Chocolate Absinthe Cake...

God's Humor
Posted on 01/15/2013 by aduial_eternal
Absinthe recently became legal in the US, and having been very curious about it for years, I just had to buy a bottle and try it.
And I love it.
So naturally I just had to see what it tastes like in a cake.
I spent a couple days searching the web for an absinthe cake recipe, and only found two. Neither of them appealed to me, so I decided to use a rum cake recipe and substitute the absinthe for the rum. I've gotta say, I think it turned out pretty great.

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup absinthe

Click to see savings

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground aniseed or fennel seed
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: Garnish w/ chocolate shavings
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add absinthe; beat until blended.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to sugar mixture alternately with hot water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition; stir in flavorings.
Pour batter into greased and floured cake pan.
Cake Batter In Pan
Bake at 350° for 27 minutes (cake will not test quite done). Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on wire racks.
Cake Top
Frost top and sides of cake if you want. Garnish. Cover and chill 8 hours. Store in refrigerator.
Note: You should plan to refrigerate it overnight before serving to allow the flavors to mellow.
I didn't bother with frosting or a glaze. I thought about it, but after tasting it, I decided that it didn't need anything else.
The cake isn't super sweet, which I like. It is pretty rich though. Most of the absinthe bakes off the in the oven, so you're left with this lovely flavor that blends perfectly with the chocolate.

Funny story time: I made this cake again for a get-together. This time I poured the batter into bread pans and made loaves.
My mother, wonderful woman that she is, left them sitting on the edge of her counter, and one of her dogs- a 100 pound chocolate lab/chessie if you're interested- took the opportunity to eat part of one.
I was tempted to throw the whole damn thing away, but instead I cut off the parts that he had nibbled on, spread some chocolate syrup over what was left, sprinkled on some powdered sugar to pretty it up, and went on my merry way.
I should probably add that the dog is fine, no adverse reaction to the chocolate or the alcohol. And since the get-together was for a bunch of dog rescue folks, no one cared that he had "sampled" the cake.

nordgelichter 16th-Jan-2013 11:57 am (UTC)
Sounds tempting, I´ll give it a try next weekend. Haven´t had the best results with absinthe in the past, it lost all its taste.
aduial_eternal 19th-Jan-2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
I hope it works out for you!
aduial_eternal 19th-Jan-2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Not sure exactly when though.
The first time I heard about it, I was in Las Vegas. I really wanted to try some, but the only place that had it was a nightclub.
doc__holliday 17th-Jan-2013 12:18 am (UTC)
The brand you used is a pastis, unfortunately. There isn't any wormwood in it!

While I'm loathe to use an expensive German bottle of absinthe for baking purposes, I'd definitely give this a go with a cheaper kind! I love aniseed flavoured anything!
aduial_eternal 19th-Jan-2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
Well that sucks. :-( It's the only kind that's available where I'm at.
helenatroy 17th-Jan-2013 01:36 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's about impossible to get absinthe with wormwood in it legally just about anywhere. I got some of that Absente stuff you show in your picture when I was in France. It tastes really nice (if you like bitter stuff - which I do...)

Funny story about the dog, though. Glad you saved the cake!

Edited at 2013-01-17 01:37 am (UTC)
doc__holliday 17th-Jan-2013 09:34 am (UTC)
nope, it's not! :)

I own quite an extensive collection of absinthes with varying thujone levels.

Most modern absinthes contain about 15mg of thujone, compared to the antiquated varieties that had upwards of 35mg (max allowance of thujone in the EU). It was never technically illegal in Canada, but the thujone restrictions were down to about 5mg, so, most commercial absinthes were in effect 'banned' up until about somewhere between 5-8 years ago.

It's funny because thujone doesn't actually affect the intoxication quality/kind of intoxication you get from absinthe.
helenatroy 18th-Jan-2013 01:46 am (UTC)
ohai - I've just seen your reply. I got the 'Absenthe' brand (in the OP's pic) - I think from your reply to the OP you confirm that that is not really absinthe, correct?

Now, I thought that wormwood (and that is where the thujone comes from, right?) makes you hallucinate. Are you saying that that is not the case?

If you stop by this thread again I'd love to hear your insight on the topic.

aduial_eternal 19th-Jan-2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
In high enough doses, it will make you hallucinate. But if my research is correct, you'd have to drink a lethal amount of absinthe before you'd have the slightest chance of seeing anything.
arcanaximperii 19th-Jan-2013 09:18 pm (UTC)
Hallucinations were considered to be one of the symptoms of absinthism, which was an "illness" used to describe those who drank excessive amounts of the stuff. In reality, it's not clear if thujone itself was the cause or if it was due to the fact that people experiencing these effects of absinthe were just drinking way too much of it.

What is known based on research on mice, is that when thujone is consumed in excessive amounts it may cause severe convulsions. So before absinthe can be sold, thujone levels have to be quantified and recorded at levels no higher than the upper limit of 10 ppm (10mg/L). Absinthe with levels higher than this can't be sold or imported, at least here in the US. I have heard these levels can legally be higher elsewhere so it may or may not be different where you live. Absinthe that doesn't contain wormwood at all is considered a pastis.

To answer your other question, yes, thujone comes from wormwood oil extract.
aduial_eternal 19th-Jan-2013 08:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, me too! I think going to the get-together and saying "the dog ate my cake" would have been the grown up version of "the dog ate my homework". A little bit embarassing!
I was mostly glad that he was ok though. :-)
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smittenlilly 6th-Feb-2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
I had no idea this stuff was illegal in the US :P
rachelpage 11th-Nov-2014 01:46 pm (UTC)
What a great idea. This sounds really good.
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