Only I didn't use Armagnac. Apparenlty we'd just run out of it. Just kidding. I went down to the bar area and took a look through all the bottles and chose to snitch some of the Basil Hayden's bourbon that Bill received as a Christmas gift (I think) from his friend, John. I hesitated, just because I understand that in bourbon circles, it's pretty fancy schmancy stuff. I don't particularly like anything in the great, big whiskey family, and it all tends to smell the same to me (I know, HERESY to some of you!), but I figured if this was good stuff, then it darn well deserved to be in my cake.
There's logic for you.
Anyway, it certainly flamed up nicely when I was preparing my prunes. I did those one day and let them sit, then made the cake the following day.
Though Alex hadn't even bothered to try the Lemon Cup Custard I'd made for this week's TWD post, I knew he would love this cake.
He and I are the two chocolate lovers in this house. Bill appreciates good chocolate, but when it comes to sugary stuff, or candy, he's more of a fruit-oriented (or artificially fruit flavored) kind of guy. Julia also leans more in that direction. Funny how tastes are.
Anyway, the cake itself was pretty easy to put together. I decided to use four of my little mini springform pans rather than a full-sized pan, because I wanted to give some AWAY (and not devour it myself) and presenting a mini cake is (to me) a bit more fun than just hacking off a wedge and handing it over.
They baked up in about 30 minutes, I cooled them a bit in the pans, then released and removed the sides of the pans and the bottoms and the waxed paper and let them finish cooling while I made the glaze.
The kids wanted to decorate the cakes, so I gave each child some walnuts and some bittersweet chocolate chips and let them have fun.
Here are the results:
This one is Julia's...it's hard to tell from this angle, but some of her walnut pieces are standing on end, giving the cake a nice bit of vertical appeal that I completely ignored when I was taking these pictures.
Next up, Alex's...
He stuck a few bits and pieces on top and that was the end of it. I added the walnuts around the edge of the cake. I think he just wanted us to be DONE with this silly playing around part and get out the knives and forks and DIG IN.
I gave this one to our friends across the street -
And I left the last one "blank."
It had the nicest swirls in the glaze and needed no further embellishment.
Once dinner was over and the dishes cleared, I gave each child a quarter of a cake. Just a little bit, just in case someone didn't like it. I didn't want to waste any. We cut into Julia's first, by unanimous decision. Alex's plate is the one with the tropical flowers and fish on it. As you can see, all that remain are a few crumbs on the plate and a smear or two on the tines of the fork. The pink plate (of course) was Julia's. She picked off all the nuts and chips she'd carefully placed there when she was decorating, didn't eat them at all, and had a tiny taste of the cake. "I don't like it," she said. Can this be classified as a true genetic defect? Just curious.
Oh, and Alex had more the next night. Now, it would be tempting to blame the following pictures on the effects of chocolate, but it would also be inaccurate. He's just like this.
And me? I loved the cake. I prefer it without the extra bits and pieces we added to the tops of three of them, and I don't even think the glaze was necesssary, other than for cosmetic purposes. Yum, yum. So glad I finally made this one.
Thanks to Lyb of And then I do the dishes for selecting this recipe (which can be found on Lyb's site or in Dorie's book Baking: From My Home to Yours), and special thanks to Dorie for creating this cake and then getting fired for it! Long live creative insubordination!