Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hot Chocolate Cake

Hot Chocolate Cake - made March 27, 2010 from Fearless Baking by Elinor Klivans

I'm on the hunt for a good molten chocolate cake recipe. I've tried several and they've been good but I always think they can be better. You'd think a warm chocolate cake with a molten liquid fudge center would be easy to knock out of the park but I'm picky. The texture of this one could be better. I either didn't beat the eggs and sugar enough or else this is just how the texture was meant to be. It was a little heavy and the cake part that baked was almost dry. Which is quite a feat considering the middle was liquid fudge. Or perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for chocolate yesterday (yeah, those icicles just formed in hell). This one was almost too rich for me. It could be I'm losing my taste buds. Gasp. Horror. Nah.....

¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Ice cream for serving with the cake, optional

1. Mix the cake: Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with sides at least 2 inches high.
2. Put the butter and chocolates in a large heatproof container set over, but not touching, barely simmering water in a saucepan. Stir the mixture often over the hot water until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth. As soon as the chocolate mixture melts, remove it from over the water and set it aside to cool slightly.
3. Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed for about 2 minutes until the mixture looks fluffy, thickens and lightens to a cream color. This is the stage of the mixing that lightens the cake. Move the beaters around in the bowl if using a handheld electric mixer. Mix in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and stir in the melted chocolate mixture, mixing until it is blended. Put the flour and baking powder in a flour sifter and sift over the chocolate batter. Stir in the flour mixture just until it is incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
4. Bake and serve the cake: Bake for 15 minutes until the edges look set and the center is soft and just baked enough to hold its shape. A toothpick inserted in the center comes out with batter clinging to it, and one inserted into the edge comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it.
5. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes to firm it slightly. Use a small sharp knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Release the sides of the springform pan and remove them. Use a knife and a large flat spatula to cut and move slices of cake to serving plates. The centers of the slices are a thick liquid. Serve with a scoop of ice cream, if desired.

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