February 18, 2008

Let Them Eat Gâteau

I recently joined a group of baking bloggers called Tuesdays with Dorie. Each week, one member selects a different recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours for the group to try and everyone posts about their experience on Tuesday. This week's recipe of Almost-Fudge Gâteau was selected by Nikki of Crazy Delicious.

I really liked the simplicity and understated elegance of this dessert. Since the ingredient list is short, it's important to use high-quality chocolate. Chocolate, after all, is the cornerstone of the recipe. I used Scharffen Berger and was glad I did. It was delish!

My one goof with this recipe was I think I overcooked the cake by about five minutes. You can see from some of my pictures that it was a bit crumbly when I cut it. By the very title of the recipe, I would expect a more dense, fudgy outcome. So, next time, I will probably watch the timer less and the cooking cake more.

The glaze was listed as optional. I personally couldn't see serving this any other way, as it added visual appeal and really kicked up the chocolate flavor. I might be biased since I overcooked my cake in the first place, but I still think I would feel the same had I not.

Dorie suggests serving with a dollop of crème fraîche or any flavor of ice cream. To bring out the hint of coffee in the cake and to complement the bittersweet chocolate, I served it with a scoop of Starbucks® Classic Coffee Ice Cream.

All in all, this is a great recipe and is an easy way to impress company or a significant other with little effort.

Visit the TWD member list to check out more gâteaux.

Almost-Fudge Gâteau

5 large eggs
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup of sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons coffee or water
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

For the Glaze (optional)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Getting Ready:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a mixer bowl or other large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the chocolate, sugar butter and coffee. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may still be grainy, and that's fine. Transfer the bowl to the counter and let the mixture sit for 3 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.

Working with the whisk attachment of the mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they hold firm, but glossy peaks. Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest. Scrape the butter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake has risen evenly (it might rise around the edges and you'll think it's done, but give it a few minutes more, and the center will puff too) and the top has firmed (it will probably be cracked) and doesn't shimmy when tapped; a thin knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Carefully turn the cake over onto a rack and remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper. Invert the cake onto another rack and cool to room temperature right side up. As the cake cools, it may sink.

To Make the Optional Glaze:

First, turn the cooled cake over onto another rack so you'll be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper to catch any drips.

Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave oven – the chocolate should be just melted and only warm, not hot. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in the corn syrup.

Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula. Don't worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake – it will just add to its charms. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature or, if you're impatient, slip the cake into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. If the glaze dulls in the fridge, just give it a little gentle heat from a hairdryer.


Anonymous said...

Looks wonderful! The glaze was definitely something I couldn't see skipping out on!

April said...

It looks great! I too couldn't imagine this cake without the glaze!

slush said...

Mine was a tad crumbly too. I will pull it a few minutes earlier next time. You did a great job!

Marie said...

Fantastic looking gateaux. I may have to make the glaze next time I do it. Unfortunately I didn't have enough good chocolate hanging around to do it this time. Thankfully Dulce de Leche caramel works really well too!

amanda. said...

Yum! Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Love the picture with the ice cream scoop. Really good choice of accompaniment!

Brilynn said...

Ice cream would have been awesome with this cake, well done!

Mary said...

love the pink and brown picture....great color combo! your cake looks so yummy!

Joy the Baker said...

Your cake looks so pretty against the pink background. I had mine with coffee ice cream too. It was to die for! Thanks for coming to visit my blog too!

Madam Chow said...

The glaze - and ice cream - look great with that cake. I settled for powdered sugar, but if I make it again, I'm doing the glaze!

Erin said...

Looks great! I bet it tastes yummy with ice cream!

Amy said...

Mmmm coffee ice cream!!! Great idea!

Rachel said...

I agree, ice cream makes everything better!

Dianne said...

I think this would be fabulous paired with ice cream. I didn't think of it before, but the chocolate would just meld so well. Great idea!

Jaime said...

i have a hard time seeing this cake w/o the glaze too, but from all the other blogs i've visited, it looks great with just powdered sugar on top too! mine just wasn't very pretty though and needed to be covered w/the glaze :) even though yours was a little crumbly, it still looks fudgey and delicious!

Nikki57 said...

Looks great!

Beth G. said...

It looks delicious!! Great photos :)

Melissa L. said...

Awesome pictures - very nicely done! Looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing!

Di said...

Mmm. Cake and ice cream. It didn't even occur to me to put ice cream with it, but that sounds great. And your pictures look great--I especially like the last one.

Dolores said...

I opted out of the glaze this time because I was under time pressure... but I'll definitely make this again *with* the glaze... it looks amazing. And I love your idea of serving it with Starbucks ice cream.

lynette said...

i just lurveeee your cake stand!!! it is so gorgeous, and it sets off the cake beautifully!!!

Tartelette said...

Great idea with the coffee ice cream, they go together like bread and butter! You did a fantastic job!

Melissa said...

I agree with you...what a great way to impress company. Looks great with the ice cream too!