Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Smitten With A Tiny Chocolate Cake

Wow, where do I begin, this cake is A-MAZ-ING.  It's the perfect mash up of a chewy brownie and a chocolate torte and the addition of fresh berries and whipped cream really amp up the yum factor. This delicious and super easy recipe was created by obsessive home-cook Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. If you have never read her food blog you are truly missing out. Her blog has become so popular, in fact, that she has written her own cookbook: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I dare you to try and skim through the Amazon preview of this book and not buy it...impossible!  Also, if you remember from my post Successful Pinspirations (Part 1) I made her Hostess Cake, which was shockingly good.

This week at work we celebrated my boss' birthday and since I work in a small office of four people I thought it would be nice to surprise them with a homemade treat. I started flipping through my Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and came upon this Tiny, but Intense Chocolate Cake.  Deb writes a great little intro before each recipe, either commenting on why she loves the recipe or how it came to be. This recipe in particular is her "go-to" cake for those last minute celebrations or the perfect "cheer up" cake for a friend who has had a bad day. The ingredients are minimal and you can even change up the chocolate to reduce the intensity.

A Simple Mise En Place
Since I wasn't sure how intense my co-workers like their chocolate I decided to use half semi-sweet chocolate and half milk chocolate and since I didn't have a 6 inch cake pan I used my smallest CorningWare dish and adjusted the cooking time.  I also found myself with a big ol' bag of dark brown sugar, but no light brown sugar as specified in the ingredients.  The difference between light and dark is the amount of molasses mixed with the sugar.  So here's a great tip...use half dark brown sugar and half granulated (regular) sugar and there you go...light brown sugar!
Browned Butter to Melt Rich Chocolate
Browned butter...something I am loving lately.  It really gives recipes a depth of flavor that you won't get just melting the butter and it's so simple.  You just need to cook your butter over medium heat until it has turned a golden color and gives off a nutty flavor with brown specks at the bottom of the pan.  Be careful not to burn it, because you will have to start all over again!

Creamed Sugar and Eggs with Chocolate
Gentle Folding of Egg Whites with Chocolate Batter
Be gentle when you are folding in your egg whites and make sure you don't incorporate them all at once.  It's very important to fold in about 1/3rd of the whites first then fold in the rest.  This will help to keep the cake from becoming a baked chocolate block.

Chocolate Perfection with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
VERDICT: A perfect little cake that I am sure would be welcomed by any friend or hostess.  Not to mention that since there is no flour it's a great cake for those trying to eliminate or reduce their gluten intake.

Enjoy and Happy Baking,
Dani xoxo

Tiny, but Intense 
Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Deb Perelman's
Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
    • three large eggs separated
    • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • pinch cinnamon

  • Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350.line a 6 inch round springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Generously butter sides of pan and parchment round.
    2. in a small saucepan melt your butter over medium heat, stirring for even cooking. After the butter melts, it will then hiss and spatter a bit, fragrant brown bits will form at the bottom of the sauce pan. The whole process will take three minutes. Quickly remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Cool chocolate mixture to lukewarm, a process that maybe sped up by transferring the mixture from the hot sauce pan to a small bowl set in a puddle of cold water. keep stirring if you are using this method
    3. With electric mixer beat eggs yolks, brown sugar and vanilla together until mixture thickens and takes on a pale yellow brown color. Slowly beat in lukewarm chocolate mixture, and a pretty good color will return the mixture will become very thick.
    4. In a separate bowl beat egg whites with clean beaters until firm peaks form. Add a pinch of cinnamon, if desired. Stir one third of eight mixture into chocolate mixture. Fold remaining two thirds in gently, trying to keep better as light as possible. Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is puffed with a lovely dome on top. test with skewer.
    5. To serve let cool 10 minutes. Run tonight around cake to make sure it's not stuck. Release the spring form sides. Let cool. once cooled flip onto plate remove parchment.
    6. additional: beat 1/2 cup whipping cream with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar until soft peaks form dust cake with confectioners' sugar dollop with whip cream and berries.