The man looked at me.
It’s for cooking with, right?
Ah yes, yes it is.
Now how did he know that the brandy I was attempting to buy, was for cooking and not straight consumption? How did he know that I wasn’t hot footing it home, with The Monkeys in tow. Home to make Brandy Alexanders for cocktail hour for when my dear Mr Chocolate got home from a long days work. Cocktails matched with an assortment of jellied canapes and devilled something or others.
I don’t know how he knew, but he knew. I mustn’t have had the Brandy Alexander cocktail look going on that morning. Instead, I had the wholesome cook look happening… or was it the flustered mama shopping with kids in tow look, I can’t remember now.
I explained that yes, he was right, it was for cooking, I needed it for a cake and some hot cross buns, and I had run out of my brandy stash. He cocked an eyebrow, and looked at me as if I had just started beatboxing I’m a little teapot….
Cooking all that?…Is that because of My Kitchen Rules?*
Um no, no it isn’t…
Chocolate Brandy Layer Cake
150gms softened butter
140gms caster sugar (3/4 cup)
2 tps vanilla
3 egg yolks
40gms cocoa (1/3 cup)
300gms s/r flour (2 cups)
150gms yogurt (3/4 cup)
3 egg whites whipped to peaks
Cream softened butter, sugar and vanilla essence together. Add egg yolks, yogurt, cocoa and flour. (looks quite stiff at this stage.) Add whipped egg whites by folding through the mixture. Pop into a greased, lined springform pan and bake at 180C fpr approx 55 minutes.
Allow cake to cool in tin for 15 minutes and then out on to a plate.
When completely cool, cut cake into thirds, (3 discs).
vanilla bean mascarpone
1 cup icing sugar
I made my own mascarpone from 450mls cream (details on how to make it are here.) Then whipped 150mls pouring cream to soft peaks, adding the vanilla bean mascarpone, and 1 cup icing sugar. Keep an eye on it, don’t let it over beat. You are looking for soft peaks, holding itself together.
60mls hot brandy needed now
On the first cake layer, drizzle 1/3 of the hot brandy followed by a little less than 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture and then add some grated dark chocolate, (I used 75% cocoa). Second layer of cake on, and the same format. Brandy, mascarpone, grated chocolate. For the last layer, spread a thin layer of the mascarpone first, (this will keep any footloose crumbs at bay.) Then add the remaining mascarpone and grate more dark chocolate over the top.
The cake held together really well. It wasn’t intensely chocolatey or sweet. The yogurt and mascarpone kept it lovely and moist to eat, (even 4 days later being kept in the fridge.) The light was falling fast and so were The Monkeys, (dinner was calling) so the photos didn’t do this little cake any justice, but I’ll definitely be making it again.
* My Kitchen Rules, a cooking competition programme with teams of two competing against each other.