10 January 2010

Holiday Recap... There was cake!

For the holidays, my sisters and I had incompatible schedules, so my Dad, Grandma, and youngest sister came from Wyoming to visits us. For me the holidays are about family, those you are born into and those you make. This holiday I had a wonderful time with the family I was born into, and terribly missed much of the family I have made – scattered as we are from DC to China, Wyoming to Arizona, and many zip codes in between. The visit from the Wyomingites kicked off with a birthday party for my youngest sister, C., the day that they got here (the day after her birthday).The hit of the party was this cake:

Grand-Maman’s Chocolate Cake
adapted from Chocolate by Nick Malgieri

3 large eggs
¾ c. sugar
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, very soft
4 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
¾ c. all-purpose flour

Confectioners’ sugar for finishing

In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar on medium speed for 4-5 minutes, until very light and increased in volume. This works better if your eggs are at room temperature before you start – the light and fluffy will not happen as quickly if they are too cold. Whip in the butter and beat until smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate and beat until smooth.

The chocolate is where I diverged from the recipe – I melted my butter in with the chocolate to make it melt more smoothly, and then added them both in together and beat the batter until smooth. I don’t know how much of a difference this makes, but the cake was a ginormous hit, so I would say it didn’t hurt it any.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to fold in the flour by hand. This is to maintain the light fluffiness achieved by all that whipping. Scrape into an 8 inch round cake pan that has been buttered and floured (I cheat and use the spray that has flour in it – it has worked so far, and I actually think it is better – I don’t miss spots as easily) and smooth the top. Bake in a 350º oven for about 30 minutes. It should still be moist in the center, so a toothpick test might not come out clean, but it should be well risen and firm.

Cool in the pan for about 5 min, then turn out onto a wire rack. I liked the crackly looking top, so I flipped mine back over, instead of cooling it inverted, but if you want a smoother presentation, cool it top down and make sure that the pan side is facing up when you transfer it to a serving plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

I served mine with French Vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. And it was super tasty. In fact, my dad, who doesn’t like cake, ate all the leftovers during their visit. Which is a testament to how awesome it was, not to how uncakelike it was, in case you were wondering.

We continued to do touristy things and family things and the sisters, all 4 of us, made a lovely Christmas dinner of turkey and the trimmings. I have to say, working in the kitchen with my lovely sisters really made my Christmas.

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