Saturday, June 28, 2008

Learning a new language

I can now say four things in French

La Bete Noire (that's 1) -
I found this recipe in Bon Appetit (that's 2). They describe it as "A phenomenal take on a classic flourless chocolate cake that lives up to its translation, "The Black Beast."

The picture looked amazing and I knew I had to try this one. The recipe looks a little complicated, and it definitely requires a bit more work that other desserts. I was up for the challenge, and after reading it through and actually preparing it, I found the recipe was not quite a complicated as it seemed. Don't be afraid!

There are not a lot of ingredients, however, you are going to need quite a bit of chocolate. 26oz to be exact.
If you are worried about taking out a small loan for all that chocolate - Fear Not!
Any semi-sweet (Nestle Tollhouse chips) or bitter-sweet chocolate will do. Our grocery (Publix) carries Nestle, their own store brand, and Ghirardelli chocolate chips and squares. I decided to go with bitter-sweet Ghirardelli. My tastebuds said MERCI! (that's 3).

La Bete Noire

1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar

9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, diced
18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped


For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. (whisk quickly - you're not going for chocolate scrambled eggs) Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 - 55 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For ganache:
Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.

I made my own whipped cream. It is easy to make and tastes so much better than store bought.

Fresh Whipped Cream
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
3 T sugar
1 t vanilla

Whisk until soft peaks form.

By the way...I know I said I can say four things in French and if you were keeping track, I only listed three. That was not a mistake. The fourth word I know was taught to me recently, and although I don't know exactly what it means, I know can't be good. When someone tells you to say something and then laughs, you can pretty much bet it isn't nice. And since I don't swear in English, you better believe I won't be swearing in French either.

1 comment:

The Cooking Lady said...

I teach cooking to homeschool children(Long story), but suffice it to say, when I discovered how to make my own shipped cream, I stopped buying the stuff in a can. Ick!