Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sometimes you just need to make a cake...

...for no particular reason. That's what I did this week - no birthday, no special occasion, no one joining us for dinner - just a desire to try my hand at flourless chocolate cake, and a bunch of eggs in the fridge calling out to me, "please don't let us go to waste."

I had been wanting to try this cake recipe from Tyler Florence , but only after I separated my eggs did I realize that it called for a Springform pan. And, yes, I am the one who gave away a perfectly good Springform pan, thinking it would leave more room in the moving truck when we voyaged from North Carolina to California. So, I did what we all do in the kitchen: I adapted by making 12 mini-chocolate cakes instead. You can do this as well - I filled 12 jumbo muffin tins and baked them for 17 minutes. I recommend using cupcake liners. And as for the whipped cream recipe - it comes from the Joy of Cooking. Serve them at room temp, mounded with excessive amounts of whipped cream. These taste best a day after baking, so if possible, bake a day in advance, store in the fridge, and bring to room temp an hour before serving.

Chocolate Cracked Earth
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 stick unsalted butter
9 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar,

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.

Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) and heat over (but not touching) about 1 inch of simmering water until melted. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs - this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate - then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.

Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is set, the top starts to crack and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove sides of pan.

Joy of Cooking Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 TBL sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Chill mixing bowl and beaters. Beat cream on high speed until thickened. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.

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