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Diplomatico-A Chocolate Dessert with Rum and Coffee

This recipes is full of surprises.

1. First, it stretches over 3 pages in the book. Hey, must be complicated, right?

2. Not exactly, because the recipe starts with a store-bought pound cake.

3. And some of the length is due to different options for the cake frosting.

4. But, I found it impossible to buy a plain pound cake. Sara Lee used to make one, but it has been delisted, according to Brian at the local supermarket.

5. And no luck trying to buy a pound cake at a couple of specialty stores in the area.

6. But, BW came through (again) and made a pound cake.

7. Everything was going fine - well, not exactly but I'll explain later - when, WHOA! the preparations stretches over two days. Guess I should have read the directions more carefully the first time through.

...The last surprise, I'll leave to the end.

The ingredients below include some expresso coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, a 16-ounce pound cake, some sugar, water, a few eggs, a bit of butter, a small amount of whipping cream and, oh yes, some rum. Marcella also suggests a garnish of fresh berries or walnuts and candied fruit, but I skipped the garnish this time.

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A nine-inch rectangular pan, lined with damp cheesecloth provides the structure for the dessert. The pound cake is cut into slices; the individual slices are soaked in a rum & coffee mixture; then line the bottom of a nine-inch pan. A filling of chocolate, egg yolk and a bit of sugar is spread over the layer of pound cake; then a second layer is placed on top. The cheesecloth is folded over the top and the pan is refrigerated until the next day.

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A chocolate frosting is made the next day. Marcella also provides an option for a whipped cream frosting, but how much chocolate is too much?

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What remains of the initial servings. The white spots on the cake are where I missed with the rum & coffee soak. The soak was the trickiest part of the preparation - too wet and the pieces fall apart.

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What I liked about this recipe:

This turned out great the first time I tried it a few months ago & I have improved the esthetics in subsequent efforts. I received many compliments on my initial preparation from an international audience - well a couple of my son-in-law's relatives from Scotland were at the dinner.

And, by the way, I did locate a source for a store-bought Sara Lee pound cake for the recipe & used it once - but the scratch cake is a lot better.

What I didn't I like about this recipe:

Well, I wasn't thrilled that it stretched over two days, but that was my problem. Also, the initial difficulty in locating a main ingredient (the pound cake) was an unexpected hurdle.

Would I make it again?

Yes, this is the best dessert I have ever made. This is a great recipe. I have made it a few times and it always impresses. It is equal to, or better, than any restaurant dessert in my experience. It is the most professional result I have achieved in this project.

This dessert is at the top of my favourite recipes I've prepared for this project - the final surprise.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 13, 2011 6:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Croccante - Italian Praline.

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