When I first looked at the We Should Cocoa challenge for this month, organised by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot, which is for something with a cocktail theme, I knew straight away what I would like to make.
We developed a taste for margaritas when we were on holiday in America a few years ago. We spent three nights in Las Vegas (three nights is more than enough for anyone I think!) and although it was the first week in October it was baking hot.
One very sultry afternoon, the Strip was heaving with perspiring tourists and we were getting tired and suffering from sensory overload. Las Vegas is that kind of place. Too much gosh factor for my little country girl’s brain to take in. So we dived into the nearest bar, which happened to be Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
We tasted our first margaritas and from that moment we were hooked. We spent the rest of the holiday sampling margaritas at every opportunity. Everybody does them and they’re all different. A bit like a sherry trifle !!
When we got home we did some intensive research to find the perfect margarita recipe and Jimmy Buffet’s turned out to be the one we liked the most. We even managed to get a set of those rather naff cactus stem margarita glasses to serve them in !! Believe me, when you get home from work, you’ve had a really bad day, it’s cold and raining, there’s nothing exciting for dinner and you desperately need a boost, there’s nothing beats a margarita to do just that. My theory is it’s the limes !! The high zing factor of the cocktail puts the sparkle back into a Tuesday evening and even makes sausage and mash look interesting !!
I didn’t have to look far for a recipe combining chocolate and margaritas. In Nigella’s book “Kitchen” she has “flourless chocolate lime cake with margarita cream”.
This is another recipe for a flourless chocolate torte kind of cake. It’s also gluten free if you use the right kind of baking powder (or cream of tartar and bicarb instead). It was easy to make and for some reason Lulu got very excited. Maybe she associates the smell of lime juice with a very pleasant evening and the possibility of a left-over sausage – who knows what goes on in a dog’s mind ??!!
I had trouble deciding whether the cake was cooked, as you can tell from the number of holes poked in the top. In the end I took it out of the oven when the maximum baking time was up, even though my tester was still coming out of the cake with mixture stuck to it. I reasoned that it was meant to be a moist cake and I didn’t want it to be too dry.
The cake is served with a margarita cream, made by whisking together double cream, icing sugar, tequila, triple sec and lime juice.
The whole thing was divine. The cake was beautifully moist with just the right amount of chocolate and a hint of lime. The cream was light, fluffy and fragrant. It made a fabulous dessert to serve to our guests.
The cake itself is now my joint favourite of its type. I have made several flourless chocolate tortes and some are far too rich and intensely chocolatey for my taste. This one is just right. (My other favourite is the Linda Collister recipe which I wrote about here.)
The interesting thing is, I don’t cook that many of Nigella’s recipes but I often go back to them over and over again. This is going to be one of those I think. I followed it to the letter and you can see it here.