml mini bottle of whisky for this recipe (that's just shy of the 1/4 cup recommended) but it worked just fine.
- Don't be shy about flambeeing the prunes - it's fun!
- The cake can be kept at room temperature for 1 day; wrapped well and refrigerated, it will keep for up to 3 days.
- For more tips, click here.