Hi Everyone! If you've checked out my first week of posting, you'd have seen that Fridays will be a little bit special around here and not just because they are the beginning of the weekend, TGIF! Here you'll get "Famous Fridays", in which I'll be making a recipe from a cookbook, or restaurant or some known chef etc. Last week I made the renowned NY Times Plum Torte, a recipe I've made many times before. This week it's something new...
And who isn't? Ready for dessert, I mean. Are you familiar with this cookbook and it's author, David Lebovitz? If you like to bake and you're not, you should get yourself a copy as well as David's other great cookbooks ( I also love The Perfect Scoop). Anyway, since I got this cookbook last year, I've made a few things like his chocolate chip cookies and a few of his ice creams and they've all been great, but I've sort of broken my cardinal rule of cooking from a cookbook with this one. You see, I have a theory about cookbooks and their worthiness. My feeling is that any cook worth their salt (pun intended!)) would lead with their best recipe, so if I make that first one and it's a success, I can generally count on the reliability of the rest of the book. Now, I'm no scientist, but I have had a pretty good results with this "scientific method" and today is only more proof in the pudding (ok, ok, I'll stop). David's Chocolate Pavé is the first in "Ready For Dessert" and it is a hands-down winner!
This cake is bite after bite of pure unadulterated chocolate. It is not hard to make or fancy. In fact, in the description preceding the recipe in the cookbook, David tells a little story about how a well-known pastry chef who served as his mentor, told him that the fancy frilly decorated cakes she was famous for were not nearly as important to learn to make as a killer chocolate cake. And that this is...rich, dense, and chocolatey. And there's no flour here either, which makes it a great choice for people who are gluten-free (and for Passover--more on that another time). Basically you are just beating eggs with sugar, adding the melted butter and chocolate and then folding in beaten egg whites.
So do yourself a favor and start off the weekend right. Make Chocolate Pave and TGID (Thank God It's David!!)
Makes about 8-9 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus time for letting eggs come to room temperature)
Bake Time: 30-35 minutes
- Cocoa powder, for preparing the pan
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar for dusting the cake
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch square metal cake pan, dust it with a little cocoa powder and shake out any excess. Line the bottom only with a piece of parchment paper.
2. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the butter and both of the chocolates. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir occasionally until it's melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. If you have a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment and beat together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes, until there are defined ribbons of batter when you lift the beater up. If you are using a hand-held mixer you will probably need to beat it for a few minutes longer. Then, fold in the chocolate mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
4. In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk attachment (or beaters), whisk the egg whites and salt together on low speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat at high speed until there are stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture just until you can't see anymore egg whites. Don't overfold.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the middle of the oven, until just barely set in the center--it should be a little jiggly still--for about 35 minutes, but check at 28 or 30 minutes--mine was done at 30 minutes. The cake rises as it bakes and forms a crackly top. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.
6. Loosen sides with a knife and invert cake onto a plate, peel off parchment paper and re-invert it onto a large platter or cake plate. Let cool completely and dust the top with powdered sugar. Cut into squares and serve.
Note: The recipe says to dip a fork into melted chocolate and wave it back and forth over the cake to create an abstract design. I didn't do this and it was delicious without it, but feel free to add more chocolate if you like!
7. The cake is best served the day it is made but keeps in the refrigerator for several days (my daughter even thinks it tastes better chilled!)