Monday, May 30, 2011

Blog the 16th ...recipe the 13th

FoodbuzzIt's been awhile since I've put fingers to keypad, but I have been cooking, reading, eating and thinking. Last month I visited Washington DC with dear family. We had a wonderful time visiting monuments and familiar sites galore. The National Museum of American History  is a must visit. It houses many interesting artifacts ranging from a sleeve with Abe Lincoln's blood stain to Dorothy's ruby red slippers (dear daughter's highlight of the vaca). My personal favorite was Julia Child's kitchen.  Her own cookbooks are seen here. I loved her gadgets, photos,magnets on the fridge...really all of it. It was a glimpse into culinary genius. However I could envision sitting and gossipping over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.

Dear daughter's birthday rolled around again this year as it always seems to do. I can't believe my babe is nine!! My family gets to choose their meal and cake for the birthday. Daughter chose a local pub for dinner and a chocolate cake for dessert. We decided to let Julia guide us using Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol.1. Here are before and after shots of the cake.

We all enjoyed her cake very much....yet it was better the next day served at room temperature, as it should be stored in the fridge. In the words of the immortal Julia Child "Bon Appetit." 

Le Marquis (Chocolate Spongecake)

For an 8 inch cake serving 6 to 8 people

A round cake pan 8 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches deep
3 1/2 ounces of semi sweet baking chocolate
2 tablespoons strong coffee
A small covered pan
a pan of simmering water
a wooden spoon
3 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
a wire whip or electric beater
3 egg yolks
a 3 quart mixing bowl
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
a rubber spatula
1/3 cup cake flour (scooped and leveled, turned into a sifter)
a cake rack

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour the cake pan. Measure out the ingredients.
place the chocolate and coffee in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of simmering water. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so while you proceed with the recipe. then beat in the butter.
Beat the egg yolks in the mixing bowl, gradually adding the sugar, until mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms the ribbon.
Beat the egg whites and slat together in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
Fold the tepid chocolate and butter into the batter, then fold in one fourth of the egg whites. When partially blended, sift on one fourth of the flour and continue folding, alternating rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
Immediately turn batter into prepared pan and run it up to the rim all around. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until cake has puffed 1/4 inch above rim and top is cracked. A skewer or straw should come out clean when plunged 1 1/2 inches from edge, but should be slightly oily with a few specks of chocolate clinging when plunged into the middle are.
Let cool 10 minutes; cake will sink slightly. Run a knife around inside of pan, and reverse onto a rack. Let cool 2 hours before icing.

The icing of choice was also from Mastering the Art of French cooking Vol.1.

Glacage Au Chocolat ( Chocolate Icing)

2 ounces (2 squares) semi  sweet baking chocolate
2 tablespoons rum or coffee
a small covered pan
a larger pan of almost simmering water
5 or 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
a wooden spoon
 a bowl with a tray of ice cubes and water to cover them
a small flexible-blade metal spatula or a table knife

Place the chocolate and rum or coffee in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency, At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife.

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