Saturday, March 27, 2010

Homely Decadence

Chocolate Truffle Cake

I don't know if it's laziness or an attempt to get at the basics, but I've been enamored with simple recipes lately. Gone are the days of four page recipes requiring a minimum of six separate components or twenty page recipes requiring a "team of people". I've come to love the idea of a few quality ingredients coddled in a bowl to make an unforgettable, if somewhat homely, treat. This cake is another example of that. There are 5 ingredients. That's it. That and less then an hour of your time is all that's needed to indulge in this truly decadent cake. I'm sure you have most of them in your pantry right now, too.

I made it a few days ago to go along with the mussels, because rich chocolate cake stands up beautifully to two bottles of wine and girl talk. It did not disappoint.

Chocolate Truffle Cake

Kate's Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake
from Orangette

7 ounces (200 grams) best-quality dark chocolate
7 ounces (200 grams) unsalted European-style butter (I used regular and it still came out great), cut into ½-inch cubes
1 1/3 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the base of the pan with parchment, and butter the parchment too. Make sure everything is well covered. You do NOT want to try and pry this jiggly cake out by force.

Finely chop the chocolate (a serrated bread knife does an outstanding job of this) and melt it gently with the butter in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring regularly to combine. Add the sugar to the chocolate-butter mixture, stirring well, and set aside to cool for a few moments. Then add the eggs one by one, stirring well after each addition, and then add the flour. The batter should be smooth, dark, and utterly gorgeous.

Pour batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake looks set and the top is shiny and a bit crackly-looking. Check it at 20 minutes and every two minutes after. It’s usually quite jiggly in the center and you’ll know it’s done when it jiggles only slightly, if at all. Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes; then carefully turn the cake out of the pan and revert it, so that the crackly side is facing upward. Allow to cool completely, cover with saran wrap and leave in the fridge overnight. The cake will deflate slightly as it cools. You can also wrap it tightly in saran wrap and freeze it for an impromptu dessert when the mood strikes, but that's up to you.

Serve in wedges at room temperature with a loose dollop of ever-so-slightly sweetened whipped cream.

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