Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I'm rushing today. My hack job photography will be testament of that.
I've had a busy day cleaning, baking and as I often do in the summer when school is out, babysitting (word gets around that you're a stay-at-home mom and willing to watch kids occasionally). Once I post this I'm going to change out of my chocolate splattered clothing, drop off little Humble at her Grandfathers and go volunteer. Woo! Eventually I'm going to crash and burn on this schedule but so far it has been fun.
So, food... Lately I've been testing and tweaking a lot of recipes, in addition to my blogging. Today it was Lemon Meringue. One of my ultimate baking quests is for the perfect lemon meringue pie. I love this pie and I've been making it since I was a tween and still, I can't seem to settle on a recipe.
I can do a mean crust and meringue, it is just that filling that is so pesky. I want to be able to cut it cleanly (not slump or weep) and yet still have a nice acidity. Which is the trouble, as the more lemon juice you use the more likely your thickeners are going to struggle to maintain the structural integrity of the pie. Pesky baking chemistry! So frustrating.
Today's post isn't about lemon meringue pie though. I'm just posting my pie because it's gorgeous (and tasty, just not OCD perfect). Today's post is all about chocolate.
So one of the souvenirs I brought back with me from the UK was a cookbook. I really like picking up cookbooks while in Europe because they always use metric and as un-American as it is to say this, metric is just a better way to cook.
One of the cookbooks I was looking for was Ottolenghi's latest book. Since I've been home, I've cooked from it quite a bit--the spicy meat pie is wonderful--and today we're baking the chocolate fudge cake. It seems that I've developed an obsession with ugly cakes this week, because like the Gâteau Basque Cake, this cake is hideously delicious.
It is hard to describe. It is like a cross between a cake and a baked chocolate mousse or soufflé. One layer is firmer, cake-ier and the other is gooey like brownie batter. It packs a lot of dark chocolate and is probably best reserved for the most of ardent chocoholics.
Ottolenghi's Chocolate Fudge Cake
240g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
265g dark chocolate (52% cocoa), chopped
95g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
290g light muscovado sugar
4 tablespoons water
5 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
cocoa powder for dusting
Preheat your oven to 170°C (350°F).
Butter a 20cm (8") springform pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment.
In a large heat proof bowl, combine the chopped chocolates and butter.
Combine the muscovado sugar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Pour the boiling syrup over the chocolate and butter and stir until they have melted. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture and then set the bowl aside until the mixture comes to room temperature.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt to a firm but not dry meringue.
Using a rubber spatula, fold a third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Once combined, add another third, fold and then fold in the remaining third until just combined.
Pour 2/3rds of the batter into your prepared pan (about 800g, reserving the remaining batter for later) and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it on a wire rack to cool completely. Flatten the cake with an offset spatula. Don't worry about breaking the surface crust and pour the rest of the batter on top. Level the surface again. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes. When tested with a skewer the cake should have a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Allow to cool completely in the springform pan before attempting to unmold it. Dust with cocoa powder before serving.