Some cakes are meant to be nibbled. Others are all about their richness and intensity. Almay Jordaan certainly had the latter in mind when creating this dark chocolate, citrus and tequila cake topped with an equally memorable cocoa nib ganache.
“It’s a pretty complete dessert,” says the chef and co-owner of Old Palm Liquor. “It’s dense and certainly designed for a whole bunch of people. “
Jordaan once served a different version of the cake at his Brunswick East wine bar and restaurant. Old Palm Liquor draws inspiration from its South African heritage, and the cuisine naturally emphasizes South African herbs and spice blends. This context also came into play when Jordaan adapted this cake to include Don Julio Reposado tequila, inspired by the beloved brandy-rich desserts of his home country (such as the traditional Cape cognac pudding, or known colloquially. under the name of “drunken pie”). Adding tequila to the already dark and rich cake brings out new citrus and caramel notes, which in turn highlight the chocolate and other ingredients.
“I played with a lot of chocolate desserts,” she says. “Tequila works to make the [other] the ingredients shine brighter, instead of just a chocolate cake. She also finds that the addition of alcohol helps strengthen the structure of the cake.
As for what to pair with this party-friendly dessert, Jordaan opts for Don Julio Reposado, a barrel-aged tequila famous for its chewy flavor and smooth finish.
“When I tasted the Reposado, I got raw cocoa and citrus notes,” says Jordaan. “I thought of a really good dark chocolate and something with a rich silky mouth feel.”
She recommends baking the cake the night before serving, to allow the flavors to intensify. When it’s time to prepare, cut the cake into thin slices and serve it at room temperature once your guests have tasted something salty. You will need a table beater and an 8-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. When baking the cake at home, Jordaan suggests not incorporating too much or too little air – which affects the structure of the finished dessert – into the mixture. Instead, try to strike a balance, gently mixing in the egg whites for a “cleaner cake.”
As for the Paloma tequila with a twist, she recommends serving the Reposado straight from the freezer in pre-chilled glasses, creating a stark contrast to the blood orange soda and the rich, chocolatey cake.
“It just won’t be the same if you don’t make the tequila ahead of time,” she says. “It is designed to end a meal in style. “
Recipe: Tequila Don Julio and Paloma with Blood Orange
Makes 1 serving. About. 1 standard glass
30 ml Don Julio Reposado
150 ml of Fevertree blood orange soda
Orange wedge for garnish
teaspoon of sea salt
Top half a highball glass with sea salt. Combine all the ingredients with plenty of ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.
Dark chocolate, citrus and tequila cake with cocoa ganache
Makes 14 thin slices
Preparation and cooking time: 65 minutes (including cooling)
250g dark chocolate 70%, broken into small pieces
120 g butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon of vanilla paste
zest of 1 navel orange
zest of 1 untreated lemon
1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes
3 tablespoons of Don Julio Reposado tequila
80g of raw powdered sugar
70g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Preheat the oven to 170 ° C. Melt chocolate and butter together in small bursts in microwave or in a bowl over simmering water on the stovetop. It is crucial that the mixture melts and does not overheat. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, citrus zest, salt and tequila.
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with 60g caster sugar until thick and creamy, then gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Wash and dry the mixing bowl and whisk. Add the egg whites, whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form and add the remaining 20g caster sugar. Continue to whisk over medium heat for 2 minutes until a glossy foam forms. Gently fold it into the chocolate, resisting the urge to over-mix. Pour the dough into a cake mold and bake at 170 ° C for 25 minutes.
The finished cake will still be a little wobbly in the center. Let cool on a cake rack for 5 minutes then detach the ring from the springform pan before continuing to cool.
When the cake is cold, gently bring the cream to a boil, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate pieces to make the ganache. Pour the ganache over the cake and sprinkle cocoa nibs over the ganache. Cut thin slices with a hot knife and pair them with a Tequila Don Julio and a Paloma with blood orange.
This article is produced by Large format sheet in partnership with Don Julio. Drink responsibly.