Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Czech Chocolate Rum Bomb Cake

Sometimes one's body calls far a little mid-week chocolate bliss. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.

I wanted something new. I started flipping through my single Czech cookbook (most Czech recipes come from my in-laws or, more frequently, from cooking magazines, which is for better or worse also the primary source of my Czech language learning.) I searched for something decadent. Yes, I'm using decadent to describe chocolate. I know it's overused, but really, this is exactly what I was looking for. What's more decadent than chocolate cake soaked in rum?

One thing I should mention is that I'm an English teacher. This allows me a certain insight really (or, at least, I think I'm getting some insight.) My job is basically to inspire and facilitate conversation. Anything that gets them talking is fair game. Sure, sometimes I learn secrets (and, oh, how I do love a good secret!) But more importantly, since my students are from all backgrounds, ages, and social statues, I believe I have a fairly good cross-section from which to formulate a 'general Czech opinion.'

Food and drink is a common topic in my lessons. When asked what beverages Czech Republic is well-known for BESIDES BEER, the answers focus on Slivovice (plum brandy), Bekerovka, Kofola, and then rum. Rum? Really? Yes. It's called Tuzemák and is fairly sweet (for a detailed review, see Liquorature's tasting notes.)

So, back to the cake. Paging through my book, a recipe turned up titled 'Rum Bomb.' Sure enough, there was chocolate in it. And a quarter cup of rum. I was sold.


Czech cakes tend to be a bit less sweet than American and (I'm told) British ones. My British colleague once confessed that Czech baking has little appeal for him. When he wants cake, he wants it so sweet his teeth fall out (he then added that his Czech wife adds plain yogurt on anything he bakes, to bring it down a notch.)

This recipe is no exception. There is an understated sweetness, and at first, the rum was incredibly prominent. But after a day of mellowing out a bit it all blended together exceptionally well. 

The extra bonus is that this bodily chocolate craving came just in time for Kitchen Corners April Cook Off!
Be sure to check out Kitchen Corners on April 25th when a chocolicious winner will be declared!

Continue to Recipe....

Recipe: Czech Chocolate Rum Bomb
Serves 10 Time 2 hours
Eat with a sweet Czech wine like Muscat or Tramín (Gewürztraminer)

4 eggs, separated
4 Tb cold water
1/3 cup (80g) sugar
2/3 cup (80g) flour
1/3 cup (40g) potato starch (or cornstarch or arrowroot)
2 Tb cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tb rum

1 cup (240ml) whipping cream
1 Tb rum
20g sugar
1 Tb cocoa powder

1 cup (240ml) whipping cream
8 oz. (225g) dark chocolate pieces (70% cocoa content)

1) Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Sift together flour, starch, cocoa powder and baking powder in a medium bowl. Beat egg whites and water in a large bowl until frothy. Slowly add sugar and beat until stiff. Beat in yolks one at a time. Fold the dry flour mix into the batter until just well incorporated. Pour into a greased 9 inch round springform pan. Bake 40 minutes. (Keep an eye on it after 30 minutes, as my oven is wacky unpredictable with temperatures and it took 40 minutes for me, but let's say up to 50.)

2) While baking, make the frosting. Heat the cream on the stovetop, when quite warm, add in the chocolate pieces, take off the heat and whisk until smooth. Stick in the fridge for 2 hours, or freezer for 30 minutes.

3) While cooling the cake, whip together the cream with the sugar until somewhat firm. Add in the rum and cocoa powder and finishing whipping together. Stick in fridge until you're ready to assemble.

4) When cake has cooled take a long sharp knife and slice into 3 layers. They will be a bit thin, but if my left-handed grip can do it, anyone can. Sprinkle each layer with 1 Tb of rum each. Spread half the cream over the bottom layer, put the middle layer on top, and spread the rest of the cream. Place the top layer on and carefully frost the whole thing with the chocolate frosting.

The cream will probably ooze out and mix with frosting, but it didn't bother me any. And tasted just fine in the end! Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavours come together a bit and firm the cream up between the layers.

Dobrou Chut'/ Enjoy.
-- Jo


  1. i'd like to try this. sounds good.

  2. It's certainly a different country from what I remember - yum. There used to be a dessert called "rumovy punch" - and that was all.
    Tlacenka rules - my American wife still won't touch it, though I've always found samples of it in the States that were superior to what was sold in former Czechoslovakia. Great blog, I'll be back!

    P.S. Your observations about "Dobry denning" really cracked me up!

  3. Hi Martin,
    I've never tried tlacenka from a czech shop, but I can imagine that some specialty american butchers might do a pretty nice job of it. You'll have to bring that american wife to a zabijačka and see if that'll inspire some tlačenka bravery! It did the trick for me! Glad to hear from a czech-in-america!


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