Ever since my visit to Delancey, I've been wanting to experiment with recipes from A Homemade Life and Delancey. Remember I posted the recipe for Molly Wizenberg's meatloaf? So, our son's birthday was coming up and I knew he would want a chocolate cake...his favorite.
But the funny thing is, he likes his cake plain...no icing. I know, right? How does this happen to the child of a cake baker, who has made this themed, iced, cakes from the time he was two? I don't get it but it's a reality. When I read A Homemade Life, Molly told about her wedding and serving a simple chocolate cake with five ingredients, which she called, "The Winning Hearts and Mind Cake"...so sweet! This cake does not have icing, although she recommends that it be served with whipped cream. After reading her description of what a hit this cake was with the guests at her wedding, I had to try it. Our son's birthday was the perfect excuse to indulge in chocolate cake...if you need an excuse!
A couple things are important, according to Molly. You must use good chocolate and the cake freezes well, in fact, improves with freezing. I did freeze my cake for about 24 hours before his birthday dinner. The cake is very chocolatey, rich, and dense...so yummy! I did not have easy access to her first choice of 60 % cocoa solid chocolate by Scharffen Berger, but I did find her second choice, Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa chocolate chips. The nice thing was the chip form eliminated the chopping step. Ready for the recipe?
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 and 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
Whipped cream, lightly sweetened (or ice cream)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter 8 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and butter the paper too.
Put the chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring often, until just smooth (or use double boiler on stove top). When the mixture is smooth, add the sugar, stirring well to incorporate. Set the batter aside to cool for 5 minutes. Then add the the eggs one by one, stirring well after each addition. Add the flour and stir well to mix. The batter should be dark and silky.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly crackled, the edges are puffed, and the center of the cake looks set. She suggests setting the timer for 20 minutes and checking every two minutes after that until the center only jiggles slightly, if at all.
Remove the cake from the oven onto cooling rack, and let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Carefully turn it out of the pan and then flip is onto a serving plate, so that the crackly side faces up. Since the cake is fairly delicate, this can be tricky, so she suggest the following.
Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan, and place a large, flat plate - not the serving plate - on top of the foil, facing down. Hold the cake pan and plate firmly together and quickly, carefully, flip them. The pan should now be on top of the plate, with the foil in between. Remove the pan, revealing the cake, which is now upside down. Remove the parchment paper. Place the serving plate gently atop the cake. Wedging your index fingers between the plates to keep from squishing the cake, flip them so that the cake is right side up. Remove the foil.
Cool completely before serving...freezing it for a least a day wrapped in Saran wrap, if possible. It can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw at room temperature, wrapped. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Yields 6 to 8 servings.
The cake is very rich...sort of like eating a very dense, fudgy brownie. I just sprinkled mine with powdered sugar prior to serving it. As you can see, it's not the most beautiful cake, but the flavor is delicious! Bon Appetit! I'll be back soon! Warmly, Gracia