Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere

Sometimes I find that I have stuff in my pantry that I never remember buying, nor would I ever have and intended use for. Usually, it's stuff that won't necessarily go bad, or will store in the freezer until some moment of brilliance occurs and suddenly it all makes sense. But there's only so much freezer space that I'm allotted, and quite frankly, I've hit the limit. I'm a definite hoarder. But as they say, acknowledging you have the problem is step one to recovery, right? How perfect that my stashing habit's "therapy" involves baking - and lots of it!

One of the goodies I found when I was cleaning out my pantry and consolidating as much as I could in it was this jar of Sable & Rosenfeld's "Tipsy" chocolate sauce. I can only think that it was probably one of the items in a corporate gift basket my stepfather recieved at some function or Christmas get-together, since aside from downtown Toronto I've never seen the brand anywhere, and I certainly can't partake in a tasting due to my alcohol intolerance! However I wound up with the jar, I had it, and even though there was no marked expiry date I was fairly sure "indefinite" was not applicable. Even with the addition of booze in the mixture, I wanted to kill it before it had the potential to do any killing of it's own - and judging by the alcohol shelf-life guide it was probably best that way.

So, I had my "star ingredient". And, judging by the fact that I had a lunch date on the horizon, I even had some eaters lined up! Now all I needed was a recipe... or at least a theory. Something to jump off of!

Enter the notion of the "crazy cake". It's not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination - it's a go-to vegan cake in it's purest form, and eggless in any incarnation, using vinegar and baking soda to tenderize and leaven like an egg would. Usually water or milk is the preferred "liquid" in the mixture, though I know for chocolate recipes I love using coffee instead! Why couldn't the same basic formula be used to use up the sauce? It was fairly liquid, definitely chocolatey, and would add a whole world of richness due to both the cocoa and cappuccino elements it had. Plus, as a crazy cake, I wouldn't be bound to making a frosting - which I have to admit I abhor.

So I did it, adding a touch of extra milk to make up for the remaining liquid needed in the recipe, using balsamic vinegar instead of regular white, and using both butter and brown sugar for flavour. As it baked, I wondered if I had made a mistake... it smelled incredibly alcoholic, and coffee-like - not a bad thing necessarily, but the smell (at least to me) was a bit much. Thankfully the aroma did dissipate after a while, and the flavour of coffee did nothing but create a mocha nuance that the recipients at my mom's office adored! I'm thinking that if you can't find, or didn't want to buy, the particular kind of sauce I used, a jar of thick hot fudge sauce (not the kind in the bottles, though) with a few shots of Kahlua in it would suffice. Or you can always make your own sauce and add the booze... if you really wanted to make the cake!

"Tipsy" Double Chocolate Cake
Serves 12
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla
280 ml (1 cup + 3 tbsp) Sable & Rosenfeld Tipsy Chocolate & Cappuccino Liqueur Sauce (1 jar)
1/3 cup milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 330F. Grease a 9" pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add vinegar and vanilla, beating well.
  4. Add half the dry mixture to the bowl, blending well, then add the chocolate sauce and milk and beat in.
  5. Add the remaining dry mixture and mix well.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before turning out.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 208.9
Total Fat: 5.9 g
Cholesterol: 10.7 mg
Sodium: 64.9 mg
Total Carbs: 39.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 3.9 g