My first recipe I want to post is a cake that I have made quite a few times. It is a chocolate souffle cake, but the good news is it's supposed to fall, which means you can make it ahead of time and is a little more foolproof than a traditional souffle. It is also low in fat and high in flavor. It isn't too sweet but has a wonderful chocolate flavor that is clean and straight forward. This could be served with some fresh or poached fruit, a fruit sauce, some whipped cream or ice cream. It's the little black dress of desserts (and a dessert that will keep you fitting into your little black dress!) I cannot take any credit for this recipe however, it comes from the wonderful Alice Medrich and her book Bittersweet.
Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake (taken from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich)
1/4 cup (1 oz) blanched almonds (or almond meal if you have it)
3 TBS all purpose flour
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (or semisweet)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup boiling water
2 large eggs separated, room temperature
1 TBS brandy
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Pre heat the oven to 375 with your rack in the lower third of your oven. A spring form pan or a pan with a removable bottom works best for this recipe. To prepare the pan, grease the bottom and sides and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
If you are using whole almonds, using a food processor grind them with the flour to a fine powder. Set aside. In another bowl mix the chocolate, cocoa powder, 3/4 cup of sugar. Pour the boiling water over the mix and whisk until smooth. Add in the egg yolks and brandy. In another bowl put all 4 egg whites and the cream of tartar. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and gradually sprinkle in the last of the 1/4 cup of sugar. Whip until peaks become stiff but still shiny. Fold the flour mix into the chocolate and then fold in 1/4 of the egg whites. Once the chocolate mix has lightened fold in the rest of the egg whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes. You will know it's done when you insert a toothpick in and it comes out with a few crumbs stuck to the toothpick. If there is still a lot of batter bake a little longer. Make sure not to bake too long, watch it closely, you don't want to over bake it! Let it cool slightly in the pan and run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake if necessary. Garnish with powdered sugar and serve plain or with the embellishment of your choice. This is great a few hours out of the oven but you can make this a day ahead and keep it covered at room temperature overnight.