Tuesday, January 30, 2007


This is another favorite of ours. It is easy to make, tastes great, and quests think you have outdone yourself. I have stolen the recipe from the Scharffenberger website and it appears they have stolen it from David Lebovitz. I was reading online about this cake. David Lebovitz wanted to name the cake in his book, Room for Dessert, the Chocolate Idiot Cake but he couldn't convince the editor. He argued that, "Any idiot could make it and it takes an idiot to mess it up."

It looks like there are a number of good recipes from the Scharffenberger website but this has been our tried and true. Obviously, the recipe calls for Scharffenberger chocolate which is a bit on the expensive side. I think they carry it at Trader Joes (we have yet to get one in Boise despite hundreds to thousands of Boisians lobbying for one). As I recall it was like 14$ worth of chocolate to make a cake. I have tried it with other chocolate and you can tell the difference. So, if you are feeling rich and decadent this is the recipe for you. A little bit goes a long way as it is very, well....... rich and decadent.

Recipe by David Lebovitz (from Room For Dessert)

9.75 ounces Scharffen Berger 62% Cacao Semisweet Chocolate
7 ounces (two sticks minus 1 tablespoon) butter
5 eggs
1 cup sugar

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan, and line the inside with a round of parchment paper.
Set a large bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double boiler. Cut the butter and chocolate into small pieces and put them in the bowl to melt, whisking occasionally.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar in another bowl. Thoroughly whisk in the melted chocolate.
Pour the chocolate batter into the cake pan. Place it in a larger baking pan, and pour in warm water to reach halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the cake appears to have set and when you touch the center, your finger comes away clean.
Remove the cake from the water bath and cool completely before serving, plain or with gently whipped cream. This cake can be refrigerated for several days.
Serves 12 -14.

P.S. You can also make this for a topping or a bottoming. I find it is extra work and I just do a dusting of powdered sugar on the top which makes a nice contrast. I have done the Creme Anglaise and it is good.

Crème Anglaise
1/2 vanilla bean, split
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks
Pinch of salt

makes 2 1/2 cups

1. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk in a heavy saucepan. Add the vanilla bean pod and the sugar and heat until the milk is warm but not simmering.
2. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath--a bowl partially filled with ice, with another bowl nested inside it. Lightly whisk together the egg yolks in a separate bowl, then gradually add some of the warmed milk, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
3. Cook over low to moderate heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, always scraping the bottom, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
4. Immediately strain the cooked custard through a fine sieve into the bowl set in the ice. Stir the creme anglaise with a clean spatula to cool it down. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Crème anglaise will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

1 comment:

heidi said...

Actually, I made it this weekend, and it only takes about $6 worth of chocolate. But I cheated and did 6 oz of S-B and the rest regular chocolate chips...I figured that was good enough...but Con's right that the quality of chocolate does make a difference.