Thursday, May 22, 2008

Afternoon Chocolate Cake

Afternoon Chocolate Cake

I made some fantastic rhubarb-orange compote and quick pickles last week, but neither photographed very well. The natural lighting has been lousy, and my roommate's lovely table that so many of you commented on was loaded into a car bound for Buck's County, PA. I'm keeping my eye on craigslist for a new one.

I picked up Payard's Chocolate Epiphany from the library yesterday. I really like it so far; it lists very accurate gram measurements and strikes a good balance between simple and complex recipes.

This Afternoon Chocolate Cake only requires five ingredients and 23 minutes. Given my current lack of time and enthusiasm for baking, it seemed like a great starting point. It's a thin, dense chocolate cake that's something like fudge or a very dense brownie. Its texture depends significantly on temperature. It's great with ice cream or coffee.

The recipe suggests cooling this cake for 2-3 hours before serving. After about two hours it was somewhat like a warm brownie. After a day in the refrigerator, it had a more solid, fudgy texture. I'd like to try adding some toasted pecans, or infusing the butter with spices like cardamom and white pepper.

I'm looking forward to trying some other recipes from the book. It looks really promising.

Charlie's Afternoon Chocolate Cake
adapted from Payard's Chocolate Epiphany

10 tbsp (150g) unsalted butter
8 oz (250g) 60% chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (125g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (75g) all purpose flour
9 inch round cake pan or springform pan

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the sides and bottom of a 9in round cake pan with cooking spray. Dust it with flour, shaking off the excess, and set aside.

Bring the butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir a couple of times to prevent it from burning. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Add the flour and mix well. Add the chocolate to the batter and stir until the mixture is just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to 300F and bake for an additional 8 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan. Unmold and serve. This cake may be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to a month.


Antonio Tahhan said...

a slice of that cake is probably the precise amount needed to enter a state of culinary ecstasy. Your photograph/presentation is just cruel since I can't get my hands on a piece right this moment.
ps. your link on tastespotting was broken, but I figured out that the url shouldn't have two http's and found my way in

Hillary said...

I love how you've layered the pieces on top of eachother! Looks so delicious.

Dana said...

I love Payard's first cookbook -- I've made so many great desserts from it. I'll have to check this one out!

Aran said...

That sounds wonderful... I like refrigerated chocolate cakes myself. They turn moist and like you say, fudgy. And that photo is beautiful!

Em said...

Ooo, what is your compote recipe? I have always just added a little sugar.

Helen said...

We are going to miss that table :)
The cake looks wonderful and your photograph really puts its best qualities forward!

Helene said...

I would have a piece of that cake in the afternoon with my tea. Looks so good.

Anonymous said...

I watched the video and had to make this cake. It turned out dry- I re-watched and noticed he added heavy cream. I guessed at 1/2 to 3/4 cup and the next time I made it with cream it made the world of difference!