My new favorite chocolate cake
Ever since I bought our standing mixer, I've had ants in my pants, just so excited and anxious to use it. I've been searching for recipes that require a mixer, jumping from food blog to food blog to recipe sites and fast-forwarding through Tivoed episodes of the Martha show. For my first use of the mixer, I made pizza dough. The pizza dough came out great, but it was only in the mixer for a couple of minutes and really, though it would have been a big chore, I could have kneaded it by hand. This time I wanted something that really required the mixer's power.
I found this dark chocolate souffle cake on Well Fed and waited for the weekend to have enough time to cook it.
Whipping up the eggs (first the yolks and then the whites) for this dark chocolate souffle cake was the perfect test for our new mixer. I got to shift the mixer into high speed, listen to it make a satisfying noise and watch the egg whites beat into soft peaks. This is also the first time I've ever cooked with good chocolate (Ghiradelli from Trader Joe's) using a double-boiler. I used my cleaver to chop the chocolate into smaller chunks to help it melt faster.
Since I don't have a double-boiler and -- in spite of my addiction to all things All-Clad, don't really want one since it would be one more thing to store in my small apartment kitchen -- I jerry-rigged one from a glass mixing bowl and a four quart pot.
The recipe said you could melt the chocolate and butter right in a heavy bottomed pan, but this way I was sure not to burn anything, and since I could mix the cake right in the bowl I used as the top of my double-boiler, there was no extra clean up. Since I'm not a very confident baker, it was great to work from the recipe's excellent step by step pictures.
The cake is delicious. It is light and spicy from the cinnamon and Khalua with a very complex chocolate flavor. The thin crust has a meringue-like crunch and the eggy, gooey center melts in your mouth. I served it with a side of Trader Joe's cherry preserves. I'm wondering if red pepper or other flavors could be added or replace the cinnamon to build on that complex Mexican Hot Chocolate taste.
I've been searching for my signature chocolate cake and this might be it. It definitely de-thrones my previous favorite -- the recipes from the back of the Hershey's cocoa can. And it is much better than Shirley's Tunnel of Fudge and the dusty strange-colored chocolate cake I made for my grandmother's birthday from a Cooks Illustrated recipe. My only criticism is that it surely is "rustic" as Well Fed explained, rather than beautiful. This isn't something you can bathe in icing and write Happy Birthday on, but with full on flavor and a total baking time of under an hour, who cares?