It's been about 20 years (plus - but, who's counting??) since I have made this dessert. A lot has happened since then, that is for sure! So, if you want to follow along, get a copy of Julia Child & Company and turn to page 187.
Objective: Turn this:
In to this:
No problem! Takes a bunch of different chocolates, six eggs (get em to room temperature before you start!!), sugar, vanilla extract, instant coffee, heavy cream, and rum! Those ingredients are:
1 Tb instant coffee
4 Tb hot water
4 Tb dark rum
14 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tb vanilla extract
Confectioner's sugar that will be sprinkled on top
Wait - no flour? Yep, no flour. The only flour used is for dusting the cake pan after it has been lined with waxed paper and butter.
- hand whisks and spatulas
- scale for weighing out the chocolates
- electric hand mixer with beater blades (for the eggs and sugar mixture) and a whisk blade (for the heavy cream)
- assorted bowls (two for whipping the cream as one will have the ice water in it, for the eggs, for blending it all together)
- two pots of hot water (one for the chocolate pot, one for beating the eggs over)
- the roasting pan with sufficient hot water in it so the hot water will come halfway up the cake pan when the cake pan is placed in it - this roasting pan, with the water, is placed in a 350 F oven
- a cake pan (I used a 10" spring form) that will hold 10 cups
- a sieve for sprinkling the confectioner's sugar
Yes, I did use a 10" spring form pan. Now this pan is going to go into a water bath, so, to ensure that water would not seep into the pan, I covered the outside of the pan with one sheet of aluminum foil, ending up with the batter inside a floured/buttered waxed paper lining in a spring form pan, in a continuous piece of aluminum foil that is going to go into the water in the roasting pan in the oven.
Lesson learned this time: for the sides of the pan, cut the waxed paper so that the waxed paper is taller than the pan! Had an issue - when the cake expanded, it went higher than the waxed paper so when in fell (yes, it will fall, in a controlled manner) some of it got caught up over the waxed paper and did not collapse correctly.
So, first the chocolate is broken up (breaking up is really not that hard to do) placed in the pot that has the hot water and instant coffee that was swirled together with the rum. This looks like:
Then, just cover this pot and place it in the pot of boiling water, turn off the heat and let it sit there while you take care of everything else.
For the beating of the eggs, I love to use a copper bowl. The bowl is placed over a pot of hot water. First, break up the eggs with a fork, stir in the sugar and stir this mixture, still with the fork, until they are warm to the touch. This is to help them increase in volume. Then, put the fork down and pick up the hand mixer and beat the eggs for about five minutes. The eggs will triple or more in volume! And, they will have the consistency of cream that has been slightly whipped. Here is what it looks like at the end:
Then, whip up the heavy cream in a bowl that is in a bowl of ice water.
Note to self! Use a bigger bowl so the cream doesn't get flinged all over the kitchen!!
Cream should end up, in the bowl, so it forms soft peaks. Then whip in the vanilla extract.
Then, whip up the chocolate mixture so it is nice and silky.
Now fold the chocolate into the eggs/sugar and then fold in the cream. It should end up like this:
Wait a minute - that is not a copper bowl.
Good observation! The copper bowl just wasn't going to be big enough, and, after the cream being hurled all over the place, a bigger bowl was called for.
The batter is poured into the prepared pan and then the pan is placed into the roasting pan that was already in the lower 1/3 of the 350 oven. When the batter is first poured in, it only fills up somewhere between a 1/3 and 1/2 of the pan. It will expand during the hour of baking time. Looking through the oven after about 45 minutes, it looks like the center is even above the top of the pan:
So, after baking for one hour, the oven is turned off and the door is open a wee bit (a jarred) and it is left alone for 30 minutes. This is to allow it to fall in a controlled manner.
After 30 minutes, the roasting pan with the cake still in it, is removed from the oven and placed on the counter to cool further. This sits for another 30 minutes.
Note how the cake has fallen and is now below the top of the pan. We are now 2 hours after the batter was first placed in the pan and the pan was placed in the roasting pan that was in the oven.
The cake pan is now removed from the roasting pan and the aluminum foil is removed.
Before unmolding, I take a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very sharp (that is extremely sharp!) knife that is super clean and slice the cake. Slicing it this way, before unmolding, helps the cake to stay together.
Now I take off the spring form, but, leave the cake on the bottom of the pan. It is just too fragile to try and move it off the bottom.
Then, take a sieve, put a wee bit of confectioner's sugar in it, and gently shake it over the cake. Decorate with raspberries and place on a serving tray. Once there, I take a paper towel, actually several, and start blotting up any water that has formed or collected on the side of the cake. This can take several minutes but it really makes it look nice, like:
What is that wine doing there? Well, it is to be enjoyed with the cake! Here's the label:
Serve it cold. Goes great!! This is a sweet and balanced wine with fruity, floral and honey aromas.
Yes, you could serve coffee with it. Give a wine a try!