Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Chocolate Decadence...

.. light!

As far as I'm concerned, a dessert cannot go wrong with chocolate. But I'm quite particular - chocolate and nuts usually will not do. Pure chocolate only need apply! Yep, I definitely have a sweet tooth, and am always looking for tasty ways to keep it in check. This lighter recipe is one way to fit the bill. Chocolatey, relatively easy to prepare and tasty enough to serve for company. Chocolate Decadence was still tasty despite my baker's error. - I think I undercooked it. Pizza stones are not supposed to affect baking times, but ours seems to. I followed the recipe anyways, and the cake came out quite moussey. Delicious, but more like chocolate mousse in the shape of a cake then the cake intended.

Oh well, I'll just have to make it again to get it right!

Chocolate Decadence

Cooking time: About 40 minutes
Prep time: About 25 minutes, plus at least 8 hours to chill
Notes: For longer storage, wrap airtight and chill 2 days or freeze up to 2 months.

Makes: 12 servings

5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened alkaline-treated (Dutch process) or regular cocoa
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup low-fat (1%) milk

1. Place oven rack in the lower third of the oven, and turn heat to 350 [degrees].

2. With a nonstick cooking spray, lightly coat inside rim of an 8-inch-wide, 1 1/2- to 2-inch-deep round cake pan. Line pan bottom with cooking parchment cut to fit.

3. Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl, and set aside.

4. Break 1 egg into a small bowl. Separate remaining egg. Put yolk with whole egg. Put white in a separate, larger bowl, and add the remaining egg white.

5. Add vanilla to the bowl with yolk. Add cream of tartar to egg whites.

6. Combine cocoa, flour, and 2/3 cup sugar in a 1 - to 1 1/2-quart pan. Mixing smoothly with a whisk, gradually add milk. Stir over medium heat until mixture simmers, about 6 minutes; don't scorch. Stir and cook 1 1/2 minutes longer, then pour hot mixture over chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Whisk in whole egg and yolk mixture. Set aside.

7. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar at medium speed until whites hold soft peaks. Beating at high speed, gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, then beat until whites hold stiff but not dry peaks.

8. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Scrape batter into prepared cake pan, and smooth the top.

9. Set cake pan in another pan that is at least 2 inches wider and 2 inches deep. Set pans in oven. Fill outer pan with boiling water to 1/2 the depth of the cake pan. Bake just until center of cake springs back when very gently pressed - it will still be quite gooey inside - about 30 minutes.

10. Lift cake pan from water, and set on a rack to cool. When cake is cool to the touch, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill until thoroughly cold, at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

11. To release cake, slide a thin knife between rim and cake. Cover pan with a sheet of waxed paper, then invert a flat plate onto paper. Hold pan and plate together and invert; shake gently, if needed, to loosen cake. If cake sticks to pan, place a hot, damp towel on pan bottom for a few minutes; then gently shake pan with plate. Remove pan. Peel off and discard parchment. Invert serving dish onto cake. Supporting with flat plate, turn cake over onto serving dish. Remove flat plate, and discard waxed paper.

12. Cut cake into Wedges with a thin, sharp knife, dipping blade in hot water and wiping clean between cuts. Garnish wedges with raspberries and meringue cream.

Per serving decadence: 153 cal., 34% (52 cal.) from fat; 3.4 g protein; 5.8 g fat (2.9 g sat.); 26 g carbo.; 50 mg sodium; 36 mg chol.

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