I turned 19 on Saturday. And of course, I made my own cake, don’t be silly why wouldn’t I? The recipe if from Julia, Child, Julia Child that is. My brother gave me Mastering the Art of French Cooking a couple of Christmas’ ago. Honestly, I hardly ever cook from it, but every time I use it I wonder why I go so long with out cracking the pages of this marvel of a book.
A life lesson on my 19th birthday: cook from Julia as often as possible.
I would say this is a closer relative to a torte then a cake. Think thick, creamy, cake with a layer of incredibly fluffy frosting that when it’s sliced though, it leaves a layer of chocolate smudge of your fork. I (of course) had a second slice for Sunday afternoon coffee, and it was just as good if not better the second day. The flavors had time to intertwine, and the texture turned to a pudding-cake cross.
Frosting inspired by Baked
Cake adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Reine De Saba
For the cake
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
a dash of salt
1/4 cup almonds, that have been turned to meal in a food processor
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons strong coffee
1/2 cup flour
For the cake:
Heat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 8″ round cake pan.
Melt the chocolate over low heat in a small sauce pan keeping a close eye so it doesn’t burn. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg yolks until well blended. Clean your mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, with the salt, until stiff peaks form.
Mix the melted chocolate, vanilla, almonds, and coffee into the creamed butter mixture. Immediately mix in 1/3 of the egg whites. Sift half of the flour over the batter, and delicately mix in. Genially fold in another 1/3 of the egg whites, and again with the remaining flour, finish with by folding in remaining egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25 minutes, the cake is done when it had 2 1/2 inches set around the edges. Do not over bake.
For the whipped gnash frosting:
1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup cream
3 tablespoons butter, but into small cubes
Pour the chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream over low heat until it simmers. Once it’s how pour the cream over the chocolate, let it sit to let the chocolate melt. Once the chocolate has melted, stir to combine. Let cool. Pour the mixture into your mixing bowl, turn on high. One cube at a time add the butter cubes one by one until they are completely incorporated. You should finish with a pale brown frosting that’s very fluffy. If it doesn’t turn out fluffy, just keep beating on high until it is.
Frost cooled cake and garnish with shredded cocoanut if desired.
(Both photos taken by my mother)