The Signature Cake (and a De-Cluttering Top Tip)
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And now for this week’s post:
The Signature Cake
When I lived in Paris one of the things that greatly impressed me were the homemade desserts we enjoyed on a regular basis. Madame Chic had her arsenal of recipes. Fruit tarts were her specialty- mainly apple in the winter and strawberry in the summer- but she also liked to make crêpes, custards, fruit salads and cake.
Madame Bohemienne had a few dessert recipes she always made as well but my favorite was her flourless chocolate cake. That cake was so moist and delicious… It looked very simple but was a show stopper and the ultimate pièce de résistance at her dinner parties. She told me it was really easy to make and that she didn’t even use a recipe anymore- she had made it so many times the steps and ingredients were engrained in her memory.
Having a signature cake recipe, a simple one that you can make easily and that you can perfect, is a great thing to have.
Since being back in America I have searched high and low for a flourless chocolate cake recipe that rivals that of Madame Bohemienne’s and I have found one that I can now call my own.
This recipe is from the Epicurious website. It’s a delicious recipe and oh so French. The ingredients are very simple, as are the steps (everything is mixed in one bowl- which also cuts down on cleaning time). The ingredients are also common- you will most likely have these things on hand in your home so if you find that you’ve got last minute dinner guests it would be easy to whip one together.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate. Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with ice cream if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)
The recipe does require a double boiler like mine pictured below.
If you don’t have one of these you can always use a bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and that should work just fine. Also wax paper is imperative to line the bottom of the pan (and don’t forget to butter underneath and on top of the paper. This allows the cake to come out smoothly…) And finally, it’s not in the recipe, but a small sprinkling of confectioners sugar on top is a nice touch.
I would love to know… Do you have a signature cake?
To see the recipe on the Epicurious website, click here.
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