Monday, August 28, 2006

Back to work ...

... the fun's over folks!

Well, not entirely. But my mind is definitely aflutter with "must do's" of a school based nature. So there will not be as many recipes posted this week, but perhaps more random musings. Or maybe I'll get myself together and cook by the end of the week. We'll have to see.

But, I can tell you about the fantastic dinner party M. and I threw on Saturday night. It was fun, fun, and more fun. And a ton of work - we were both exhausted yesterday. Behold, my beautiful table setting. Doesn't it look pretty?

And yes, the flowers look like a brain. You can click on the pictures if you don't believe me. We had purple brain flowers courtesy of our CSA flower share - who knew such a thing even existed?

So, M. planned the menu. He worked very hard. He cooked DUCK (for the non-vegetarians obviously - I had portabello mushrooms), he made pasta by hand, he baked a tart and I did dessert. Which I usually do quite well. But not this time. No, this time I had to go and totally mess it up. I didn't pay enough attention and put too much chocolate into the cake. It was like fudge, people, fudge. Not cake, not even a morsel of cakey goodness to be had. Just dense fudge.

People were very polite and ate it anyways. But I knew better. So disappointing. So here is the recipe I wish I could rave and glow about. I will try it again, it does sound delicious and came together quite quickly. But, what I created was definitely not a flourless chocolate cake. If you'd like to see what it should look like, you can find the cake on the cover of the September issue of Bon Appetit.

Such a waste. And totally my fault, not the recipes. 18 ounces of chocolate and 28 ounces of chocolate are so not the same thing. One cannot put 28 ounces of chocolate into a recipe that calls for 18 and expect it to work. Apparently.

La Bete Noire

Bon Appetit's notes - This phenomenal take on a classic flourless chocolate cake lives up to its translation, "The Black Beast".

16 servings (supposedly)


1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar

9 tablespoons (1 stick plus one tablespoon) diced
18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Lightly sweetened whipped cream

For cake-
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 10 inch diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round, butter parchment. Wrap three layers of heavy duty foil around the outside of the pan, bringing the foil to top of rim. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer five minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt chocolate in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate, cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixturem and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan, and place cake in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake in pan.

Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath, and transfer to rack. Cool completely n pan.

For Ganache -
Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate, and whisk until smooth. POur over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about two hours.

DO AHEAD - can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Run knife around pan to loosen cake. Release sides, cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream.


Tanna said...

Yes, but sometimes great things come from missteps such as that. Stay fearless.

crystal said...

Oh, but I bet it still tasted fabulous...

Ana said...

Oh, I am sorry to hear you made a little mistake, but I have to say it looks very yummy and bet it tasted good too! (love chocolate, can a cake have too much chocolate?? oh well, I like chocolate fudge! hehe!!)
I saw that cake on the cover of the magazine and almost drooled over it... glad to know it is a good tasting recipe!