Thursday, August 05, 2010

Racines Cake

Racines Cake
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
When we were in Black Mountain, NC, last weekend, we stopped in at Chocolate Gems, a local artisan shop with high quality chocolates. They use mostly Belgian chocolate but had a few truffles and a few other items from Black Mountain Chocolate, where a man does hand-crafted chocolate, single-origin. So at the shop they had some cocoa nibs for sale in little bags, and I remembered a recipe I had seen in Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz.

I made the cake, which while it has quite a backstory, is really just your typical flourless chocolate cake, and topped it with the cocoa nibs as urged in the recipe.

I'm not sure what to think. I found the cocoa nibs a little.... strange. Maybe they were not finely chopped enough. But it was a little like munching on cake topped with chocolate flavored tree bark. Nothing like on the movie Chocolat where Vianne gives a woman cocoa nibs to improve her marriage and it sounds so delicious and romantic (but now I think owwww).

Still, it is more interesting to make a cake with a story. Between David Lebovitz's story of finding the recipe on the mens' restroom wall at a Parisian restaurant, and my story of using local artisan chocolate, maybe you'll want to try it too. The recipe is actually freely available on Lebovitz's blog, although his cookbook is getting a lot of hype, so you might as well pick it up. I still haven't had a perfect culinary experience from it, but I shall keep trying.


David T. Macknet said...

Yep - we've also gotten the nibs, and find them ... a bit ... dry and not quite tasty.

The best use we've found for them is to incorporate them into the crust of a pie or cheesecake (something which usually has a graham cracker crust). They're quite tasty, there, particularly if you mix them with graham crackers. :)

Unknown said...

David, I like that idea. That would also break them down a bit. I've had them in candy bars, but I suspect they are only using the more tender parts of the nibs in those cases.

We'd never know if we didn't try, right? :)