First off, I have to apologize for not having a photo of this cake. I know that I always like to see a picture of the food that I’m trying to make and so I like to provide one when I can. Though, bearing that in mind, it might be best for this particular cake that it isn’t pictured. Because, it looks a little humble. That’s sort of the great thing about it, though. If this cake were a person, it would be a normal looking guy who sort of shuffles to the end of the diving board. Looking at him you might inwardly predict, “Well, here’s a cannonball just waiting to happen.” Then you can’t believe your eyes when Joe Schmoe does a reverse 3 1/2 with a half twist.
So, this cake will basically do a backflip in your mouth.
I got the recipe from Nigella Lawson’s book, Feast, and made many times several years ago when my oldest son was on a gluten-free diet. This past weekend I had the opportunity to make it again for church. I think I need to invent reasons to make it, actually.
What you end up with is a very, very chocolatey moist cake that isn’t overly sweet. I didn’t even have any crumbs left on Sunday.
Perhaps that says it all.
For the cake:
8 oz. semisweet chocolate (chopped or chips, I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips)
1 stick unsalted butter
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
1 t. vanilla extract or extract of your choice (I like pure almond)
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar: 1/3 for the yolk mixture; 1/2 cup for the whites
For the topping:
4 oz. semisweet chocolate (chopped or chips)
1 cup heavy cream
1t. vanilla extract (or 1 t. of whatever type extract you used in the cake)
Preheat the oven to 350. Either line a springform pan with parchment paper or use cooking spray on the bottom. Don’t grease the sides of the pan.
Melt the buter with the 8 oz. chocolate in a microwave (or double boiler) stirring it until smooth. (I melt my chocolate in the microwave on 1/2 power stirring after each minute or so.) Cool slightly.
Whisk the 4 egg whites until firm, then gradually add the 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding thier shape and peak — but not stiff.
In another bowl, whick the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with the 1/3 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract, and then gently fold in the chocolate mixture. Lighten the mixture with some of the egg whites (a big spoonful is fine) then fold in the rest of the whisked whites gently, in about 3 additions.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly on the surface. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools and the sides might splinter. Don’t worry if it has a crater. It is supposed to.
To finish the cake, remove it from the pan. Melt the 4 oz. of chocolate and leave it to cool a little. Whip the cream until it is firming up and aerated but still soft, and then add the vanilla and fold in the melted chocolate. Fill the crater of the cake with the chocolately cream. Ease it out gently toward the edges of the cake with a rubber spatula.
This looks cute topped with seasonal treats….little candied easter eggs for Easter, maybe candy corn around Halloween. It always looks elegant with chocolate curls, too, if you want to go the extra mile.
Happy Monday, y’all!