I Love Desserts

Double Down Domino Cakes


I have enjoyed playing a game called Matadors with dominoes since my student days at the Culinary Institute of America. I taught my wife, Connie, the game on a summer vacation at the beach soon after we were married. Seems as though Connie has a knack for such things, and in short order, student became master. As a poor loser I didn't take well to her mastery, until I noticed that the ivory on some of the key blocks had distinctive markings. Guess what? She still managed to beat me more often than not. Double down your dominoes with these. Diminutive Irish Cream-enhanced chocolate cakes are bathed in dark chocolate ganache and numbered with white chocolate counterfeits, but the taste is the real thing.

Makes 16 Dominos



Chocolate Irish Cream Cake
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-ounce pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus
2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces semisweet baking chocolate; coarsely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup Baileys Original Irish Cream
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini-morsels

Baileys Chocolate Ganache
6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 ounce pieces
2 tablespoons Baileys Original Irish Cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Melted white Chocolate Garnish
2 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted



Make the Chocolate Irish Cream Cake

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat the insides of each of 16 individual nonstick petite loaf pans with the melted butter. Flour the insides of the pans with the 2 tablespoons of flour. Shake out and discard the excess flour (to prevent a mess, do this over a sink or large trash receptacle). Set aside.

In a sifter combine the 1/2 cup flour, the baking powder, and salt. Sift onto a large piece of parchment paper (or wax paper) and set aside.

Melt the semisweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and 2 ounces butter in the top half of a double boiler, or in a small glass bowl in a microwave oven (see pages 20-21 of the book) and stir until smooth.

Place the sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until light in color and slightly thickened. Add the chocolate and butter mixture and mix on low speed to combine, about 20 seconds. Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding the dry ingredients. Once all the dry ingredients have been incorporated, about 40 seconds, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the Irish Cream and mix on low for 15 seconds (the batter has a good-enough-to-eat chocolaty color, but resist the temptation and prevent internal fluctuation). Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the mini-morsels and finish mixing the batter until thoroughly combined.

Pour 3 slightly heaping tablespoons or 1 slightly heaping #20 ice cream scoop (about 1-1/2 ounces) into each loaf pan. (The batter is liquid enough not to need spreading, although a wiggle while you walk to the oven will not hurt.)

Place the pans on the top and center racks of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean, about 14 minutes. (Rotate the pans from top to center halfway through the baking time, and turn each 180 degrees.) Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the pans at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Place 2 cooling racks onto 2 baking sheets with sides. Invert the pans to release the cakes onto the racks. (If the cakes do not pop out of the pans, use a small plastic knife to cut around the edges of the cakes to free them from the pans without tearing.) Put 8 cakes, evenly spaced, onto each cooling rack and refrigerate.

Prepare the Baileys Chocolate Ganache

Place the chopped chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl.

Heat the heavy cream, butter, Irish Cream, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. when hot, stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate, then stir with a whisk until smooth.

Coat the Cakes with Ganache

Remove a pan with 8 of the cakes from the refrigerator. Cover each cake with 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of ganache, allowing the ganache to flow over the top and sides of each cake. Transfer the rack of ganache-coated cakes to the refrigerator. Use a rubber spatula to remove the ganache from the baking sheet, return it to the bowl of ganache (stir gently until smooth), and use as necessary to cover each cake on the second pan with 2 ounces of ganache (you probably will have to scrape ganache from the baking sheet after coating 6 of the cakes. Place the cakes in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. (Now use a spoon to convey any leftover ganache from the baking sheet to an eager mouth.)

Number the Dominoes with the white Chocolate Garnish, Then Play the Game

Place the white chocolate in a small plastic zippered bag. Snip the tip from a bottom corner of the bag. Pipe a line of white chocolate across the center of each cake, then pipe from 1 to 6 dots on either side of the line. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.

The Chef's Touch

The nonstick petite loaf pans can be found at your local Target or other major discount or kitchen emporium. Each pan holds 2/3 cup and is 4-x-2-3/4-x-1-1/2 inches.

For quicker and more efficient portioning of the Chocolate Irish Cream Cake batter, use a #20 ice cream scoop rather than a measuring spoon, and pour a level scoop into each individual petite loaf pan.

At The Trellis, pastry chef Kelly Bailey uses 12-ounce clear plastic squeeze bottles for decorating with white chocolate. For the small amount of white chocolate needed for the dominoes, we decided to use a plastic zippered bag (we snipped the corner and used it like a pastry bag). Squeeze bottles are handier and can be purchased at kitchenware stores, or you can also use ketchup or mustard squeeze bottles.

These cakes may be prepared over 2 days.

DAY 1: Bake the individual Chocolate Irish Cream Cakes. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until assembling the dominoes (the cakes may be kept covered in the refrigerator for several days before assembly, or frozen for 2 to 3 weeks).

DAY 2: Make the Baileys Chocolate Ganache, cover the cakes with ganache, then refrigerate while melting the white chocolate. Transform the cakes into dominoes by garnishing with the white chocolate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving.

Once they are assembled, you may keep the cakes in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days before serving. To avoid permeating the dominoes with refrigerator odors, place them in a large, tightly sealed plastic container.


Buy the Book!


Celebrate with Chocolate
Totally Over the Top Recipes
by Marcel Desaulniers
William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins
Price: $24.95; Hardcover
ISBN: 0688162983
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Celebrate with Chocolate



This page created December 2002