Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chocolate Armagnac Cake - The Cake That Got Dorie Fired (TWD)


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!

video

This was a really simple recipe. I'm not a huge fan of nuts, but the ground nuts in this recipe gave the cake a nice flavor. The cake was very dense and moist, but not too dense. It reminded me a lot of a brownie - Dorie's 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.


31 comments:

  1. this cake looks delicious and very chocolatey. I think i will like the adition of prunes and whiskey. Really interesting. I crave something chocolatey now, don't have any though:(

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  2. I loved this cake, as well as the flambeeing!!

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  3. Your cake looks so pretty, I've always wanted to try this one!

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  4. I actually like prunes too so I wouldn't mind them in a cake. The cake looks so incredibly moist! You've gotta love a cake like that, prunes or no prunes!

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  5. I suppose if I had to try prunes this is the way I would want to.

    I read the story behind this cake when I first purchased her book. Makes you wonder what they're thinking now.

    I'll be back after work to check out the video but your photos are terrific!
    ~ingrid

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  6. Great pictures! I may try using raisins next time.

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  7. Looks great.

    I used French Brandy....there wasn't enough alcohol for it to even flame. I was bummed!

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  8. Your cake looks stunning!! I'm not afraid of prunes either: hey, if you can throw something healthy in this amazingly chocolatey and dense cake, then why not? Dorie really has a pretty woman-type story, huh? Rejected by her boss only to become one of the dessert elite!

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  9. I too find that prune aversion to be pretty strange... I love prunes, and I think... they love me back, because I'm never dissapointed of the recipes that uses them.

    The pictures are sublime as usual, Jaime... the cake wonderful and I'm very jealous of that nice transluscent black and white plate! Arghhhh...

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  10. The cake looks sinfully good!

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  11. Sigh. It looks so moist and delicious. I opted out this week, but will have to try this cake sometime. I made a TWD rewind--Snickery Squares. Good!

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  12. oh my, that's a gorgeous cake. i'm weak in the knees simply from looking at the cake part, and when my eyes travel to that thick layer of frosting, it's all over. :)

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  13. Your cake looks so chocolaty and delicious!

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  14. Your pictures are gorgeous. I'm glad you liked it!

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  15. Your cake looks wonderful! I bet it was delicious with semisweet chocolate. I finished making mine this afternoon but haven't tasted it yet. I went with the original raisins and scotch because it's what I had on hand but I'd like to try it sometime with the prunes!

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  16. Jaime this look absolutely wonderful and nice!!! Love it, Gloria

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  17. tes photos sont fantastiques :)

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  18. your cake looks fantastic! i went the cherries/Kirsch route.. tasty, too!

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  19. yum!!! Chocolate is in the air lately!!

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  20. I think I have actually gotten over my aversion to prunes baked into things, but the rum I used was just too strong for me. It was still totally fun to make anyway though. Your cake looks gorgeous!

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  21. Believe me, I know those Snickery Bars are about the same in fat and calories! I've only had a bite and will be giving the rest away! ;)

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  22. Haha nice story. Insubordination sounds a bit ridiculous in a kitchen if you ask me :)

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  23. Great flame picture! Okay, if this tastes like the French Chocolate Brownies (my TWD pick), I really have to make it. Sooner, rather than later. Maybe today (I was trying to wait until we finished eating the DB cake...)

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  24. Your photos are just gorgeous and your cake is beautiful! I love it!

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  25. I just continued to salivate at every photo. Oh, my, that looks divine.

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  26. Your cake looks so delicious! I think the poor prune is misunderstood! :)

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  27. Cake looks just perfect, all fudgey and stuff. Really yummy!

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  28. That really looks delicious!

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  29. Your pictures are so enticing and appetizing! We loved this one and I thought that the prunes just melted into the cake. It was so great!

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  30. I absolutely love how fudgey yours looks. And nice flambeeing video :) Great job!

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