Well. Today's TWD Challenge was the first of the recipes that I would look at and think, "gee, that looks fun, I'd sure like to try it, but I'll never eat it, so meh." Fortunately, I had a dinner gathering to attend on Saturday so I could dispose of the cake. What you are looking at is a thick, dense, fudgy, malevolently dark brownie studded with cherries and bittersweet chocolate, covered with a layer of cream-cheese scented mascarpone mousse. Yep.
This was also the first recipe that had me running all over NorthEastern Town and its environs looking for ingredients. The fancypants grocery was out of mascarpone, but the dusty old one near me had it. Dried cherries came in a wide variety of prices and were found in the randomest sections of the stores.
The batter was pretty straightforward. It called for ground pepper! I wasn't sure how the pepper would work with amaretto-soaked cherries instead of Kirsch-soaked ones, but I was intrigued by the idea of using pepper, so I only used 1 teaspoon. I'd do more next time--you couldn't even taste it.
None of the liquor stores had any Kirsch, so I had to sub amaretto to flambe my cherries. Flambe-ing was easy and fun. I enjoy fire!
These cherries are totally on fire. You just can't see it here.
Timing the cake was a bit hard. I let it stay in an extra 5 minutes, but I'm not sure that was a great idea. It didn't burn, but the sides seemed very hard to me. It looked lovely though, nice and even and shiny. I put it in the fridge for a day before topping.
I whipped up the topping in a few minutes. Mine was spreadable, not pourable, so I smoothed it out. It was nice and light and fluffy and ever so faintly cheesy. The cake is very, very dense and fudgy and very, very rich. It was a big hit at the women's group I went to, even though I --ahem--broke one of my hostess's knives trying to cut through the tough sides. Em BARR ass ING. I really have to figure out what went wrong there. I was so aghast I forgot to take a photo of the cut cake. I thought it was mighty tasty, but just too rich for me--I like my cakes, well, cakey. And if I had to do it over again I'd personally leave out the extra chocolate chunks--they were just too much. It gave me a headache. Everyone else raved.
Overall: it was fun and pretty convenient (time-wise) to make. A good sophisticated crowd pleaser. Good to keep in the arsenal for dinner parties, not something I'd make for myself at home.
Next week's cake is a doozy of a shopping expedition, and centers around an ingredient I've always heard of but have never had. We'll see how this goes! I also have a hankering for sugar cookies, so there might be some cookie shenanigans coming up, too.