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Feb 19, 2008 04:25 PM

Oscar menu: "oil"-filled bundt cake?

So, we're having a theme Oscar party this weekend, and I want to make a There Will Be Blood cake. The idea is to make a sand-colored bundt cake and fill the cavity with a black chocolate pudding. And maybe put a chocolate oil derrick on top.

Can anyone suggest ideas on:

1) Best coloring agents for the pudding? I will likely attempt homemade pudding, rather than the instant stuff. So far I've got lots o' food coloring as my top option, but I'd love some more creative/natural options (does squid ink taste squiddy?).

2) Preventing the cake from getting soggy. I'll probably bake the cake the night before and fill the cavity as close to party time as possible, but I want to avoid soggy cake mush come the end of the ceremonies. Maybe a high-sugar glaze on the inside of the tube?

Thanks, all!

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  1. I think the best way to keep the filling dark is (1) using dark chocolate and (2) not adding milk.

    Instead of using milk, you could use olive oil and eggs (a la olive oil chocolate mousse), which instead of diluting the natural chocolate color will make it nice and dark -- and also will increase the gleam factor, making it more slick and oil-like. Plus, it's delicious.

    Squid ink does taste like seafood to me and I would not advise adding it to a dessert.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Adrienne

      I love this idea! I've never heard of doing a mousse with olive oil (I'm a straight heavy cream sort of girl) - do you have a favorite recipe?

      1. re: leeniz

        Yes I do! This is my mousse recipe -- below. I know that right before I mix in the whites the mixture is very slick and dark, and if I were you I might just use this recipe, add a little extra olive oil and a little extra sugar and definitely a good splash of liquer, and SKIP the egg white addition. It would be very strong in chocolate flavor, but perfect for chocolate lovers -- I would recommend doing this with a relatively mild cake base if possible.

        11 ounces bittersweet (I use nestle's bittersweet chips) chocolate
        8 large eggs, separated
        3/4 cup sugar
        1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
        A splash of liquer, often chambord... I vary it.
        1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate over low heat. Cool slightly. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until light. Whisk in olive oil, brandy and melted chocolate.
        2. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, whisking until stiff but not dry.
        3. Fold whites into chocolate mixture so that no white streaks remain. Spoon into an 8- or 10-cup serving bowl or divide among 8 or 10 dessert cups or glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

        1. re: Adrienne

          Oh man. I am trying a mini-batch tonight. I found a very similar variation online (proportionately a little more oil, a little less chocolate) that makes 4 servings, I'm thinking I'll halve that and see what happens. Luckily I have a few days and two whole chocolate cupboards, so I can experiment a little :)

          1. re: leeniz

            I'm thinking whiskey instead of liqueur, for greater movie-authenticity. Not sure it would taste as good, though.

            1. re: Helen F

              Well. Sad news. I don't know if it was the chocolate I used (Trader Joe's Bittersweet Pound Plus bar) or the liquor or what, but this did not work out so well... The taste was fine but not amazing, and the color is really no darker than your average chocolate pudding. It was such a lovely thought, though...
              Tonight i'm experimenting with plain ol' artificial food coloring. And I still need to find a solution to my potential sogginess problem.

              1. re: leeniz

                A quick easy way to avoid it would be to pour chocolate ganache down the center to coat the cake.

                1. re: leeniz

                  May I see the recipe you used? Also, what kind of liquor did you add?

                  Just wondering 'cause I like my recipe so much that I basically can't make it or I'll eat the whole thing.

                  1. re: Adrienne

                    I'm sure the problem is my execution and not your recipe (I always hate it when people change my recipe and then tell me it's not good). Because I only wanted a small test batch, I used:

                    100g bittersweet chocolate
                    2 egg yolks
                    1/2 cup sugar
                    1/4 + 1/8 cup olive oil (not E/V, likely part of the problem)
                    1 tsp espresso powder in 1 tsp water
                    ~2 Tbsp Trader Joe's brand orange liquor, similar to cointreau

                    The liquor left the mousse with a general "boozy" taste but not a distinct orange flavor, and combined with the strong oil there was a mildly bitter off-taste I didn't care for. I did give it to some less discerning guys who thought it was perfectly delicious, though.

                    The texture was beautiful - very rich and oily at room temp, it would have been great. But the color was really just a chocolate brown, which makes it imperfect.

                    I think I will use a regular cooked pudding with a mixture of blue/red food coloring, and maybe float a 1/2 tsp of canola oil on the top once it sets just to give it a slick appearance.

                    Thanks so much for the advice and the recipe, though!!

                    1. re: leeniz

                      I think your plan sounds like it will work well -- definitely post pics and let us know how it goes!

      2. It would be really cool if you could make a "Red Velvet Molten Lava Cake" or individual lava cakes dyed red...

        1. Your party sounds fun--I would love to see the rest of your menu. I don't know if a tunnel of fudge cake would be "sand" colored or sufficiently oozy, but here's a recent'ish thread on that, in case it helps

          I agree with Adrienne--squid ink tastes faintly fishy to me.


          6 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Thanks! We try to do a theme Oscar party every year, and I keep getting myself into trouble with increasingly complicated desserts :)

            This year's theme menu:
            Oil Cake & Milkshakes (There Will be Blood)
            Dill pickles and orange tic tacs (Juno)
            Spiced peanuts (No Country For Old Men)
            "Army Ammo" Chocolate bars (Atonement)
            Baguette sandwich station (Michael Clayton)

            There'll be other foodstuffs, of course, but those are the fun ones...

            1. re: leeniz

              Thanks for these great suggestions! I was having a hard time figuring out how to associate recipes with some of these films. I'm going to be making a There Will Be Blood Orange Roast Pork Loin and maybe some meat pies in honor of Sweeney Todd!

              1. re: geobearnb

                Meat pies are a great idea! Maybe I'll sneak those in if I find the menu lacking...

                Epicurious has some other fantastic ideas for inspiration:

              2. re: leeniz

                Great ideas. Thanks for sharing them.
                My wife and I have hosted a similarly themed party for many years. This year has been a bit more difficult than others for food or drink movie related ideas. The most challenging has been Michael Clayton because, in part, it is the only movie we won't have seen. So, can you share the connection between your sandwiches and the movie? I would be most appreciative if you would. Thanks.

                1. re: bananna slug

                  In truth, I haven't seen it yet either, although the DVD is waiting for me at home for tonight. I did ask a friend who'd seen it if there was a food associated with the movie and he immediately said "YES. French bread." It's also featured on the epicurious inspiration menu for the movie (see link one post above), so I think it's a good gamble. I'll try to post an update after I've watched the DVD...

                2. re: leeniz

                  I LOVED the movie juno...but where are the dill pickles in this movie?? (lol ive seen it 4 times...sad i know.) tic tacs are a must, and bleeker eats a hot pocket. bacos are also mentioned (gag) as are i think a pretzel and lamb kabob (pregnancy craving). lol soup could be funny since several references are made to in lipton landing??? :) oh and dont forget the blue slurpys sunny d and licorie rope nooses!

              3. FYI - I have colored chocolate frosting several times to black and it doesn't take too much coloring if it is dark chocolate. I use gel. My son's favorite color is black, so it has come up a few times. I think it would work fine in a dark chocolate pudding.

                1. Hershey's "special dark" cocoa is virtually black in color. I don't like the flavor of it so much, though.