Wednesday, March 13, 2013

French Chocolate Cake

March is a big birthday month here at Kid Cultivation and Mufasa is first in line.
Typically I'm all about inclusiveness, food allergies and all, but not when it comes to the point of exclusiveness. You follow, right? I didn't think so.

Backstory: 10 years ago I picked The Cook's Encyclopedia of Chocolate out of the bargain bin at Border's (yup, Border's, remember that relic of the past?) About 3 recipes into the book, there's this deep, dense, elegant, nearly flourless slim chocolate cake that caught my attention. That year, long before the KC kids were in existence, I made it for Mufasa's birthday, at which time he declared it his birthday cake every year from here on out unless otherwise specified. For the record he has never otherwise specified.

Then we entered this strange land of food allergies and eggs, in my baking at least, fell by the wayside. It's not fair to tell a 4-year-old he can't have any cake when everyone else is oohing and ahhing over the fudgy goodness. But, it's not fair to deprive a pre-diabetic adult man his most treasured and anticipated annual indulgence either. So, sorry Roo. This one's for Daddy.
By the way, Roo enjoyed a generously frosted dark chocolate vegan cupcake, much to the dismay of his sisters who were forced to eat the "regular" French Chocolate Cake.
French Chocolate Cake
From The Cook's Encyclopedia of Chocolate

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp brandy or triple sec
5 eggs
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
powdered sugar (for dusting)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter or cooking spray. Trace the bottom of the springform pan onto a sheet of parchment paper and cut out a circle to fit the base of the pan. Lay the parchment circle in the base of the springform pan, and grease the top of the parchment paper too for good measure. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in foil to prevent water from seeping in during cooking. It should look like this:
In a double boiler (or the microwave), melt the chocolate, butter, and sugar, stirring frequently until smooth. Cool slightly and stir in the liquor.

Put a tea kettle on the stove to boil. I'm serious. 

In a separate large bowl beat the eggs lightly for about a minute. Add the flour and beat again. Slowly stir in the melted chocolate mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan or other rimmed pan. Open the hot oven and place the whole ensemble on the center rack. Carefully pour boiling water from the tea kettle into the roasting pan until it comes up about 3/4-inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake 25-35 minutes, until the edges of the cake are set but the center is still a bit soft.
Remove the springform pan from the oven. Be careful not to drip hot water everywhere. Remove the foil and cool the cake on a wire rack. Don't worry if the cake starts to sink in the center. It's supposed to be slim. Remove the side of the springform pan. Let the cake cool completely. Flip the cooled cake over onto your serving platter, so it's bottom side up. Remove the base of the springform pan and the parchment paper.
Cut 6-8 strips of parchment paper and lay them over the cake in a crisscross pattern.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cake then remove the strips.
Happy birthday, Mufasa! I hope it was worth the wait.

1 comment:

  1. The cake was even more delicious than it looks. My half birthday is coming up in September, btw....