Dessert: Diplomatico (Chocolate, Rum and Coffee Cake)

posted by ashleyd 03-07-102 4:14 AM

Diplomatico (Chocolate, Rum and Coffee Cake)
Serves 6-8

5 tbsp rum
1 lb Madeira (or pound) cake
1/2 pint strong espresso coffee
4 eggs, separated
5 tsp sugar
1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
5 tbsp water
6 oz plain chocolate

For the topping
4 oz plain chocolate
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp whipping cream

Moisten a piece of cheesecloth with water and use it to line a cake tin (see below) so it extends beyond the tin and can be used to cover the cake later. Mix the rum, coffee, sugar and water in medium sized bowl. Slice the Madeira cake into 1/4" thick slices.

One slice at a time dip the cake in the coffee and rum mixture and then use to line the cake tin, entirely covering its bottom and sides. Leave no gaps and patch if necessary with small pieces. Do not leave the slice in the coffee mixture for any length of time or else it will become soggy and fall apart when you try to handle it.

Beat the egg yolks with the teaspoon of caster sugar until they turn pale yellow. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in a double boiler and then pour it, a little at a time, over the yolks, mixing rapidly, until all the chocolate has been thoroughly amalgamated.

Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Mix a little of the white into the chocolate mixture before folding the remainder in gently so as not to collapse it. Spoon this chocolate mousse mixture into the cake lined tin and level the top with a spatula. Cover with more slices of soaked cake and then fold the cheesecloth over the top and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.

Take the cake out of the refrigerator, take the cheesecloth from the top and invert the tin over a platter, shaking if necessary to loosen the cake. Pull off the remaining cheesecloth.

For the topping melt the chocolate pieces with the butter in a double boiler. Stir in the cream then spread it over the top and sides of the Diplomatico. Refrigerate for an hour or so until the chocolate hardens. Top with fresh berries, nuts or candied fruit

Comment: Use ready-made Madeira cake and don't worry too much about exact measurements - a tablespoon of rum less, an ounce more of chocolate, an egg either way make very little difference. The shape of the cake will be determined by the size of your tin. Use either a 9"x9" one for a flat cake, single layer, or a small loaf tin, in which case you can fit a middle layer of cake separating two lots of mousse.
You can substitute 1/2 pint of whipping cream whisked with a teaspoon of caster sugar for the chocolate topping if that is your particular weakness. This is a very rewarding cake and very simple to make (once you get the soaking process right) and is the only coffee dessert I have ever enjoyed - in the words of a well known cartoon character "Itths dethspiccable". The untopped cake will keep in its cheesecloth in the fridge for up to a week.

This is an Italian chocolate version of the British Diplomat Pudding (also known by the French as Diplomate)

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