Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Almost Angelic Chocolate Souffle Cake

So far this week I haven't been that productive....

I feel like I'm overbaked. Do you ever feel that way? As much as I love it....I think I need a break!

The only new discovery I made has been a tragic one. One that I'm almost ashamed to share with you. But I trust you, so here goes nothing...

There is such a thing as too much chocolate.

Holy smokes! I said it.

I've been working on new brownie recipes for the past month for my upcoming cookbook and I realized that even I have a limit. It's so sad. I wish I had never discovered this. I always dreamed of swimming in a pool filled with dark chocolate M&M's and truffles lining the outside edge so I could pop up and eat one when I came up for air......Ugh, that dream is shattered.

If you don't believe me, try making 16 batches of brownies in one week and you'll understand. It goes something like this.....

Sugar + butter + chocolate overload = upset tummy = grumpy baker = the sight of brownies makes her woozy = must get rid of brownies = husbands coworkers get to eat a lot of brownies.

The good thing is that it wears off in a short 24 hours so you'll be up and eating chocolate again the next day! So really, it's not that bad.

I feel like making this really light Almost Angelic Chocolate Souffle Cake is a good thing to ease me back into chocolate.....kinda like a gateway drug. After eating this you'll feel ready to tackle another batch of brownies all over again. (I'm talking about the legal kind of brownies here so don't you get any funny ideas in your head).

It's light and soft....almost sponge-like. It's not too sweet and not too rich so you can slowly eat more and more of it without wanting to drink a gallon of water and then go for a 15 mile run to make you feel clean again.

Like an angel food cake, this Chocolate Souffle Cake gets its lift from whipped egg whites alone. Unlike an angel food cake, this guy wears some fat in the form of a couple of egg yolks and delicious cocoa butter. Serve it up with some whipped cream and maybe even a few sweetened berries and you've got dinner. Or, dessert. Tom-ay-toes. Tom-ah-toes.

Almost Angelic Chocolate Soufflé Cake
Serves 8-10

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup boiling water
2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp lemon juice
2 to 3 tsp icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper and line the inside circumference with a strip of parchment.

Combine the chocolate, ¼ cup sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the boiling water and whisk until mixture is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted. Let cool while you beat the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with vanilla extract using an electric mixer on high speed until blended. Gradually beat in ¼ cup sugar until pale yellow and thick, about 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula until well combined.

Combine the egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and beat on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form.

Sift flour into chocolate mixture and fold it in until well blended. Quickly fold about a one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites in two parts. Pour batter into prepared pan and gently smooth the top if necessary.

Bake until puffed and cracked at the surface, about 30 minutes. A toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool the pan on a wire rack. The torte will sink as it cools like a soufflé should.

Remove the sides of the pan and pull off the parchment paper. Using a fine mesh sieve, sift a little powdered sugar over the top and serve with a little whipped cream if desired.

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