Friday, August 17, 2007

All Cravings Start With Chocolate

Chocolate Nemesis with Raspberries

“So where did these cravings come from? I concluded it's the baby ordering in. Prenatal takeout. Even without ever being in a restaurant, fetuses develop remarkably discerning palates, and they are not shy about demanding what they want. If they get a hankering, they just pick up the umbilical cord and call. 'You know what would taste good right now? A cheeseburger, large fries, and a vanilla shake. And if you could, hurry it up, because I'm supposed to grow a lung in a half hour.'”
Paul Reiser, 'Babyhood' (1997)

I don’t know if what I am experiencing can be classified as pregnancy cravings, but it seems I am reaching for sweets a lot more often than usual.

For sure last night's ricotta cheesecake with rhubarb-raspberry compote was created for reasons other than the need to thin my rhubarb patch. Chocolate bundt cake the day before really was a good excuse to try my new pans; and obviously Sunday’s espresso ice cream was to help combat the heat….but this deep dark flour-less chocolate cake? Well, it must have been an order placed directly from the baby.

Once again I turned to the River Cafe Cookbook for this decadent chocolate cake. Once you try this you will never make another chocolate cake recipe. While it only calls for four ingredients, it is essential to use the very best chocolate possible. Note that this is a very large recipe. I had some leftover batter and made these sweet heart-shaped individual cakes. Why not? I've told you before, every day is Valentine's in this house!

Chocolate Nemesis

Serves 10-12

675g (1.1/2 lbs) bitter-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
10 whole eggs
575 g sugar
450g unsalted butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 12x2 inch cake pan with greaseproof paper, than grease and flour it.

Beat the eggs with a third of the sugar until the volume quadruples-this will take at least 10 minutes in an electric mixer.

Heat the remaining sugar in a small pan with 250 ml (8 fl oz) water until the sugar has completely dissolved to a syrup.

Place the chocolate and butter in the hot syrup and stir to combine until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Add warm chocolate mixture to the eggs and continue to beat, more gently, until completely combined- about 20 seconds, no more.

Pour into the cake tin and place in baine-marie of hot water. It is essential, for the cake to cook evenly, that the water comes up to the rim of the tin. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until set. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.

When you are ready to serve the cake, loosen around the edges of the pan with a hot knife. Place the pan on a hot stove burner for 45 seconds or so to warm the bottom. Place a plate on top and invert the pan. Tap bottom gently with the butt of a knife and the cake should drop. Remove pan, peel back parchment, and voila! No frosting needed.
Serve with a few fresh berries.


Nora B. said...

Beautiful photos! 10 eggs! I'll have to give this recipe a try since you've highly recommended it. Cravings are strange things. I am not pregnant, so I have no excuse :-)

Mandy said...

This looks soooooo moist and chocolatey. I wish I am pregnant, so that I can use that as excuse to eat lots of chocolate everyday. :P

Zaak said...

You know, only politically charged books make me want to swear more than when I read your blog. I mean, really swear. Ripe words swearing.


Mandy said...

Look at that: two mandy's commenting about chocolate... haha.... It looks devine Aimee!

Anh said...

Oh my, this surely the perfect way to enjoy chocolate!

Anonymous said...

amazing, I am going to have to try it. Be glad your baby is ordering in sweets, my baby only wanted Tabasco in large quantities and anything else hot enough to set a normal person on fire.

Aimée said...

Hi Nora- You can always blame random cravings on PMS, that usually works for me. :)

Hi Mandy- I certainly take full advantage of my pregnancy in that way. How many times do I start a sentence "The baby's hungry, so..."?

Hi Zaak- I don't know what to say, except that you were part of my inspiration to start this blog.
Love you guys!

Hi Mandy- Thanks, you can ask Tammy how she enjoyed it.

Hi Anh- It certainly comes close to perfection!

Hi Mlindley- Welcome to UtHC!!How unusual about you Tabasco cravings! I love it. You must have had some serious heartburn.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

The marriage of raspberries and chocolate is made in heaven!!!! Chocolate is my biggest downfall. This cake looks rich enough to feed my cravings for chocolate... which is my biggest downfall by the way.

Belinda said...

Aimee, wow! This is a gorgeous cake, and goodness, what could ever be better than raspberries and chocolate together?! They are truly made to go together...although I'd never turn either down seperately either. :-)

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Love your beautiful chocolate cake! If I make that, my husband will think I'm pregnant too! Hmm, maybe I should. LOL!

Anonymous said...

No heartburn for me, but I think that I may have burned a hole in my husband's stomach a couple of times. It was around this time he decided to learn how to cook. Self preservation I think.

Anonymous said...

wow! this looks so good. I will try it out when we aren't on a diet. Summer holidays are killing us.

Patricia Scarpin said...

You can and must crave this delicious dessert, Aimée - I'm not pregnant and I almost took a bit off the computer screen... :)

Tammy said...

OMG!!! This was so delicious. Aimee served us this as the last dish of a seven-course meal. Every course was delicious, and I just did not have room left to eat another piece or two of this as I really would have loved to. I just have to make it myself now. Mandy, you're invited!

Aimée said...

Hi Valli- I think I get what you are saying about your biggest downfall!There's no doubt this cake will fulfill all your cravings.

Hi Belinda- Thanks! It helps that the raspberries are such attractive fruit- they make stunning garnishes.

Hi East Meets West- Either way, I doubt your husband would complain!

Hi Mlindley- Your husband sounds like a wise man.

Hi Ninja- Yes, this really isn't a 'low-fat' recipe, sorry!

Hi Patricia- That's funny! Hmm, my husband isn't pregnant either, but by the way he tucked into this one, you would wonder!

Hi Tammy- Thanks! I thought you would enjoy it. Do try it at home.

test it comm said...

That looks really amazing. Nice photos! It looks so moist! Chocolate and raspberries are a really nice combination.

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