I recently acquired a bottle of Crème de Cassis. I have to say that I’m in general not very fond of french stuff, but I never denied they know their wine, their cheese… and their blackcurrants. If you haven´t tried this delight, stop wasting your time.
Anyway, when I bought it, I of course went for the biggest bottle, in case a google search for “cassis cake” provided some insight. It actually did come up with quite some recipes, but all seemed to be the same one… which was not necessarily a bad sign.
My opportunity arrived in the form of a brand new office tradition that we baptised as Sweet Monday and in which, long story short, each one of us is to provide sweet comfort for the painful start of the week. I selected the recipe from Ina Garten at food network; reads as follows (and I quote):
For the cake:
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted
- 10 ounces dark chocolate,
- 1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
- 6 tablespoons crème de cassis liqueur
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the cake, Preheat the oven to 175°C. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray it again with baking spray.
Melt theand chocolate together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. in the cocoa powder, cassis, and vanilla and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with theattachment (you can also use a hand mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, and salt on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until pale yellow and triple in volume.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and carefully but thoroughly fold them together with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until just barely set in the center.
Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then release the sides of the pan. Invert the cake carefully onto a flat serving plate, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.
For the glaze:
- 6 ounces bittersweet or milk chocolate,
- 1/4 double cream
- 2 to 3 tablespoons crème de cassis liqueur
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze, melt the chocolate and cream together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Off the heat,in the cassis and vanilla. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and spread over just the top of the cake.
- 2 (1/2 pint) boxes fresh raspberries
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly
- 1/3 sugar
- 1/3 crème de cassis liqueur
Fifteen minutes before serving, toss the berries gently with the sugar and cassis. Cut the cake in wedges and serve with the berries on the side.
First of all, the metric system is so sadly underrated! 1 1/2 sticks of butter?? What the cake is that?? Nevertheless and as always, google knows it all, and it didn´t take me long to find all sorts of butter measure convertors online. But I have to say that the little part of my soul that lives with my other hobby (the one that provide the money to buy baking ingredients) gets sometimes really disappointed.
Anyway, coming back to the recipe: I made the cake as it is stated, and when I got to the point where I had this gorgeous mixture of melted chocolate, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and cassis, I could not resist the temptation of doing the quick finger test (for quality control purposes, obviously) and, apart from tasting as delicious as melted butter and chocolate does (specially when one uses Valor chocolate), I noticed that a little more blackcurrants would´t spoil it, so my bake mate and I did the old trick of “I will tell you when to stop…”
After baking the cake, the recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, but to me it looked intense flavoured enough just as it was, so I dusted a little powder sugar and called it a day. I also have to say that the liquor-tossed berries are music to my ears, but unfortunately not that handy when you plan to do some cake-traveling.
So all in all this is what my workmates had to sweeten their Monday with:
And although it would have looked wonderful in a nice plate with some berries on the side, it was happily eaten on a paper napkin taken from the lab stock (yes, the same ones we use at the bench).
We had a happy (sweet) Monday.