Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fire and Ice

Searching for a recipe to make Habanero Sugar, I stumbled on a recipe for Fire & Ice Cake.  It is basically a chocolate cake with a layer of lime sorbet and a layer of vanilla ice cream to which you have added habanero sugar.  Sounds intriguing, right?

So I made it. But I am not a good baker. I have not given up yet, but although everything so far tastes good, my desserts have usually been disappointingly ugly. ( Like the lemon-lime pound cake that ended up being 2 inches high) It started out more like 5 inches, but would not stop shrinking... Curiouser and Curiouser...

Mistake #1: using creamy yogurt blend vanilla ice cream.  I came to the realization (after the fact, of course) that soft creamy ice cream is great for mixing things into it (like habanero sugar) but not so great as a layer of a cake. it was so smooshy that it oozed out the sides from the weight of the top layer of cake, refused to refreeze properly and so my cake ended up being a soggy leaky ice cream thing.
Mistake #2:   the 3 Habaneros that the recipe called for were WAY TOO MUCH.

It was inedible. Seriously, eating half a spoonful of the ice cream alone made everyone start coughing. There's no way anyone could survive more than one bite.  I have never thrown an entire dessert in the garbage before, but there was no other option.

I did not give up, though.  After doing some thinking and asking opinions, I came up with a fun alternative.  I tried a cake recipe from my current favorite cook book, and served it alongside (so much easier than layers!!) a scoop of Costco vanilla ice cream.  If you've never had the Costco vanilla ice cream, it is amazingly creamy and dense! It comes in a package of 2 half gallons, so I just took one container and added 1/2 of one (that's right, not 3, but half of ONE) habanero in a sugar paste. It was very yummy, with just the right amount of heat.

Here's the recipe:

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake 
(from Seriously Simple by Diane Rossen Worthington)
This chocolate cake is easy to make and will garner raves from any chocolate-lover. I like to use a high-quality cocoa, like Droste or Scharffen Berger, for an intense chocolate flavor. This is one of those cakes that you can make a day ahead and it will still taste great (makes one 9-inch bundt  cake; serves 8 to 10)

Double-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache Glaze
from the internet
1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
¾  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½  teaspoons baking soda
½  teaspoon salt
¾  cup (1 ½  sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 ¾  cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
½ teaspoon canola oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9-inch lightweight bundt pan.
  2.  Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together into a medium bowl.
  3.  In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, or with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and process until fluffy and pale in color, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at at ime, and process until incorporated. Add the vanilla.
  4. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk and process until just combined.  Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.
  6. Meanwhile, make the glaze: in a double boiler over simmering water, combine the coffee, chocolate, and butter and stir until melted. Stir in the syrup and oil until blended.
  7. Place the cake and wire rack on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.  Drizzle the glaze over evenly.  Transfer the cake to a serving platter.

Advanced preparations:
May be prepared 1 day ahead, covered, and kept at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. I can give testimony that the cake and ice cream were delicious!