Monday, November 27, 2017

Foodie Book Review: Cake, I Love You

I wish I had more time to bake, because I would make every single one of the cakes in Jill O'Connor's new book, Cake, I Love You: Decadent, Delectable, and Do-able Recipes. Every. Single. One.

My birthday was a week ago, and I chose a recipe from Cake, I Love You as my special cake. I was sick, so Mr Minx put it together for me and did a smashing job. It involved a brownie-like nearly-flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce, and candied nuts. It was everything a sick person could want on a birthday or any other day of the year. Funny thing about this recipe, though it had four separate components and involved 24-ounces of chocolate, I didn't feel that it was overly involved nor expensive to make. Oh yeah, and it had a lot of booze in it, which also made it great. The only thing missing was some boozy whipped cream to dollop on top.

I'm looking forward to trying more recipes from Cake, I Love You and might just whip a few somethings up for the various holiday parties coming up in the next month or so. In the meantime, here's the recipe for the cake shown above.

If you need to buy a holiday gift for someone who enjoys baking, I highly recommend this book.

Heartless Bastard Break-Up Cake

If broken hearts have an edible remedy, this is it—a little chocolate, a little booze, with a few crunchy bar nuts thrown in for good measure. The cake is easy to prepare, but baking it is absorbing enough to distract from weightier woes. You can use the combination of spirits I suggest, or just choose one or two of your favorites to make things easier. I love the texture and added zing from the bar nuts, but go ahead and skip them if the added complication causes distress.

Serves 6 to 8 (on a good day)/ Serves 1 (on a bad day)

Quickie Milk-Chocolate Mousse:
12 oz [340 g] milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup [240 ml] heavy cream
2 Tbsp chocolate cream liqueur (such as Godiva or Mozart)
2 Tbsp bourbon, dark rum, or Irish whiskey

Boozy Chocolate Sauce:
3 to 4 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup [80 ml] brewed coffee
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz [170 g] coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate, or chocolate chips (56 % to 62 %
1 Tbsp Irish whiskey
1 Tbsp dark rum
1 Tbsp chocolate cream liqueur (such as Godiva or Mozart )

Sweet-and- Spicy Bar Nuts:
1 cup [140 g] unsalted fancy mixed nuts (any mixture of pecan halves, whole almonds,
cashews, and pistachios)
1 Tbsp salted butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Irish whiskey or bourbon
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt for sprinkling

Cake Batter:
6 oz [170 g] coarsely chopped dark chocolate (60% to 62% cacao)
3/4 cup [165 g] unsalted butter
3/4 cup [150 g] sugar
3 eggs, separated, plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp Irish whiskey or dark rum, or a combination
1/3 cup [45 g] all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

To make the chocolate mousse: Place the chopped milk chocolate in a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the cream until very hot and small bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan. Just before the cream comes to a boil, pour it over the milk chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute for the chocolate to soften, then add the chocolate liqueur and bourbon and whisk until smooth. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 or 3 hours or up to overnight. If you don’t want to wait, pop the chocolate cream into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until very cold (but not frozen.). While the chocolate cream is chilling, make the Boozy Chocolate Sauce, the bar nuts, and the cake.

To make the sauce: Combine the sugar, coffee, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Reduce the heat to low and add the chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the whiskey, dark rum, and chocolate liqueur and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly to room temperature.

To make the bar nuts: Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C].

In a medium bowl, toss together the nuts, melted butter, sugar, cayenne, and whiskey. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove the nuts from the oven and transfer to a medium bowl. Crush the Maldon Salt with your fingertips, sprinkle over the nuts, and toss to combine.

To make the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F [165°C]. Coat a 9-in [23-cm] round or square cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate, butter, and sugar. Heat on high for 1 minute. Stir, return the bowl to the microwave, and heat on high for 1 minute longer. Stir until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk the egg yolks, one at a time, into the warm chocolate mixture. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Sift the flour and fine sea salt into the chocolate mixture and gently fold in by hand, using a rubber or silicone spatula, just until smooth.

Place the egg whites in the medium bowl. With an electric hand mixer set on low speed, beat the egg whites until they are opaque and frothy. Increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until they form soft, fluffy peaks and triple in volume, 2 to 3 minutes. With a rubber or silicone spatula, fold one-third of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it, and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care not to deflate them. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist, fudgy crumbs clinging to it.

To finish the cake: Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate, peel off the parchment paper, and let cool completely. The cake may sink slightly in the center.

Right before serving, whip the chilled chocolate mousse with an electric mixer set on low speed just until it holds soft peaks. Spoon the mousse over the top of the chocolate cake, mounding it in the center. Drizzle with the Boozy Chocolate Sauce, and sprinkle with a few coarsely chopped sweet-and- spicy bar nuts. Devour.

Can’t finish it all by yourself? Refrigerate any remaining cake for up to 2 days.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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