warm chocolate toffee cake
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Warm Chocolate Toffee Cake
Gwen Ashley Walters
April, 2012, Page 361
Photo by Richard Maack
Most of the desserts at Roka Akor, an upscale Japanese tavern specializing in robata grilling and sparkling-fresh sushi, match the sleek decor and cuisine – think banana cake with warm ginger chocolate sauce or fresh mango and vanilla cake with toasted rice ice cream. There’s only one outlier: warm chocolate toffee cake ($12).
It happens to be the best-selling dessert. That’s not surprising, considering this comforting concoction pairs three flavors that were tailor-made for each other: chocolate, peanut butter and caramel. It also juxtaposes temperature (warm cake and cold ice cream) and texture (dense cake, smooth ice cream and crunchy peanuts).
Executive Pastry Chef Barbara Boger modestly says, “It’s just a basic fudgy cake,” but she spent hours tweaking the recipe, trying different chocolates and ratios of eggs, sugar, butter and flour, and baking it a mere 12 minutes to achieve an intense, fudge-like texture. A scoop of sublime peanut butter ice cream provides a final-stage deliciousness booster. “We use just the [egg] yolks for more richness,” Boger says.
The trickiest part of the dessert is roasting the peanuts in a caramel sauce for the toffee without burning them. “Caramelized peanuts – that’s a fun one,” she says. “It’s difficult to make as dark [brown] as I get them.”
Her high degree of difficulty is your post-sushi godsend.
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