This recipe 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 preparation 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.