Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TWD: Boca Negra

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Lora Brody

Boca Negra - Spanish for black mouth.  This is what you will get after eating this - so the recipe states. I was imagining my teeth a freakish gray color, like after drinking red wine, and your mouth and teeth are tinted red. I can not say that I experienced this. Maybe it all washed away after downing two glasses of milk to help this delectably delicious cake go down.

Initially I was going to pass on making the white chocolate cream; but I wanted to use up the extra opened bars of chocolate I had laying around. I thought the cream would be too heavy of an accompaniment for an already rich cake. Boy was I wrong. The cream was delicious and the cognac (the recipe calls for bourbon) seemed to have given it a lightened texture - not heavy at all - a pillowy softness that melts in your mouth on contact. The recipe suggests that you make it a day ahead to give it time to chill and thicken. I made it the same day and placed it in the freezer for a short time to hasten the thickening of the cream.

The recipe gives you a choice of making this by hand or in the food processor. Both read to be quite easy to do. I always go with the hands on method and thought I would change things up a bit and use the processor. This cake could not be any simpler to make, and with such impressive results; an inexperienced baker could bowl over their family and friends with this one.

I served this with some rather tart raspberry purée, which was a nice contrast to the sweetness of the cake, and tasted really good mixed in with the cream. I'm thinking the cream in a somewhat liquid state would be great poured over fresh fruit, or served in a bowl alongside a fruit platter to be used as a dip.

I sent two slices home with my sister, and delivered a couple of slices to our daughter. It was a hit. Especially the cream!

Success meter (1-3): 3

I gathered all the white chocolate I had and came up one ounce short. Being short had no noticeable adverse effects.

The cream is made up of white chocolate, heavy whipping cream and in my case, cognac. Yum!

The cake itself is made with few ingredients: chocolate (lots), butter (lots), sugar (lots), eggs (lots), flour, and yes, more cognac.

I'm surprised there is not a warning in the book about cooking alcohol over an open flame. I'm fully aware that it can, and did ignite, still it caught me off guard (I was taking a picture at the time). The white spots are flames dancing on the surface of the sugar and cognac mixture.
You bake the cake in a water bath - also known as a bain-marie. The recipe says to bake for exactly thirty minutes. I had to bake mine for forty-five minutes before it achieved the thin dry crust on top.

Carefully remove the pan from the water bath and dry before unmolding.

The underside of the cake.

I came across the apron I made for our now grown daughter - look how tiny it is! (I thought I would keep the heart theme going here.) After inverting the cake to the platter it cracked... :(

Homemade stencil; oh the patience I once had.

I stenciled the cake while it was still warm. After a few hours all the hearts turned to a dark brown.
A slice of this cake will help mend any broken heart.

The recipe says to serve this slightly warm or at room temperature - it's great both ways. It has a soft, almost mousse like texture - some say it is similar to a pudding cake; when served cold from the refrigerator it is reminiscent of a chocolate truffle.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Valentine's day!

You can find this delectable recipe on Cathy's blog - A Frederick Food Garden, our host for the week.

Head over to the TWD website and look for the LYL: Boca Negra link to check out other variations of this recipe from the many talented bakers in the group.


  1. You were so right to follow your instincts and bake it and additional 15. It came out as it should, perfect!

  2. Yup, mine needed more baking time! Yours is perfect!!! Brava!

  3. What amazing pictures!!! your cake looks gorgeous!!!!

  4. Really nicely done - the vanilla cream was a very pleasant surprise, wasn't it?

  5. Lovely photos! the apron is so cute, bittersweet memories I am sure. Your cake looked delicious.

  6. Loved the valentine stencil! Your presentations are always so beautiful! Kristine Mika

  7. ahh...you are making me rethink my decision not to do the cream...sounds like it was delicious! and i like your ittle heart decos

  8. Such beautiful photos. Love the valentine stencil. You definitely set the mood for valentines.

  9. Lovely post…wonderful photos! Love the stencil! This was a delicious cake and yours came out beautiful!!

  10. Your heart detailing is lovely!

  11. Great pics!! Love the look of your cake with the cream. (and the heart in the centre of the cream) Lovely!
    I have the exact same kitchen scales! :)

  12. Wow. Wow. Wow. Amazing photos. Beautiful. The stencil is such a great idea!

  13. Cathleen, you certainly made an absolute show stopper of a cake, I cannot get over how cute the heart stencils look on this cake. You thought of all the details in your post, just all very lovely and now that you mentioned that the white chocolate cream was so good with this cake, I will certainly make sure to prepare the cream together with the Boca Negra next time I make this!

  14. Your cake with the cream and the raspberry puree heart looks marvelous!

  15. Your boca negra looks beautiful, especially with the heart stencils.

  16. Cathleen, as usual your pictures are amazing. They truly tell a story! I love the apron that you made for your daughter and the stenciled hearts was a beautiful touch!

  17. Mmmmm, this was so good. Your photos are amazing! How did you do the stencil? What did you use on the actual cake to make the hearts show up? Beautiful, really. What a winner!

  18. Your cake looks just perfect with the hearts. And the cream looks to be of great consistency- maybe less white chocolate was a good thing.


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