I made this chocolate armagnac cake on my own, before joining Tuesdays with Dorie, because the story behind it was so compelling. Dorie Greenspan worked at a restaurant that served the same chocolate cake night after night, so she improvised and created this unusual, but lovely concoction. She was fired for “creative insubordination.”
Because I’ve made this cake before, I decided to practice a tiny bit of creative insubordination myself. The cake is beautiful and delicious and very dense. But this time I decided to create individual chocolate cakes in 8-ounce ramekins and then bake them in a water bath. I was hoping the cakes would be a little less dense than the original, just a touch softer and lighter in body. Plus, as I’ve said before, I love things warm from the oven, and this allows me to coat each little cake in a warm glaze.
This was a mostly successful experiment. The final result was soft and creamy and light, but all of that creaminess was studded with the bits of prune and almond, making for a bit too much attention to their chewy, crunchy texture. In the more dense version, they offer a happy bite. In my light version, they’re more of a distraction. So this ramekin/water bath approach is probably best used on a straight chocolate batter, without the added texture. Still, it was fun to play around.
Visit And Then I Do the Dishes for the recipe. And don’t be deterred by the prunes. They add depth and complexity to the chocolate. (This is coming from someone who shudders at those chocolate cake recipes that include mystery ingredients like tomato soup and beets and such.) So, trust me on this one.