It's a cinderella moment for leftover bread...
Believe it or not, you can bake a cake with leftover bread in place of flour. It just needs to be turned into crumbs first. The best bread for this cake is a plain, white Italian loaf; the crumbs are soft, fluffy, and easily amalgamated into the batter. I typically use what is leftover from dinner and chuck the one-third to one-half hunk of a loaf into the freezer for the next day. (Just make sure it isn't seasoned or buttered.)
I grate the bread for the crumbs; using the frozen bread is smart; it grates into fine bits. If you don't have the patience for grating, let the bread sit out overnight to get stale-ish, then just tear it into the food processor. Remember, the texture is important here; the crumbs should be fine- like flour. In a pinch, if you don't have quite enough crumbs for the recipe, bash up some cookies or use almond flour to get there. It will work.
This cake turns out densely chocolatey, i.e., scrumptious. And you made it with crumbs, you clever non-wasting person, you. ;)
Feel free to substitute whiskey or rum for the bourbon.
Notes: Bourbon is Woodford Reserve.
CHOCOLATE BREADCRUMB CAKE WITH
RASPBERRY SWIRL WHIPPED CREAM
Ingredients: 3 cups fresh Italian breadcrumbs* (see tips at the bottom), 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder, 1/8 tsp. sea salt, three large eggs at room temperature, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/4 cup bourbon, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 tsp. neutral oil. For the raspberry swirl whipped cream: 1/2 pint raspberries, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and dark chocolate shavings (optional).
1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Line the base of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper, then spritz the interior with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk breadcrumbs, baking powder, and sea salt together.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with vanilla extract and bourbon. Then beat in the cream until just combined. Stir the egg mixture into the crumbs.
4. Melt the chocolate chips with the neutral oil in the microwave on half-power in 30-second increments until just melted. Fold the melted chocolate into the batter until fully combined.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, until the center is firm and bouncy to the touch. Do not overbake. Cool for 10-15 minutes before releasing the spring and lifting up the cake to cool completely. (Cake will deflate slightly and flatten on the top as it cools.)
6. Make the raspberry swirl whipped cream. Beat the whipped cream with the powdered sugar until thick but not stiff. Mash the raspberries with a fork and fold them into the cream, leaving some swirls here and there.
7. Place the cake (with parchment paper liner removed from the bottom) on a platter or stand. Mound the whipped cream over the top, and scatter on dark chocolate shavings if using. The cake can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 hours before serving.
When grating the Italian bread, ensure it has been in the freezer for a minimum of six hours. If it has been frozen overnight, let it thaw for five minutes or so before grating.
To use a food processor instead, use stale or day-old Italian loaf bread and tear large chunks into the processor's bowl. Pulse until a fluffy, flour-like consistency is reached.