Sometimes when I am reading a really good book, I read it in rations. I don’t want to read it too quickly so that you I enjoy it just a little bit longer. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg was one such book. I have had it on my shelf for a while waiting for a time that I could really savour it and when I finally read it last week, I was not disappointed. Molly writes such lovely stories about her life and loved ones bookended by delicious recipes that are stories in themselves. The grand finale recipe in the book is the Winning Hearts and Minds cake. I had heard whisperings of it around the internet and if it is good enough for the author of a cookbook to serve at her own wedding, then I thought I might as well give it a go.
Jumping in headfirst, I made two cakes at once: one for a dinner with our parents and one as birthday cake for my friend, Ana. The first I served the day after baking it and the other I froze and served a week later. They were fantastic – dense and moist and super chocolaty. (The one that had been frozen may have even tasted better). Both times I served it accompanied by homemade ice cream (see here and here).
Decadent Chocolate Cake
From “A Homemade Life”
Yield: 8 servings
200 grams good-quality dark chocolate (I used Callebaut from the bulk aisle)
200 grams unsalted European-style butter (Dairyland makes one), cubed
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon flour
Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with butter, line the bottom with parchment paper and butter again.
Chop the chocolate into smallish chunks and melt it gently with the butter in a double boiler, stirring regularly. Once combined, add the sugar and stir well. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Then add the eggs on at a time and stir well after each addition. Then add the flour. The batter should be smooth and glossy.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until the centre of the cake looks set and the top is shiny and a bit crackly-looking. Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes; then carefully turn the cake out of the pan and revert it, so that the crackly side is facing upward. Allow to cool completely. The cake will deflate slightly as it cools.
Tip for Flipping the Cake: Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pan followed by an upside down plate. Holding the plate and the cake pan together quickly flip them. Remove the pan, leaving the cake upside-down on the foil-covered plate. Then put a second plate (serving plate) upside-down on top of the cake, wedge two fingers between the plates to keep from squashing the cake, and flip the plates, so that the cake is once more facing up.
Serve in wedges at room temperature.