Monday, July 23, 2012
Gateau au Chocolat
Chocolate cake or jalapeno poppers?
Chocolate cake or jalapeno poppers?
Jalapeno poppers or chocolate cake???
We all know what wins in the end with me. Chocolate. Cake.
My first love in the kitchen is baking. And my kitchen is filled with warm chocolate smells right at this very moment. My little beauty is out of the oven and I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I didn't over bake it. Guess we'll find out later.
I found the recipe for this chocolate gateau on Rhonda's blog, The Kitchen Witch (TKW). The Kitchen Witch is my blog assignment for this month's Secret Recipe Club. For those of you that don't know, Secret Recipe Club is like Secret Santa for food bloggers. Each month you are assigned a blog. You pick a recipe to make and on the designated day, everyone in the group "reveals" their post featuring a recipe from their assigned blog. It's fun to see what everyone makes. I look forward to SRC reveal day each month.
I've been in Secret Recipe Club with Rhonda for over a year now...and I always enjoy reading her blog posts. She's adventurous, she's funny, she's always keepin it real and she's a bit of badass. I mean come on, she has a regular feature on her blog called Motorcycle Mondays. That's pretty cool! Hope you don't mind I called you a badass Rhonda! ;)
Speaking of cool, I'm a little envious of Rhonda's most recent adventure...an intensive 5 month photography school. Check out this inspiring post to see how she turned a big lemon into lemonade by pursuing one of her passions. Kudos to you Rhonda! She recently posted about one of her final photography projects...a video showcasing macro food photography. It's really stunning. If you have a couple of minutes I urge you to watch her beautiful collage of photos.
While Rhonda has been working hard on her photography, I've spent the last month pouring over her blog, pondering what to make. She has a variety of recipes from down home cooking, like Loose Meat Sandwiches and "Red Neck Breakfast on a Croissant" alongside pretty dishes like "Brie, Bacon and Fig in a Phillo Cup" or "Goat Cheese and Proscuitto Crostini". So many delicious choices. Ultimately it came down to bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers and this chocolate cake. I came really really close to going with the poppers...I adore jalapeno poppers and I've never made them at home. Rest assured, I still plan to make these babies...I even have all the ingredients. But in the end, the craving for warm sweet chocolate won.
I'm so not sorry I went with the cake. It's a perfect chocolate dessert. The cake is rich, but not too rich. It's chocolatey but not too chocolatey. It has beautiful crackled top which deceptively hides the intensely moist interior. The cake is incredibly light and airy (no doubt, due to the whipped egg whites that are folded into the batter). It's brownie-esque...but lighter. I really loved it. The cake doesn't need much adornment. A little sprinkle of powdered sugar will do it. I threw in a few raspberries for color, but the cake definitely stands alone. A dollop of fresh whipped cream would never hurt, though.
I halved the recipe and made it in a regular 6 inch cake pan. The recipe calls for a spring form pan (I believe around 9-10 inches) but I don't have a small spring form. So to ensure I could remove this delicate cake from a regular cake pan, I added two strips of parchment parchment paper under the round parchment lining on the bottom. The two strips make handles to lift the cake from the pan. I was a little nervous, but it came out of the pan easily.
And thankfully, I didn't overbake it. In fact, I think 3 more minutes would have been just perfect. My 6 inch pan baked for 30 minutes.
This one's already been filed away in the keeper file.
By the way, Rhonda doesn't claim to be a baker, but I think she has to face the fact that she's got some serious skills in the baking department. Thanks Rhonda for sharing such a great recipe!
Gateau au Chocolat
from The French Recipe Cookbook via The Kitchen Witch
3/4 cup sugar (3 tablespoons set aside)
10 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/4 cup flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-10 inch spring form pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper. Sprinkle flour in the pan and shake the pan to cover the bottom and sides with flour, discarding any excess flour.
Melt chocolate, butter and all the sugar minus 3 tablespoons in a medium sauce pan on low heat until chocolate is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow chocolate to cool slightly.
Whisk egg yolks and very slowly stream the yolks into the chocolate mixture, whisking continuously. You don't want any scrambled eggs. Stir in the flour and set aside.
Place egg whites in a stand mixer and mix on medium using the whisk attachment until the whites get frothy. Gradually increase the speed to high and add the pinch of salt and continue beating until the soft peaks form. Slowly add in 3 reserved tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form.
Fold 1/3 of beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Add remaining egg whites, stirring gently until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes until cake rises and the top is dry and springs back when lightly touched with your fingertip. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and remove the sides of the spring form pan and allow cake to cool completely. (Or if you use a regular pan, allow to cool completely in the pan before removing).
Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.