Since my early baking days, even before I ventured into the gluten-free world, I loved Dorie Greenspan. She is able to mix great skills, curiosity for the culinary world, flavors and simplicity with graciousness. I own one of her books, Baking from my home to yours, and during the years I have checked out many more from the library.
Among her recipes I have always been interested in her Chocolate Armagnac Cake. The story behind it reminds me of my brief experience in a local restaurant, as a baker. When you are working in a kitchen, hierarchy is very important and its respect implicit. Creativity is left to your chef.
Dorie Greenspan was the apprentice pastry chef at one of the trendiest restaurants in New York City at the time. She was bored making the same two desserts over and over every day so she tweaked this cake slightly and sent it out for service. “I was fired .. for ‘creative insubordination’ — how could I have known how angry everyone would be when, without mentioning it, I did away with the rum-soaked raisins in the chocolate cake and replaced them with Armagnac-soaked prunes!”
As a tribute to Dorie Greenspan, I decided to make the gluten-free version of this cake. I had leftover prunes from our delicious stovetop tzimmes from Rosh Hashanah, and I still had some bourbon from the Crabapple Bundt Cake. So I switched Armagnac with Bourbon, and I made this delicious version as a symbol creative assertiveness.