Caramel Rum Delirium Ice Cream Cake

Crazy Woman
Posted on 04/23/2012 by sleepwalker41

That's really its name. I cannot take credit for making it up. It's from 'Death by Chocolate: The Last Word on a Consuming Passion'.

Recipe by Marcel Desaulniers and pastry chefs John Twitchell and Don Mack.

I've made a number of things out of that book, all delightful, but nothing recently. I decided it was time to flip it open and make myself a birthday cake this year.

Caramel appears three times in this dessert: in the hazelnut pralines studding the double mocha ice cream, the golden sugar garnish, and blended into the cake batter itself.

The instructions in this book may seem psychotically detailed at times, but there is method to the madness. It actually puts desserts like this within the reach of home cooks. And it's like any other big project: study the instructions and break it down into smaller jobs. Make a timeline. I made the golden sugar garnish, hazelnut praline and mocha rum sauce on Wednesday. Skipped Thursday (too busy). Made the ice cream Friday. Made the cake Saturday morning, and did the assembly that evening. Did the ganache coating Sunday morning, and Sunday evening sliced and enjoyed.

The one solitary equipment item I did not have in the house: the red toothpick! I have probably 7000 tan toothpics, but no red ones. I made do with a white plastic coffee stirrer to test the cake for doneness. Should there be any tan batter clinging to it, I'd be able to see it.

As for how it tasted? Sublime. It's about the contrasts: brittle-crunchy/silky creamy, light & melty/dense, bitter/sweet... My husband and I were delirious all right, but not from the rum (there really isn't that much in this cake). Rather from the sheer richness and intense chocolaty-mocha-burnt sugariness of it all. One slender wedge is quite definitely enough. Serve with coffee.

Here are the recipes for the cake plus all the accompaniments.

Double Mocha Madness Ice Cream

Hazelnut Pralines:

1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Double Mocha Ice Cream:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
1/4 cup brewed coffee, full strength
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup granulated sugar
5 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 325 F. Toast and skin the hazelnuts, then allow the nuts to come to room temperature. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, chop the hazelnuts into pieces 1/8 inch in size. Spread the chopped hazelnuts onto a baking sheet with sides.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the lemon juice into a 2 1/2 quart saucepan. Stir with a whisk to combine (the sugar will resemble moist sand). Caramelize the sugar 4 1/2 to 5 minutes over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to break up any lumps (the sugar will first turn clear as it liquefies, then light brown as it caramelizes). Pour the caramelized sugar over the chopped hazelnuts. Stir the mixture with a spoon, then spread it into an uneven mass about 4-5 inches in diameter. Allow the pralines to cool to room temperature. Break the pralines into uneven pieces, then place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Chop the pralines into 1/8 inch pieces. Transfer the pralines to a plastic container with a lid. Freeze until needed.

(For both the hazelnut praline and golden sugar, I used a knife for the chopping. The food processor just seemed to pulverize them)

To prepare the ice cream, heat one inch water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium high heat. Place the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates, coffee, and instant espresso powder in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap. Heat for 6 to 8 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Set aside until needed.

Heat the heavy cream, half-and-half and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring the cream to a boil.

While the cream is heating, place the egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat the eggs on high for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat on high until slightly thickened and lemon-colored, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. (At this point, the cream should be boiling. If not, adjust the mixer to low and continue to mix until the cream boils. If this is not done, the egg yolks will develop undesirable lumps.)

Pour the boiling cream into the beaten egg yolks and whisk to combine. Return to the saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the cream reaches a temperature of 185 F, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a stainless steel bowl (I strained the custard). Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Cool the mixture in an icewater bath to a temperature of 40 to 45 F, about 20 minutes.

Freeze in an ice cream freezer, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer the semifrozen ice cream to a plastic container. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the frozen, chopped pralines. Securely cover the container, then place in the freezer for several hours before serving. Serve within 3 days.

(I'd make this ice cream alone any time. I think I heard angels singing when I was licking off the ice cream maker components and spatula)

Golden Sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon lemon juice

Place sugar and lemon juice in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan. Stir with a whisk to combine (the sugar will resemble moist sand). Caramelize the sugar for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to break up any lumps (the sugar will first turn clear as it liquefies, then brown as it caramelizes). Pour the caramelized sugar onto a nonstick baking sheet, then harden in the freezer, about 4 minutes. Turn the hardened sugar out onto a cutting board, then finely chop by hand with a cook's knife. Store the golden sugar in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to use. (The sugar will keep several weeks if the container is tightly sealed.)

Mocha Rum Sauce

6 ounces unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted
3 tablespoons dark rum (I used Cruzan's Blackstrap)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the butter in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat. When melted, add the sugar, heavy cream, sifted cocoa, 2 tablespoons rum, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the instant coffee, vanilla extract, and the remaining tablespoon of rum, and stir until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

(I had a little too much for the pitcher. The only thing that kept me sipping the sauce out of that coffee cup was the fact I had just licked the pot clean)

Semisweet Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces

Heat the heavy cream, butter and sugar in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Caramel Rum Cake

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup very tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 pound (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
3 tablespoons dark rum (I used Cruzan's Blackstrap)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 F

To prepare the caramel flavoring, combine the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan and stir with a whisk to combine (the sugar will resemble moist sand). Caramelize the sugar for 5 to 6 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to break up any lumps (the sugar will first turn clear as it liquefies, then brown as it caramelizes). Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully add the heavy cream; stir to combine (the mixture will steam and boil rapidly as the cream is added). Transfer the caramel to a stainless steel bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Coat a 9- by 3-inch springform pan with with 2 teaspoons of butter. Flour the pan with 1 tablespoon of flour then shake out the excess. Set aside until needed.

Combine together in a sifter 2 cups flour, baking soda and salt. Sift onto wax paper and set aside.

Combine the brown sugar and 4 tablespoons butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on medium for 2 minutes, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cream cheese and beat on medium for 1 minute, then scrape down the bowl. Beat on high for 1 minute, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating on high for 15 seconds after adding each egg. Scrape down the bowl after each addition. After the eggs have been incorporated, beat on high for 2 minutes. Now add the caramel, dark rum and vanilla extract; beat on medium for 15 seconds and scrape down the bowl. Add the sifted flour mixture and beat on low for 20 seconds then on high for 15 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a rubber spatula and mix until the cake batter is thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes until a red toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes at room temperature. Remove the sides of the springform pan and allow to cool for an additional 60 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate the cake for 1 hour.

(Nice caramel golden batter. I took out a little extra insurance in the form of parchment paper on the bottom and sides in addition to buttering and flouring)

(Aaaaaack!! It sank in the center and was concave. Had to do some trimming and shimming and patching:)

While the cake is cooling, prepare the ice cream. It should be frozen at least an hour before assembling the cake. If the ice cream was prepared the previous day, temper (to soften but not thaw) the ice cream in the refrigerator for 45 to 60 minutes before assembling the cake.

To assemble the cake, remove the bottom of the springform pan from the cake. Keep the cake on a 10 inch plate while thoroughly washing, drying and reassembling the springform pan. Slice the cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Place the bottom layer in the springform pan, portion half the ice cream on top of the cake layer, and spread the ice cream evenly over the cake. Place the center section of the cake on top of the layer of ice cream. Portion remaining ice cream over the cake and spread evenly. Place the top portion of the cake on top of the ice cream layer and gently press down on the cake. Cover the springform pan with film wrap and freeze the cake for at least 12 hours.

(Spreading the ice cream)

(I inverted the layers so the nice smooth bottom was on the top)

When the cake has been in the freezer for 12 hours, prepare the ganache. To remove the cake from the springform pan, first remove the film wrap. Wrap a damp, hot towel around the sides of the pan (the towel should be large enough to completely wrap around and cover the sides of the pan). Hold the towel tightly around the pan for 1 minute, then release the springform and remove the cake. Return the cake to the freezer for 30 minutes.

Remove the cake from the freezer. Pour the ganache over the cake and use a cake spatula to create an even coating of ganache on both the top and sides of the cake. Return the cake to the freezer for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

To serve, cut the cake with a serrated slicer (I transferred the cake to a large cutting board...even with the hot knife, you need hard, steady pressure to cut, and sturdy base). Heat the blade of the slicer under hot running water before making each slice (and dry it thoroughly). Hold the slices at room temperature for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.

To serve as at the Trellis Restaurant, portion 3 to 4 tablespoons of Mocha Rum sauce on a 10-inch plate, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of golden sugar over the sauce, then place a slice of cake on the sauced plate. And Marcel Desaulniers' advice: 'A drying out period may be wise after consuming this immoderate dessert.' I'd say not so much because of the alcohol, but the surely ungodly amount of calories. But it is, after all, a birthday cake.

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ejia_arath03 23rd-Apr-2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
...I'm sort of just staring and drooling at this.
turple_purtle 23rd-Apr-2012 01:49 pm (UTC)

OMG that looks amazingly delicious.

minxy_baby 23rd-Apr-2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
That looks amazing!
phenomenal 23rd-Apr-2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
suede 23rd-Apr-2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
Ok, no words!
I could lick the screen over your cake pictures right now!

BTW Here's a trick someone told me, if the center of a cake sinks in the oven it means the temperature inside the oven is too low, it it blows up (is that the correct English term?) in the middle means that the temperature is too high :)
sleepwalker41 23rd-Apr-2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
'Blows up' will do, yes :)
I kind of wondered about the oven temperature (325 is what the instructions say, and that is a lower temperature than typical). Usually the instructions are spot on in the 'Death by Chocolate' books. I also wondered about the 2 minutes of beating the eggs on high...a lot of air gets incorporated into this dense cake batter. When I opened the oven to check after the hour of baking, the center was definitely not done, and I needed to give it another 10 minutes of baking. All this may have contributed to the deflated center.
_manhattan Yum23rd-Apr-2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
This looks so good. By the name I thought it was going to have Delirium beer in it.... I can settle for just rum though.
sleepwalker41 24th-Apr-2012 01:17 pm (UTC)
I've seen the Delirium Tremens a time or two but never tried it (I usually have to be talked into trying some of those Belgians :)) No beer here, just a little brown liquor and a whole lot of cream and sugar and butter!
magedragonfire 23rd-Apr-2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
Holy balls, that looks fab. I'll have to file this one away for later use, yesss.
jejun 7th-May-2012 12:19 am (UTC)
This looks delicious, and congrats for being april's winner!
Can the ice cream be made without an ice crem maker?
sleepwalker41 7th-May-2012 01:20 am (UTC)
Thank you! It was a delicious self-indulgence, so this is like winning twice :) As for the ice cream, I don't think it could be done without some kind of ice cream maker. If you just take the custard mix and freeze it, it would probably freeze solid, and you'd be unable to spread it on the cake layers.
oceandezignz 15th-May-2012 12:05 am (UTC)
Delicious. I want to try this, badly!

(Anyone else get... redirected to either an LJ-icon or a Russian blog when trying to access this? I had to google this comm to actually GET to this page!)
rob_d 15th-May-2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
Fabulous! Great to hear it was such an immense succes. I have both "Death By Chocolate" and "Desserts To Die For" as coffeetable books, I don't think I could ever find the time and patience to actually try and make one of the recipes (Although if I ever found the courage, I'd go for the Chocolate Voodoo Cake or the Autumnal Pastiche.)...

Big big kudo's!
sleepwalker41 16th-May-2012 12:43 pm (UTC)
I love Marcel Desaulniers's books, and one could even find 'Death By Chocolate calendars in the early 2000's...I was sad when they quit making those. I've made the Chocolate Espresso Fudge Cake *points to icon*, the Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Cake, and make the Best Brownies all the time. The Espresso Fudge Cake took me all day (9 hours) to make, but it was worth every minute of work. Go for it!
afmedic85 15th-May-2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
OMG...that looks amazing...
heartlessbytchh 15th-May-2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
The pics make ya wanna lick the screen. Dang, that looks scrumptious!
livejournal Caramel Rum Cake15th-May-2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
User disgruntledgrrl referenced to your post from Caramel Rum Cake saying: [...] Bake Bake Bake is in the LJ Spotlight [...]
kitanabychoice 15th-May-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
A tasty looking cake. Definitely getting filed under 'things to do relatively soon.' :D
love_spent 15th-May-2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
this looks amazing! well done
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