Adapting a cake recipe -- using bittersweet chocolate instead of semisweet
I've made this cake recipe before from Fine Cooking. And it is really fantastic. http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/bo...
It's rich and mousse-like. Really good flavor. In small pieces with a little whipped cream.
I have a large amount of really good bittersweet chocolate so I didn't want to go out and buy some semisweet.
Any ideas how to adapt it? It calls for 11 oz of semisweet, 12 tbsp butter, 6 large eggs, 3/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour (only) and 1/4 cup bourbon, plus a little vanilla and salt.
If I add some brown sugar, will it throw the texture off? How much to add?
Also, have brandy but not bourbon. How do you think brandy would work in this? Otherwise, I'll get a small amount tomorrow.
You may not have to add extra sugar - it all depends on whether the chocolate you want to use is really that much less sweet than the semisweet you used last time. Regulations regarding chocolate state that bittersweet is required to contain at least 35% chocolate liquor, while semisweet may contain anywhere between 15 and 35%. So it's actually possible for a bittersweet and a semisweet to have the same percentage of chocolate liquor and the same level of sweetness.
The reality is that if you enjoy eating this bittersweet chocolate out of hand and it doesn't taste like it needs sugar to you, there's no need to add extra sugar to the recipe.
And I wouldn't use brandy in place of bourbon - they taste very different. Brandy is sweet with fruity notes; bourbon is toasty & nutty with notes of caramel & oak (IMO a much better complement to the ingredients in this cake).
I have a feeling this brand (Scharffen Berger - sp) has relatively less sugar than other brands.
The bittersweet is 70% cacao.
The semisweet in that brand is 62%
Is that enough difference or should I go with it as is?
And I'll get a little bourbon. Sounds like they are different enough to make a difference here.
What % is your bitter sweet chocolate? I would think there would be no problem with chocolate < 70% cacoa. Brandy will make up for some of the sweetness. For less sweet chocolate, depends on personal taste... I like less sweet and routinely reduce sugar in recipes by 20 to 50%