28 May 2010

Chocolate Cake

I just finished Molly Wizenberg's, a.k.a. Orangette, wonderful book A Homemade Life.  I had read Orangette off and on for years, but I had never been fanatical.  Well, folks, after reading her coming of age story, Molly has my undying devotion.  She's a wonderful writer and storyteller and truly makes you fall in love with everyone she speaks of, especially her food.  The recipes throughout the book called to me and it was all I could do not to put the book down after every chapter and whip up a batch of the described recipe!  Fittingly, she finished the book with a recipe that she calls "The Winning Hearts and Minds Cake."  Of course, being the chocoholics that we are, I knew this was the first recipe that I'd make from the book.  And I knew that I had to do it ASAP. 

Molly recommends making this cake and freezing it to improve the texture, letting it come to room temp. before serving.  But, we couldn't wait that long.  Perhaps I'll make a few just to keep in the freezer in case of emergency!

Chocolate "The Winning Hearts and Minds" Cake
Adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

7 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate
1 3/4 stick (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 + 2 tbsp cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs 
1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

***Because it's all that I had, I used semi-sweet chocolate and reduced the sugar to one cup.
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.

Finely chop or grate the chocolate and melt it gently with the butter in a double boiler, stirring regularly to combine. Add the sugar to the chocolate-butter mixture, stirring well, and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, stirring well after each addition, and add the flour. The batter should be smooth & dark.

Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center of the cake looks set and the top is shiny and a bit crackly-looking. 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. The cake will deflate slightly as it cools.

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