Adopamop and Lucy have returned to France, leaving me with no excuses for avoiding chores. It was good run.
So, it turns out that Lucy, who weighs in at about 30 lbs, can eat about 30 lbs of dessert – no matter what she’s had to eat prior. It is quite remarkable. (Mostly because I’m the same way.) When she and my brother first arrived, I offered to bring a dessert for our first family meal together. Lucy said she’d like chocolate cake. Actually, she requested two chocolate cakes. Beaucoup through and through.
Do you have David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert? Because you should. It’s a wonderful book. That might seem a bit off topic, but stay with me. That book is where I found the recipe for Racines Cake. It’s from a French restaurant bearing the same name, and Lebovitz found the recipe posted in the men’s room. I probably would have called it Bathroom Cake, but I guess that’s why he’s famous and I’m not. Anyhoo, it seemed appropriate to bring a French cake to dinner, and with Adopamop in attendance, bathroom related fare also seemed apropos.
This is a flour-less cake. That means you gluten-free types will probably be all over it. It’s rich and perfect served with a huge dollop of whipped cream (even without the gluten).
Lucy scarfed a big piece down, and gave it her wee French stamp of approval. This is important, as I’ve also learned that when you piss a French kid off she’ll lick you. Like, all over.
. . .
- cocoa powder, for preparing the pan
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup salted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon freshly brewed instant espresso
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- confectioners’ sugar, for dusting the cake (optional) or whipped cream for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) spring-form pan, dust it with a bit of cocoa powder, and then tap out any excess.
Place the chocolate, butter and espresso in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a small saucepan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks and the 1/4 cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and creamy, about 1 minute.
Place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and using a hand-held electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on low speed until they begin to hold their shape. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and whisk on high speed until the whites hold soft peaks.
Fold the beaten egg yolks into the melted chocolate mixture, and then fold in half of the whipped egg whites. Fold in the remaining whites, folding just until there are no visible streaks of egg whites. Do not overfold.
Pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan, and bake until the cake feels as though it’s just barely set (it shouldn’t feel to firm) in the centre – about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Run a knife around the sides of the cake to help loosen it from the pan. Release the sides of the pan and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar (if using).