Today in the Kitchen – French Style Chocolate Cake – Gâteau au Chocolat
This is not my “usual” dark chocolate cake; the one Mom made for us when we were young, the one I now make for birthdays which is from Country Living over 20 years ago. This is from my tried and true cookbook, the cookbook that really “launched” my desire to learn to cook. Despite what my Mom taught me when I was young when I first got married I was not into my kitchen. We ate a lot of beans and burritos back then and I was big into “no dairy” “no wheat” “no sugar” – then I went to France and after all those cafes and all those cathedrals I decided the world has enough martyrs!
Sure, I could be thinner (who couldn’t?) but I am not afraid of food and I have not been for a long time. If anything I would like to teach woman to love their kitchen and NOT be afraid of food. I do, however get a little crazy when I have PMS and I begin to throw open the cupboard doors looking for ANYTHING that resembles chocolate. Last night at 8 p.m. I could not take it anymore. I needed to try something new and I NEEDED chocolate!!!
I know I’ve said before that I always try to tweak recipes with a change or two or three so I can call them “my own” but with this cake, whipped egg whites-n-all well, I did not dare mess with this recipe. I followed it step by step (paraphrased below) and it came out beautifully and took care of my craving straight away!
Try it…it’s incredible; P.M.S. or not!!!
You will need:
1/4 cup superfine sugar, plus some for sprinkling
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used and suggest Valhrona 71%, and I confess I only had 7 ounces so I used some 70% stuff from Aldi for the remaining 3 ounces)
3/4 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
2 tsp vanilla
5 eggs separated
1/4 cup flour, sifted
pinch of salt
Confectioners sugar for dusting and you will notice I added gold dust for a hint of the fancy!
Preheat the oven to 325, generously butter a 9 1/2 inch springform pan, then sprinkle the pan with a little sugar and tap out the excess
Set aside 3 tbsp of the sugar. Place the chocolate, butter and remaining sugar in a saucepan ( I used a double boiler) and cook over low heat until its all melted and dissolved, remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and let mixture cool.
Aidan snuck out of bed so I put him to work!!!
Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture and then stir in the flour (sifted!!!) In a clean bowl using a mixture beat the egg whites slowly until they are frothy, increase the speed, add the salt and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the reserved 3 tbsp of sugar and beat until the whites are beautiful and glossy! Beat 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate and fold in the rest.
Pour the mixture into the pan and tap to release any air bubbles.
Bake the cake for 35-45 minutes (35 was plenty) until well risen and the top springs back when touched with your finger. Rotate after 25 minutes if it starts to rise unevenly (mine did).
Transfer to a wire rack (I don’t have one) remove the side of the pan and allow to cool completely (I could not, of course wait this long!) Remove the pan base and dust with the confectioners sugar.