So as early 21st century lowbrow foodies, we came to love America's Test Kitchen and its quirky founder Chris Kimble with frequent viewings of both the ATK and Cooks Country cooking shows on PBS. Of course we love Bridget and Julia and Adam and Jack (we saw him in person in a Bryn Mawr bookstore cookbook signing before the demise of most chain bookstores almost everywhere!) and respect the work of ATK in fool proofing the best approaches to classic recipes and even purchased some of their magazines and cookbooks over the years. So we were saddened to hear of the departure of CK from the franchise in 2016, but although there seemed to be a few bumps in the road in his departure path (including a now ongoing lawsuit by ATK against CK), for us it wasn't a total tragedy that he decided to create a new venue Milk Street and turn the page. We got the first free issue of the associated magazine, but having entered the Cookbooks Anonymous program to reduce cookbook and food mag purchases to an absolute minimum, we passed reluctantly on the subscription. Nonetheless, we subscribed to his free email newsletter and a couple days before a rare Christmas season Sunday evening open house of some of our neighbors in our 8 unit townhome building, an email dessert recipe story arrived giving bob a reason to give it a try (since ms_ani is not a dessert person requiring a different target testing audience).
Chocolate prune rum cake? Sounds a bit seasonal, and maybe even a tad more healthy, prunes instead of fat, no? And bob is a chocoholic, with a penchant for incorporating hard liqueur in his desserts, and a residual dependency on prune yogurt from many summers in Italy where the product is universally accessible, so this combo punched all the right buttons in bob's food radar hardware. Not to mention that we had some St Lucian dark rum in our alcohol stash from a Caribbean vacation last century, so maybe it was about time to use it in something, anything.
It's a springform pan cake, so our partiality towards cheesecakes was also in play here. This time we cut our parchment circle large so our gutter-rim pan could clamp down on it instead of fitting the circle into the inside of the bottom. There were some voices that counseled us against using a guest audience as guinea pigs for a never-before-tried recipe, but we are bold thinkers in the kitchen and never fear defeat. Which occasionally strikes, but is never fatal. Better to aim high and fall short than live life always cautiously, no?
This was a definite success story. Our first flourless cake within recent memory (not very meaningful statement at dr bob's age) and so easy! Of course easier if done with a cooking partner, which is how our team executed this recipe. The only machine requirements are the hand mixer for the egg yolk and sugar zabaione and the stand mixer for achieving stiff egg white peaks.