I think the words that best sum up this cake would be, “if I had to choose one way to eat chocolate for the rest of my life, this would be it.” Lora Brody is the creator of this magnificent cake which we make about twice a year for VERY special occasions. I happen to have such a VERY special occasion coming up. My dear friend is turning 40. We are throwing a huge surprise birthday party, hence this won’t get posted until moments before the big night. We have been planning this party for at least 6 weeks and I can’t believe we’ve managed to keep it from her for so long. As anyone who’s tried to throw a surprise bash for a loved one, it is incredibly hard to keep it a secret. The chances that a loved one and anyone that knows them well, will let it slip in conversation, is very high. If I was a gambler I would not take those odds. Very challenging!
Challenge number 2! She is celiac and dairy intolerant. I instantly thought of my favorite cake that I only pull out for the most special people on the most special occasions. Excitedly I looked up the recipe only to discover to my dismay that it had a ton of butter. Luckily it only has a Tbsp and a half of flour. The flour was an easy fix. All I needed was some gluten free flour mix of some kind. I thought of using coconut oil as the butter replacement but this cake is so phenomenal that I really didn’t want to mess with the flavor or the texture. So, off to Edible Island I go. Edible Island is one of the Comox Valley’s organic stores. They have everything for almost every dietary substitution you can think of. I picked up some Earths Balance for our dairy free butter solution and some Feather Light Gluten Free Rice Flour Mix.
I was tentative. Any recipe that involves investing 20 dollars in ingredients is not one that I typically want to mess with and make substitutions. This is the best cake in the world! Yes there you have it, Lora Brody created the best chocolate cake in the whole world. Well, cake is not quite right, dessert? It’s not like cake, and it’s not like a fudge pie. It’s also not at all like a brownie or chocolate pot de creme but more a combination of all of those together. It’s made in a cake pan, so I’ll just go on and call it cake for simplicity.
The substitutions worked out great. I love that I now have such an amazing cake recipe that will satisfy the gluten free and dairy free requirement. One of those is fine, the two put together is a little more challenging. I am thankful for all the vegan and specialty food bloggers that share their amazing recipes as well. It opens our minds to the possibilities. If you do not have any restrictions in your diet simple substitute, Earths Balance for regular butter and rice flour mix for regular flour. I also didn’t happen to have any bourbon in the house so I used brandy. Either of those 2 work just fine. I think that Grande Marnier would work well if you wanted to create a dark chocolate and orange cake and lovely candied orange peels for a garnish. Ummmmm. Anyway, I digress. Back to the Boca Negra. It is served with a lovely Brandy Infused White Chocolate Cream. The cream needs to be made the night before to reach the proper consistentcy. I just want to note that the left over cream is amazing in a cup of coffee. I may have tried it once or twice. Most of the guests will get the regular white chocolate cream. For the guest of honor or anyone else that is dairy free, there’s always Whipped Coconut Cream. It’s so easy to make. I’ve included a link to the Nutty Kitchen that shows exactly how to make it in a few easy steps. Whipped Coconut Cream is so freakin’ delicious. It’s worth a try even if you’re not dairy free. I might even try to make Vegan Raspberry Icing from the Alkaline Sister’s.
Boca Negra Chocolate Cake
barely adapted from Lora Brody
- 12 ounces of bittersweet dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 sugar
1/2 cup of brandy
2 sticks of Earth Balance or butter at room temperature
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 Tbsps Rice Flour Mix or regular flour
Grease a 9 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Finely chop the chocolate and place it into the work bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into 8 cubes per stick. In a small sauce pan, add the sugar and the brandy. Allow the mixture to just come to a boil. Pour the syrup over the chocolate and mix, using an S blade until smooth. Add the cubed butter a few pieces at a time while blending, allowing the butter to melt before adding the rest. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated, and finely add the flour. Blend until combined. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and bake for exactly 30 minutes. A slight crust will have formed on the top. Remove from the oven and have two plates ready. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the cake, quickly flip it onto the plate. remove the pan and flip it back right side up onto the serving platter. Remove the plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature.
This cake can also be made with a food processor. Follow the instructions above, but instead of adding the syrup to the chocolate, you’ll all the chocolate to the syrup, stirring until the chocolate melts, adding the butter slowly until melted, the eggs until combines and finally the flour. This cake is so fab because it takes minutes to make.
White Chocolate Cream
- 6 oz of good quality white chocolate
1/2 cup whipping cream
1-2 Tbsp of brandy to taste
Finely chop the white chocolate. In a small sauce pan heat the cream until bubbles start to form around the edges. Remove the cream from heat and add the chocolate and brandy. Stir the chocolate and cream until smooth. Refrigerate overnight in order to reach the desired consistency.