I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve last posted here on Cassie’s Kitchen! It’s been pretty hectic over the past few weeks (months?) and my poor kitchen and blog have been sadly neglected. But I’m back, and I apologize profusely for keeping you from this decadent Chocolate Brandy Cake recipe because we have so many things to celebrate and what’s better to celebrate with than Chocolate Cake! Well..Chocolate Brandy Cake!
I have so much news, I don’t even know where to start! (Deep breath…) Okay, first I had a pretttttty big birthday. At least it seemed pretty big to me…I entered into my 3rd decade on this planet…eek!! I love birthdays, any reason to bake glorious layer cakes and boozy cupcakes is okay by me…that is…as long as they’re not my own. For some reason I try to avoid my birthday at all costs. Possibly because I was born on St. Patricks Day, which was a glorious day to celebrate when I turned 21 (I actually did so in Dublin – who am
was I?), but now that I’m 30 (double eek!), the idea of being surrounded by drunken obnoxious people in overcrowded bars is nauseating. So the last few years I’ve decided to escape the city and celebrate my birthday anywhere but NYC. Since this birthday happened to be a big one, my boyfriend, Jordan, and I decided to take a trip first to Austin for SXSW (so I could surround myself with drunken, obnoxious people in crowded music venues…hm..), and then to Costa Rica.
My birthday was spent with some of my favorite people, including Jordan (obviously), his best friend Steve and his very talented girlfriend, Miss Katie from Butterlust, who generously baked a fabulous mini chocolate cake for me (thank you Katie!). I also was able to see two of my closest friends, Catherine and Cordelia, whom I’ve known since my first decade on earth! I couldn’t have asked for a better, low-key birthday. To top it off, the birthday week was just starting as we continued with a trip to Costa Rica! Pura Vida!
Five years ago, Jordan and I went on our first vacation together to Costa Rica, and we were excited to go back to relive the amazing time we had there. I still look back and think it to be one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. Jordan was the perfect travel companion, we got along so well and had the same exact travel style (mostly relaxation, a little bit of adventure, some sight-seeing, and a lot of time spent at cafes, bars and restaurants.) We returned to the same hotel we had stayed at on our previous trip, Banana Azul, which was even better than we had remembered.
Little did I know, the first day we arrived in Puerto Viejo, Jordan had a surprise waiting for me. He suggested we bike to Punta Uva, a popular beach in Puerto Viejo, and then hike the cliff next to the beach to the serene and secluded beach we knew was on the other side. This was our favorite spot when we visited last, and for years to come Jordan and I would send each other pictures of the beach anytime the weather was bad, we had a rough day, or because we knew the other needed a pick-me-up. When we climbed down the cliff and the brush opened up to crystal blue water and white sand, Jordan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I couldn’t have been happier, and we celebrated with a bottle of champagne overlooking the most beautiful blue water on a perfect warm day. We enjoyed the rest of the week celebrating, drinking
far too much lots of bubbly, eating fresh, local seafood and relaxing beach side.
When we returned to NYC, we didn’t even bother unpacking, because we moved to Brooklyn 2 weeks later! Phew! I’m seriously exhausted even typing all this.
Now that we’re fully settled into our new hood, I’m hoping to get back on the saddle and start blogging again. I hope you’ll forgive me for my absence, but I hope you caught up on recipes in the archive. And now can we talk about cake already?
This cake really doesn’t need much of an explanation. It’s rich, decadent, and intensely chocolate. The prunes soaked in liquor adds an elegance to the chocolate making this cake refined and almost luxurious. It’s perfect for a birthday celebration, Memorial Day party, Christmas dinner, or seriously, just because. Yes, it is a little involved, but I can tell you it’s ever so worth it. Because there are always reasons to celebrate, especially when chocolate is involved.
Ingredients For the cake: For the glaze: Recipe For the cake: For the glaze: Cake will keep for 1 day at room temperature, or 3 days in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Celebratory Chocolate Brandy Cake
For the cake:
For the glaze:
For the cake:
For the glaze: