Sunday, May 08, 2011
Chocolate Dreams (and would we really call this cake?)
The dark chocolate drops I got from Black Mountain Chocolate were never going to last very long. I couldn't get them off of my mind. I wanted to make a dessert that would really feature the flavor of the chocolate!
I was remembering this episode of America's Test Kitchen that tried making the most chocolatey cupcake ever. A lot of what they discovered stuck with me - butter and other dairy can mask chocolate's flavor, etc. In the end, I didn't want to use a recipe this complicated with different kinds of chocolate, when what I wanted to do was pay homage to the actual chocolate I had brought home.
I stumbled across a post on David Lebovitz's blog about his Chocolate Idiot Cake, that John Scharffenberger used to like because of the way he featured his chocolate. That idea sold me on it, but I knew I didn't have enough chocolate to make the full recipe. I have this cute little 6-inch springform pan, and basically made 3/5 of the recipe. If you're doing the math, that was roughly 6 oz of the chocolate drops, 4 tbsp butter, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar. It worked out okay. I still ended up baking it the entire hour and fifteen minutes before it was really set in the middle, but in a water bath it would have been difficult to burn.
I'm still mulling over two questions about this particular baking experience. #1 - Would I call this a cake? Well, nope. It has absolutely no flour and no crumb. It has the texture of cheesecake but is lighter in your mouth. It is buttery. Maybe more like French silk pie filling. Or a whipped ganache, except firm. Ha, well, I'm beginning to see why Mr. Lebovitz called it cake. What other name would work?
#2 - Did this satisfy my requirement of showcasing the chocolate?
I'm not sure about this one. It was absolutely delicious, to be sure, but melting the chocolate down and adding more fat and sweetness does take some of the original bite and roundness and mouthfeel away. What I would like to do is line up a bunch of different chocolates and make 5 versions of the same dessert, using singular chocolate in each, and then compare. Next time.
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It looks delicious...take it from a chocolate fiend!
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