No, this cake does not have tiger blood in it and is not related to Charlie Sheen (or any of his cooking methods).
I can’t get enough of Alice Medrich lately and I’ve had this cake in my head for years. It’s from her book Bittersweet, a cook book that I’m fond of as it was the catalyst for my love of baking.
I’ve wanted to try this recipe since I bought the book, but I think I was too intimidated by the ingredients white pepper and olive oil (at the time I was used to things that you heat in a microwave and called it a meal).
You make your batter and then you take a portion of it and add the cocoa mixture so you can do your layers. This is supposed to be self-marbleizing, but mine came out more as a gentle wave, but I didn’t split my layers as evenly as I would have liked to.
The cake comes out moist and the chocolate is deep and rich. Because this cake is olive oil based, you need to use a flavourful one (and probably a somewhat expensive one). It doesn’t help that the recipe calls for a cup of this liquid gold. I ran out of my good stuff and substituted half with some EVOO from Whole Foods. You can taste the olive oil flavour, so try to use something decent. There’s only a hint of white pepper in this and I was wasn’t too sure if I’d add 1/4 teaspoon more next time, but I think that the 1/2 teaspoon gives just the right amount of heat and doesn’t overpower. It’s like a little tickle instead of a slap in the face.
If you do make this cake, please please please try it toasted the next day. It was Medrich’s recommendation and I’m glad I followed it. It gives the cake a much different character. I will pretty much be eating this cake for breakfast until it runs out.by