I realize I don’t post many sweet things. Not that I’m not sweet, mind you. 🙂 I am more of the savory type, loving salty things. But when I entertain, I do like to make a dessert, as long as it’s relatively quick and easy and this Chocolate Cake Recipe from Jean-Georges is simple and easy. It’s from his Home Cooking with Jean-Georges cookbook, which my sons gave me last year for my birthday – a signed copy – no less! The book is a collection of his favorite simple recipes.
Jean-Georges says his mother used to make this for him as an after-school treat. Nice treat! He also says it tastes even better after it sits for a day. We didn’t have a chance to try that as Margaret, our guest, took the last piece home, as her birthday was coming up and this gave us a chance to sing to her. (Maybe she can tell us.) The good thing about it is it’s nearly gluten free with only 1 tablespoon of flour and the rest being almond flour so even my sister-in-law Trish could eat it.
I used to bake all the time for my boys for their school box lunch. That was my Sunday afternoon activity – chocolate chip cookies, lemon bars, brownies, peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, and pecan bars – that were so sweet I couldn’t even eat them and those were their favorite! They were like a super, super sweet and buttery pecan pie. I LOVE pecan pie, but I could not stomach these things. Now that they’ve grown up, they do agree with me.
When I was a little girl, about 12 years old, one summer my mother gave me the responsibility to plan and make dessert every night of the week. I grew up in the Midwest – St. Louis suburbs – where in those days, dessert was mandatory. It could be as simple as Jello with Cool Whip (yuck) – which was a newfangled thing then – or more complicated like a pie. This taught me about planning and a lot about making desserts. Mom did a good thing!
This is the same cake recipe that our daughter-in-law made for my birthday a few weeks ago. She garnished it with strawberries and the dusting of cocoa powder on the whipped cream was a nice touch. I garnished it with some raspberries and very slightly sweetened whipped cream. Lacking birthday candles, I used a tea light for Margaret’s birthday celebration. You know, you use what you’ve got. I also did not have a fluted tart pan or springform pan so I just used a regular 8” round layer cake pan and it came out fine.
Here is the recipe and don’t forget to add your LOVE when making. 🙂
CHOCOLATE CAKE – serves 6 – from Home Cooking with Jean-Georges cookbook
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
3 large eggs separated
1 tsp. granulated sugar
3½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona 66% cacao, chopped
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup almond flour
Dutch-process cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8” round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan or an 8” round layer cake pan, tapping out excess flour.
Whisk the egg whites with the granulated sugar until medium-stiff peaks form.
Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with an inch of water and bring to a simmer. Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over the simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.
Beat 1 yolk into the chocolate mixture to temper it. Beat in the remaining yolks, then beat in the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and all-purpose flour until well mixed.
Add a third of the whipped whites to the chocolate mixture and mix well to loosen it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and gently spread evenly.
Bake until puffed and a knife comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto the rack. Let cool completely. Carefully flip the cake right side up. Dust with cocoa powder. Garnish with slightly sweetened whipped cream and raspberries or strawberries.