Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TEMPTATION FROM THE DARKER SIDE ~ COUNTESS TOULOUSE-LAUTREC'S FRENCH CHOCOLATE CAKE

"All of the evil that people have thrust upon chocolate is really more deserved by milk chocolate, which is essentially contaminated. The closer you get to a pure chocolate liquor (the chocolate essence ground from roasted cacao beans) the purer it is, the more satisfying it is, the safer it is, and the healthier it is."

(The Darker Side of Chocolate)




COUNTESS TOULOUSE-LAUTREC'S FRENCH CHOCOLATE CAKE
~ a perennial favorite, perfect for Valentine's Day, adapted from MAIDA HEATTER'S BOOK OF GREAT CHOCOLATE DESSERTS
_____________
1 lb. good semisweet chocolate
5 oz. (1 1/4 sticks) room temperature sweet butter
4 extra-large eggs, separated
1 Tbsp. unsifted all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In an 8-inch springform pan, cut a round waxed or parchment paper to fit the bottom. Butter one side of paper and the sides of the pan (not the bottom). Place buttered paper in pan, buttered side up, and clamp shut.
  • In top of double boiler, place coarsely chopped chocolate. Melt over simmering water, stirring occasionally with rubber spatula. Add 1/3 of butter at a time, each addition completely melted before adding next. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In small bowl beat egg yolks at high speed for 5-7 minutes, until pale and thick. Add Tbsp. of flour and beat on low only to incorporate. Gently fold beaten egg yolks to into chocolate.
  • In another clean bowl, beat egg whites and salt until whites hold a soft shape. Add sugar and beat until whites hold definite shape but not too stiff or dry. Fold one-half beaten whites into chocolate -- don't be too thorough. Fold chocolate into remaining whites, handling gently until blended. Turn into prepared pan and rotate to level batter.
    Bake for 15 minutes. Cake will be soft (only 1 inch high in middle, rim higher and cracked ~ you'll think it's not done but don't worry). With a small sharp knife, carefully cut around side of hot cake, but don't remove sides. Let cake stand in pan until room temperature. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  • To remove, cut around sides again with small sharp knife. Remove sides. Carefully insert a narrow spatula and invert on serving plate. Glaze with ganache (or top with toasted sliced almonds or a fine dusting of cocoa).

GANACHE

In double boiler (or glass bowl over water), melt 6 ounces coarsely chopped good semi-sweet chocolate with 2 ounces heavy cold cream until fully melted. Whisk in 2-4 ounces more cold heavy cream until smooth and shiny. Add 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter. If mixture becomes too thick, heat gently. Cover sides first then spread generous amount on top.
Bon appetit!
Note: Holds up well when frozen

26 comments:

Phillip said...

I'm a chocoholic here! LOL I actually have that book but I haven't tried that particular cake. I will have to do that soon!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I love dark chocolate, it simply is the absolute best in my mind. I never waste my calories on milk, or fake chocolate. LOL.

Jen

flowrgirl1 said...

Sounds delicious!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hi Joey, this cake must be extraordinary good against wrinkles...have many calories?

This Arnold... he is good.

xoxo Tyra

nancybond said...

Oh, my! Doesn't THAT sound delicious! I can feel it wrapping itself around my hips as I type! Hee! Beautiful montage.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Chocolate, I wish I could resist it;) Potato chips and things salty don't tempt me but chocolate...
Marnie

beckie said...

I thought at first glance and easy cake to make. But after reading the directions it sounded a little complicated. Then I read on and found it only gets a couple of inches high and seems not done-what I am trying to say is rich, decadent, gooey good! Will try this one for sure.

Love your collage-reminds me Valentine's Day is almost here.

Gail said...

Dear Joey, If you weren't already my hero for your wonderful and tempting recipes...I would make Arnold my hero. His quote is perfect! I've tasted a similar recipe and it was scrumptious...yours will no doubt be superb! gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

When I was a child, I hated dark chocolate. I'm not sure when it happened, but now I eat only dark chocolate (for medicinal purposes), milk chocolate just doesn't have enough oomph. The cake sounds divinely decadent. Bring it on!

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Yep - I am tempted - sooo tempted.
K
:)

inadvertentfarmer said...

Dark chocolate...the flavor of the Gods!!! You recipe sound oh so very good. I think I'll try it out for V-Day! thanks, Kim

joey said...

A guy after my own heart, Philip, my chocoholic friend! My cookbook is torn & tattered after 30 years, but this recipe is a keeper, my youngest son's MUST birthday cake ... hum ... just figuring how many times I've made this!

I'm with you, Jen ~ let's just go for it!

Trust me, flowrgirl, it is good!

I have NO wrinkles, Tyra ... please join me in this 'no calorie' chocolate quest :)

Oh Nancy ~ see above to Tyra ... no wrinkles ... no calories! We're 'golden' ... girls!

A quiet thought, Marnie ~ perhaps you have not tasted a favorite temptation ... chocolate dipped potato chips (a dream come true) from my MUST visit Candy Shop ~
http://www.sherniscandies.com/ ...
they also dip fresh seasonal fruit in chocolate. A "Come with me..." Willy Wonka wonderous place!

You are so right, Beckie ... deep, dark and dense! Actually, the recipe looks more difficult than it really is ... have you ever made a souffle? Same principle ...
Thanks for getting the jest of my photo, dear friend!

Thanks, dear Gail :) There is much to say about deep, dark chocolate. (and women get it!) An acquired taste that reminds me a bit of my garden and why I appreciate the essence of color, texture, and form.

MMD ~ count me in to deliver huge amounts of this 'healthy' treat ... 'in or out' of the garden, we NEED a bit of decadence in our lives :)

Don't even think, Karen ... go for it! I like this even better than my Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake ...

An excellent choice for Valentine's Day, Kim, and why I posted it! Please share if you do give it a try!

Kerri said...

It sounds wickedly devine, Joey! I know you won't put any calories in that.... ;)

Rose said...

A temptation, for sure! This sounds perfect for Valentine's Day, Joey. I couldn't agree more with Mr. Ismach. Ever since I learned that dark chocolate has antioxidants, I have been making sure to get a sufficient dose each day to stay healthy:)

flowrgirl1 said...

Thanks stopping by my blog and leaving those kind words. I can't wait to get back to my gardens in MI.

joey said...

Trust me, dear Kerri, promise, no calories (crossed fingers X) ... promise :)

You and me, Rose :)

Dear Flowrgirl ~ Michigan waits for your return :) In the meantime, best wishes on your heartfelt venture.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I've made a cake something like this, although mine has ground almonds instead of flour. It might freeze well but it never lasts long enough to be frozen, if you know what I mean....
There IS no other chocolate besides dark, is there?

Marysol said...

Oh yes, Arnold Ismach.

No clue who he is, but that quote is priceless. And so is that flourless chocolate cake, enrobed in ganache. Sounds unholy in so many ways.

And Joey, freezing the cake won't be necessary.

Anybody got a cigarette?

Anonymous said...

I have been making this for about 20 years and everyone always loves it!

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

You know what, last Saturday at the grocery store I bought dark chocolate, knowing of its being healthier for you. But I hate it! I love milk chocolate! Wouldn't you know it?
Brenda

joey said...

With my love for chocolate, jodi, I believe I have made this also. Though this never lasts for long, nibbling off the corners, I like to have something wonderful in the freezer on hand for unexpected guests.

Dearest Marysol ~ your voice is a gift and do hope everyone reading this comment will click on your name and see an amazing 'sweet' treat from a true 'Memories in the Baking' artist!

Brenda, enjoy your milk chocolate ~ I must confess to a passion for M&Ms (especially peanut) and a simple Hershey kiss makes me very happy :)

joey said...

It's a goodie, isn't it Anonymous? Thanks for posting your thougtful comment.

Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com said...

Oh, gosh, ganache! :) As much as I love to bake this is something I've always wanted to do and haven't yet!
Reading the ingredients I'm thinking better done only a bit each year and maybe just on a cupcake?? But I will try now. Thanks, dear Joey! You are always in the know in the kitchen! I love your resourceful delicious ideas!

joey said...

It's actually very easy, Kathryn, and indeed no reason why you can't make the ganache and simply use a bit to frost a cupcake ... great idea! (Hugs)

Shady Gardener said...

I cannot imagine anyone at your home calling you a "ho-hum" housewife! What a decadent sounding cake! :-)

joey said...

Yes, it is decadent, Shady! I am, indeed, the 'Ho-Hum Housewife' ... and love it!