This recipe came together perfectly on my first run, which is pretty rare. The cake and amaretto combo is fantastic, and when it's enrobed in the chocolate, has almost the same taste and texture of a really rich fondant.
There are three steps to this recipe, which makes it a little time-consuming, but not at all difficult. And, doesn't deliciousness take time???
Chocolate Dipped, Amaretto Soaked, Pound Cake Bars
makes approx. 32 pieces
Step 1: Pound Cake
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs butter, soft (no substitutes!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cake flour
1 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 7x7" cake pan.
Cream together your butter and sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add your eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. When eggs are completely mixed in, gradually mix in flour. Finally, add your grated lemon.
Pour your batter into your cake pan, spreading evenly into the corners. Bake until lightly golden around the edges, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, approximately 15 minutes. After removing your cake from the oven, gently run a butterknife around the edges to make sure it separates from the pan, but don't remove your cake from the pan.
Take a toothpick and poke holes all over the top of the cake. Everywhere. Lots and lots of 'em.
Step 2: Liqueur Syrup
While your cake is baking, you can go ahead and start the syrup.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs corn syrup
3 Tbs water
1/2 cup Amaretto
In a small / medium saucepan, mix together the first three ingredients. Stir over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts simmering. Increase heat slightly to bring to a boil, then stop stirring and cover with a lid. Let boil, undisturbed, for 1 - 2 minutes. Now remove your syrup from the heat, take off the lid, and let cool.
When your syrup has cooled for about 10 minutes, stir in 1/2 cup of Amaretto. (Don't add it when the syrup is really hot, or your alcohol will evaporate. And I'm a big encourager of saving the alcohol, he he.)
Now go ahead and pour your syrup mixture over the top of your cake. It will come up and flood the top of your cake, but don't worry, your cake will eventually drink all of that syrup right up.
Let your cake sit to soak in all of that Amaretto-ey goodness. At least 4 hours but preferably overnight. When you are able to lift the corner of your cake and see no more syrup on the bottom of your pan, you're ready to do your dipping.
Step 3: Chocolate Dip
Turn your cake out onto a sheet of waxed paper or plastic cutting board (your cake should be about 1" thick). Trim the edges off, and then cut your cake into small pieces. I cut mine into 32 pieces, each about 3/4" x 1.5".
Melt some milk chocolate in the top of your double boiler (see how I melt mine here), making sure it is deep enough to dip and coat your cake pieces. You'll probably have to add more chocolate as you work your way through the batch. As you dip each one, set them on a sheet of waxed paper to cool and set. While your chocolate is still soft, you have the option of garnishing the tops of the bars with sprinkles, crushed/sliced almonds, or another garnish of your choice. I didn't think of this until it was too late, oops!
Once the chocolate sets, ENJOY!
This can be the basis for lots of variations - how about using coconut rum, pear liqueur, or even Kahlua with dark chocolate? Mmmmmmm....
If you try this out, or a variation thereof, let me know what you think!
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