Lives Up To It's Title
Imagine having a subscription to all the great food magazines – Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit and the like – and being able to read the food sections of every major newspaper. And imagine owning every one of the year's best cookbooks, then testing all those recipes and selecting only the very best. Buy yourself this issue or any of the others that have sinced followed and imagine no more....
Velvet Chocolate Cake
Claire Legas, pastry chef at Absinthe Restaurant in San Francisco, created this delicious recipe for Scharffen-berger Chocolate. (and if you have not used this chocolate, you are missing out on what I think is the best dark chocolate around....)
1 pound Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup strong coffee, kept warm but not hot
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter or spray a 9-inch round pan (not spring-form) with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom with a parchment circle. Have a larger pan ready to serve as a water bath.
Melt the chocolate gently over hot water. Keep warm.
Whip the cream with 2 tbs of sugar until the mixture forms soft peaks. Set aside.
Whip eggs on high speed in a stand mixer until double in volume. Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar to the eggs, 1 tbs at a time. Continue whipping until the eggs have fully tripled in volume and are light and fluffy. They should have some body.
Pour the coffee into the chocolate and stir until combined.
Fold the eggs into the chocolate in three additions, working quickly to incorporate each addition. Fold in cream.
Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan. Place it in the larger pan. Fill the outer pan with hot water so that it reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the cake still jiggles in the center when gently shaken. Cool completely on a rack.
To unmold, slide small knife or spatula around the edges of the cake to loosen from pan. Cover the top of the pan with a sheet of waxed paper. Place a plate upside-down over the paper and invert pan and plate together. Remove cake pan and parchment liner. Place a serving platter on the bottom of the cake and turn right-side up.
Slice and serve with creme anglaise or whipped cream.
Makes 14-16 servings. Keeps up to four days at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic.
If you want some of this sinfully delicious cake, and you are in or planning to visit the San Francisco area, I suggest making reservations to Absinthe Restaurant via OPENTABLE.COM. ( I LOVE this site!)