Yes, I have been MIA– Guilty as charged. I have not been keeping up with my posts. I do miss blogging but am unable to find more time in the day (or night) for it!
Alas, work has kept me away. However, fear not! I have been baking throughout my frenzied work schedule. I just haven’t gotten around to sharing my tasty concoctions with you until now :)
Ok, so here’s a first: Dorie actually failed me (or in hindsight, perhaps I failed her recipe??). I REALLY wanted to like this dessert. With a page long backstory to how Ms. Greenspan got fired for ‘creative insubordination’ in this dish’s inception and subsequent execution (which inevitably got her fired), this had my interest more than piqued. I’ve never ‘craved’ prunes before (who does?), but my concerns were alleviated slightly because the recipe came with Dorie’s seal of approval. So, I immediately went and purchased a slew of plump, moist prunes.
Oh yes, there would be dried fruit- in my chocolate cake.
The anticipation was almost to great to bear–to eat this with the belief that this Chocolate Armagnac Cake would be deemed, in my eyes, a somewhat ‘healthy’ dessert. Did someone say Fibre Boost?
But I digress.
These sticky chewy prunes probably had all of their nutritional value eliminated anyway when doused them in Armagac and set them on fire for a little flambe action. Ah the joys of baking with booze. I think Dorie’s intentions with using alcohol was to tone down the strong fruitiness of the prunes.
Lamentably– it did nothing– except waste my brandy and good chocolate. Yes, the cake was dense- as promised, it was a vision of beauty, and the moist texture was spot on. But the flavour— oh woe as me– was 100% prune. All I tasted were these dried up plums. The chocolate and the booze did nothing to mask the flavour, as I hoped it would. I mean, if folks (such as Heidi of 101 Cookbooks) could make a brownie using black beans and not detect said beans in the flavour profile, then to me, I would declare a day of victory on the tastebud front.
I suppose my palette was just too sensitive to the cake… or perhaps it had a psychological effect on me. I handicapped my tastebuds and could get past the fact that it felt as though I was chewing on one huge piece of a chocolate covered prune that was wearing a disguise.
However, my lil sis (who has a much more refined palette than I), actually enjoyed the cake. She said it was akin to eating a chewy brownie or flourless chocolate cake. Furthermore, she enjoyed the fruity notes she got from the cake (almost like one would detect in a fine wine). In fact, she felt the prunes were not overbearing and complimented the chocolate well.
On the bright side, a night in the chill chest did help to neutralize some of that tutti-fruitiness for me.
This recipe is not for everyone (i.e. me) but if you are the adventurous sort, give the recipe a whirl and let me know how it goes for you. Perhaps you will it enjoy it like my sister did. If not, you can still eat it and tell yourself that it is ‘good for you’.
If you want the recipe, head on over here: http://andthenidothedishes.blogspot.com/2009/03/twd-chocolate-armagnac-cake.html