2013/02/18

The post in which I try not to be annoyed (TwD BwJ: Boca Negra)

As I sit here writing this post, I find that I am still too aggravated by Sunday night's season finale of Downton Abbey to fully concentrate.

Yes, I had already read the spoilers and knew how it was going to end. I thought I went in prepared.

However, the way they saved all the drama for the very end and didn't allow anyone to have any reactions. Does this mean that the next season is going to start back up with Mary towing around a one year old, leaving us bereft of the opportunity to "mourn" with the family? Are we just supposed to pretend it didn't happen?

Seriously, that is annoying stuff.


Cliffhangers, I don't mind. Ridiculous endings with no opportunity for closure, I do mind.

This has left a black mark on my love for Downton Abbey. I suppose I will be over it by January 2014 when the series decides to make its way back to the United States for Season 4 - but just barely.

I have a strong feeling that Downton Abbey support groups will soon start popping up across the land.

Let's move on to things that are not annoying. Or frustratingly unfulfilling. Things that allow closure - like Boca Negra - "black mouth" cake.


I am going to have confess this on the front end, chocolate isn't really my thing. I like it okay, as long as it has lots of friends that aren't chocolate. Caramel, lemon, fruit, nuts. If you stuck a piece of chocolate cake and a lemon meringue pie in front of me, the lemon pie would win every time. I guess that makes me one of THOSE people... (Do I have to give up my "female card"?)

Needless to say, I was a little bit ambivalent about making a rich chocolatey & fudgy dessert. Fortunately, it brought a white chocolate cream and raspberry coulis along for the ride to help it redeem itself. Even if I wasn't thrilled, I knew there there were other chocolate lovers in the house who flip over backwards (figuratively, of course) to see this pop up on a plate.


Fortunately, this dessert did not give me any reason to dislike it - I followed Mardi's advice and made all of the components in the food processor. Crazy easy. I also totally stole her idea of using Cointreau - and used Chambord to replace the Bourbon in the vanilla cream (so good).

There was no baking drama - the cake baked up beautifully and formed a "skin on top" just like it was supposed to. At this point, there were only two things that I was stressed about 1) would the vanilla cream set up (I made it the morning I planned on serving the dessert) and 2) would the cake flip in one piece?


Apparently, a few hours in the snow bank on the back deck is just as good as 24 hours in the refrigerator - the vanilla cream totally set up like it was supposed to. More importantly, the cake gods were smiling on me - no flipping issues.


The end result was an elegant dessert that is sure to please the chocolate lover in your life.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Speaking of plans coming together, Culinary Kid and I had the unexpected treat of meeting a fellow TwD'er this weekend - Tammy, from Bean & Pie. Somehow, the proverbial stars lined up just right and we were able to meet over a cup of coffee. She was in town for hockey, so I knew she had to be "good folk" - I was right...

I enjoyed the opportunity to put a face to the "writing".


This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie. The recipe for Boca Negra can be found on the site of this week's host: Cathy of A Frederick Food Garden or over here on the Serious Eats website.

Peace out.

33 comments:

  1. That is so cool to meet another TwDer! Love your snow and mis en place.

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  2. This was crazy easy! Loved it. Man.. lemon or chocolate - my two favorites. Hard decision... your Boca looks fabulous! I had the opportunity to meet Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge (Wok Wednesdays group) this weekend! So stoked. It would be great to meet other TWDer's. :)

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  3. We are only three episodes in to Downton, although I already know about the event you refer to (though don't know how or why it occurs). I am already annoyed that Lord Grantham was such a schmuck with the family fortune and now Mary is begging all and sundry for cash. I loved the Boca Negra, but skipped the white chocolate cream - I felt it was way enough without it, and I was right. My peeps called this dessert Freddie after a man at work who is nicknamed Freddie - 'cause he's rich and heavy. I don't make this stuff up - you'll have to ask them.

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  4. Looks SO good Cher!!! And yes, we wait one year for 6 or so episodes of Downton and they leave us hanging? GAH!!!

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  5. I think I should´ve used the processor, those who did got a more solid cake in the end. Mine was a puddle, but it tasted great. Chambord, I haven´t used it in years, such a great idea Cher! The cake is perfect, too bad it can´t quite make up for Downtown Abbey!

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  6. I had issues, but it still tasted amazing! Yours looks perfect, Cher!

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  7. Absolutely gorgeous photos, Cher! First of all, I totally agree about Downton and was so upset that I was glad I had some chocolate from this cake for comfort. Secondly, how cool that you got to met a TwDer! And last, but not least, your cake turned out perfectly. I love how you used Nemo to your benefit. :)

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  8. Love your outdoor refrigerator -- to me, that is one of the bonuses of winter. (I like to put cookie sheets on the back porch to let them cool down quickly between batches during holiday baking season.)

    RE: Downton. In today's NYT, Julian Fellowes says that the next season of Downton is going to pick up six months after this one concluded.

    Your cake looks great. I'm a complete chocolate fan, but this cake was almost too much even for me. My kid loved it, though.

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  9. I'm impressed, Cher. I somehow had imagined this to be a very sophisticated and complicated dessert but you seem to have navigated it with ease. I think it's so cool how much confidence and skill we've gained over the past few years.

    I haven't watched the whole episode of Downton Abbey yet, so will hold off on commenting on that!

    How fun that you got to meet a fellow blogger!

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  10. I like chocolate, but this was too much. Mostly it was the booze, though. I should have followed Mardi's lead too and used something fruity. Yours looks terrific, Cher!

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  11. Your pictures are beautiful, and your cake turned out perfectly.
    I love the sauce served with, it should contrast nicely with the strength of the chocolate! well done!

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  12. Cher, of course, your snowbank was a terrific idea - I love that picture. And your Boca Negra with the white chocolate cream and raspberry coulis looks absolutely decadent - so nice to see and read that you enjoyed this wonderful cake as much as we did.
    Have a great Tuesday!

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  13. Your cake was beautiful! I hadn't read the spoilers on Downton but I wasn't too surprised. It was a bit abrupt though but bad news seems to follow them. stiff upper lip and all.

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  14. I had misread something on facebook and thought they were going to do something to Carson, so I didn't see it coming. But, the last 10 minutes - I thought it was sort of a cheap shot, him being so overjoyed and then, splat. (Only later did I read the actor wanted off the show.) Not sure my interest will survive for 10 1/2 months, but, we'll see. Your cake turned out just gorgeous. (I use nature's refrigerator, too. ;)

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  15. I had to skip this week's assignment, but I'm glad you were able to get this one together!

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  16. Cher, absolutely love your beautiful cake. Snow does come in handy sometimes, especially if a second fridge is in order. Feel your pain over Downton Abbey. Have the feeling that the actor playing Matthew, didn't bank on such a loyal audience, or such an international success of the series. Too bad we have to wait a year, to find out where it goes in the future.

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  17. Glad you have chocolate lovers in your life! This cake was over the top chocolaty!!! I loved it and the sauce. Your cake looks great with the coulis. I like all your pics; well done! Love your outdoor fridge!! :)

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  18. So we bought Downton on DVD and watched the finale a couple weeks ago, I am still recovering. I had been telling people to just watch up until they were happy with their baby and then turn it off and pretend that's how the whole series ended. Not sure I can keep watching, but like you said, I will probably change my tune by then.

    The raspberries sound delicious with this. I bet it was perfect. I guess I needed some snow to get my cream to set up. Not sure I would want to deal with the snow after that though. ;)

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  19. I love the idea of an outdoor frig!. Your cake looks great. I am one of the few that has not watched Downtown Abbey . I am planning a marathon of watching so I can understand what its all about.

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  20. I am a season behind on Downton- could not read your full commentary! Love the idea of the rasperry coulis.

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  21. Oh Cher, I’m still mourning over the loss of Lady Sybil…I knew nothing when I went into the season finale! I just can’t believe the ending!! My daughter sent me this yesterday.http://theclicker.today.com/_news/2013/02/18/17005383-downton-creator-i-had-to-kill-him-off?
    Glad to see your cake was not a disappointment! It looks beautiful!! I’m a chocolate lover and thought this cake was heaven! I ate a piece while watching Downtown!!

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  22. I want to thank superb formula. I simply caused it to be also it sampled wonderful: -)
    Excellent weblog along with dessert quality recipes personally in case you are curious.
    I have a blog with cake recipes myself if you are interested. You can find it at http://recipes-for-food.com/

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  23. OMG, the snow bank. Laughing so hard right now! The DA ending completely undid me! Those tragic English folks. Must it be so dramatic? Lovely chocolate dessert. Now can I make this with subbing for four eggs, probably not. But still--yours looks delish!

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  24. Cher, I'm trying to decide which is more tragic: having to wait nearly a full year to get my Downton Abbey fix or you not really liking chocolate? Tough one. I'm not so sure we should be counting Matthew Crawley out just yet. This IS a soap after all... but it would be fun to see Mary a bit bereft and Edith happy for a change...

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  25. I was surprised by the ending of DA as well, even though I knew it ahead of time. It seemed very unlike the rest of the series, unusually bereft of drama. Anyhow, your cake looks awesome. I am not a chocolate lover either, but I still thought the cake came out well, and you can't beat the ease of preparation.

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  26. Cointreau sounds good! Love the outdoor refrigerator

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  27. How awesome that you chilled your cream in the snow! I love it. And I am envious of your snow! I have not yet watched season 3 of DA yet, though I have heard there is anguish over the end... I am catching up as I was slow to catch on to the DA train! And I am intrigued by your meeting up with other TWD'ers! How did you arrange that one? What fun!

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  28. Completely agree about the lack of closure on Downton Abbey. Harrumph. This was an easy cake to pull together and decadently delicious for chocolate lovers. Good idea to use the outdoor fridge.

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  29. I knew Matthew was going to die, but it still made me sad! I like your snow bank fridge photo. I've used a snow bank to chill an ice cream cylinder. Works very well in single digit temps. : )
    -Lisa

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  30. Ha! I love your outdoor refrigerator. How creative! This cake was perfect for me in so many ways. Typical female... all I needed was ice cream and I would have been all set! Matthew will be mourned and we will gain weight.

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  31. Your photos look utterly incredible my friend, I would eat this cake very fast :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  32. I had successfully avoided ALL spoilers, so had no clue. Shocking! The only funny thing was that the "big event" happened and, thinking it was a 2 hour show, we paused (the magic of watching live with Tivo) while I went to walk the dog. Came back and the only thing left was the credits. Like you, I assumed there was more coming. I was crushed when there wasn't.
    I was a BAD valentine. I did not make this, though Howard would have LOVED this one. I'll have to make it another time. The way you describe it, he'd be flipping too. (I, like you, am not a chocoholic.)

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  33. I was so nervous watching the whole episode because I was pretty sure I knew something bad was going to happen, but I had avoided reading too much... My MIL had no idea, and was quite shocked at the ending. I'm actually OK with it ending so suddenly - I wasn't up for the whole "mourning" thing at that point.

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