It seems like I'm posting a ton of desserts, but I'm just catching up on things I've made (and taken pictures of) in the last year. I actually don't bake that much! :)
In my quest for new cooking blogs, I stumbled upon a group of bloggers called Tuesdays with Dorie. Each Tuesday they make a recipe out of the cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I think the idea of such a group is really neat - almost a way to force yourself to make recipes that you'd like to but otherwise might not. I can't commit to a group like this at the present time, but I can pick out the recipes that are particularly appealing to me. This brings me to another factoid: I love chocolate. As in, I've never had a chocolate dessert and said "this is too rich"-kind of love. As long as I have a glass of cold skim milk, I'm good to go. I think I'd always take chocolate dessert over fruity (my husband is the opposite), even though I like both. That being said, when I saw the cake called "Almost-Fudge Gateau," I couldn't resist. I made this for a few friends in January, and it was great. Gateau in French means cake, and like the name suggests, it really was 'almost-fudge.'
This picture was taken after part of the cake had been frozen and thawed, so it became more crumbly. The fresh cake would not have come apart like this:
For the cake:
5 large eggs
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely cho
pped (or broken into squares)
1 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks (I used salted)
2 Tablespoons coffee or water (I used prepared instant decaf coffee)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
For the glaze:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Place pan on a baking sheet.
2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a large mixing bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.
3. To the top of a double boiler (or a small heatproof bowl placed above simmering water), add the chocolate, sugar, butter, and coffee. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may still be grainy - that is fine.
4. Transfer the mixture to the counter and let sit for 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.
5. Working with the whisk attachment of a hand- or stand-mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold firm but glossy peaks. Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and jibble the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.
7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the cake has risen evenly (it might rise around the edges and you'll think it's done, but give it a few more minutes, and the center will puff too) and the top has firmed (it will probably be cracked) and doesn't shimmy when tapped; a thin knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cake rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Carefully turn the cake over onto a cooling rack and remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper. Invert the cake onto another cooling rack and cool to room temperature right side up. As the cake cools it may sink.
9. To make the glaze, turn the cooled cake onto another cooling rack so you will be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper to catch any drips.
10. Put the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and melt above simmering water (or use microwave to melt). The chocolate should be just melted and only warm, not hot. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in the corn syrup.
11. Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula. Don't worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake, it will add to its charm. Decorate if desired (see note below). Allow the glaze to set at room temperature, or slip the cake into the refrigerator about 20 minutes.
My notes: This cake can be decorated however you wish. After I put the glaze on the cake, I sprinkled some mini-chocolate chips around the edges, and then pressed in some Hershey's Kissables in red, pink, and white for Valentine's Day. Then I put the cake in the fridge. I served the cake slightly chilled with a simple homemade strawberry sauce (see below), and vanilla ice cream. The cake may have tasted better at room temperature, or even warmed up, but we didn't try that.
I had some strawberries that I got on sale, but all the recipes I found for strawberry sauce were pretty involved. I just came up with this recipe on the fly, but it was pretty good.
Sugar (to taste, optional)
1. Wash and dry a package of strawberries. Remove stems with huller or knife. Cut in half and place in a mini-food processor (a blender might work for this too).
2. Add a little water and puree the strawberries to a thick, yet still liquid, consistency. The amount of water is not critical because it can be adjusted in the next step.
3. Pour the puree through a fine metal strainer to remove strawberry pulp. Transfer remaining mixture to a small saucepan and heat to simmering, stirring often. At this step, you can decide the thickness and sweetness of the sauce. If the sauce is too thin, let the sauce reduce by cooking longer. If the sauce is too thick, add water. Add sugar to taste. I don't think mine needed any, if if did it was around 1 Tablespoon.
4. Store sauce in the fridge until ready to use.
Note: I just plated the sauce underneath each slice of cake, but this sauce
would be great on ice cream or other desserts.