Tuesday, December 20, 2011
sticky chocolate cake.
Sticky. Chocolate. Cake. Now that's some attention grabber.
You know what's that secret ingredient for guaranteed stickiness? It's prunes. Yeah. But there's no need to make a face like one. You can hardly taste the ones that are blended into the batter. But some are left in bite-sized pieces to be dispersed throughout the batter so if you really can't stand them, sub in chopped chocolate chunks because chocolate is healthy too. To defend this shriveled fruit, it's packed with fiber so it's good for your, erm, digestive tract.
Oh have I mentioned this- this recipe has no added oil or butter. Talk about good-for-you! Now go ahead and have two. Like me.
I sadistically upped the calorie count for my serving by stacking two cupcakes on top of each other, glued together with whipped chocolate ganache. You should really frost this with ganache. There's actually quite a small amount in the cakes themselves that they need some serious chocolate boost.
P.S. Please don't pull my hair out if your skinny jeans don't fit after that.
I cannot be more sure that piping bags and me don't jive. Even ganache got stuck in the tip and blocked up the passageway like the mucus does to your nasal airway during a bout of flu. And you know why? Because some chunks of chocolate didn't melt completely! I'm gonna slap myself.
So since I couldn't pipe, I had to frost with a spatula. Halfway through, my mom stole my spatula so I had to frost with a butter knife. A butter knife. The fact that the cupcakes didn't have smooth surfaces to begin with made things a lot more challenging. My stack of cupcakes became a mini leaning tower of Pisa and bumps frequently peeked through the frosting. Without the glaze on top, this would be an ugly stump of a cake.
But ultimately, the cakes tasted good, and that's what that really matters.
Sticky Chocolate Cake
makes 6 cupcakes
adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini
For the cake:
110g plump dried prunes, pitted
40ml brandy such as Cognac or Armagnac
60ml buttermilk or plain yogurt
1/2 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or treacle
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
75g bittersweet chocolate (I left this out and frosted with whipped chocolate ganache)
For the syrup:
25g brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Insert paper liners into a 6-hole muffin tin.
Take half of the prunes and chop it into tiny bite-size pieces. Place the chopped up pieces in a saucepan with the brandy and heat until just slightly warm. Set aside to plump up.
Put the remaining prunes and buttermilk in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the egg, brown sugar and maple syrup, beating well between each addition.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Don't overmix. Fold in the chopped chocolate. Fish the prunes from the brandy (reserve the brandy) and fold them in too.
Divide the batter among the cupcake liners and level the batter. The batter will be stiff and would not spread out on it's own. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the syrup. Add the brown sugar and water to the brandy in the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat immediately.
When the cupcakes come out of the oven, poke a few holes and brush with the warm syrup with a pastry brush until saturated. Let cool slightly before transferring the cupcakes to a cooling rack.