Saturdays are many things to many people. For some it is the designated day for errands like shopping, visiting the pharmacy and returning library books. For others it is when they can finally get in that activity they’ve been meaning to do during the week, like a morning run or yoga class.
Saturday means freedom. The work week is behind you and there’s another 24-hour day of rest ready to greet you when you wake up.
I’m going out of town next weekend so this weekend was a home-centric weekend. It involved laundry, cleaning and, of course, cooking.
Dinner was this amazing steamed mussels in a white wine cream sauce with parsley. I didn’t take any pictures because, well, we ate it too fast. Seriously it was that good. Will definitely make it again.
The meal just got better. Following the dinner was this amazing flourless chocolate cake by English cookery personality Sophie Dahl. I stumbled upon Dahl while watching clips of Nigella Lawson’s TV shows on YouTube. You may remember I’ve expressed my fondness for Nigella previously on this blog. I can’t exactly pinpoint the reason why I like these English TV cooks. They don’t cook radically different things from U.S. TV cooks, but it just seems so less stuffy. It may just be the accents.
Regardless, here’s the clip that first introduced me to Sophie. Really, you can’t stop at just one.
Flourless Chocolate Cake, recipe by Sophie Dahl (written recipe available here)
2 cups chocolate, preferably dark chocolate (I used 72 % dark chocolate)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup salted butter (if using unsalted butter, add 1/2 tsp. salt to recipe)
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp. instant coffee or espresso powder
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1. Break up the chocolate into small-ish pieces, like, no bigger than a thumb. Put the chocolate and sugar in a large food processor. Blitz the chocolate and sugar together until the mixture is finely blended. Add the egg yolks, butter, vanilla, coffee and water. Blend until smooth. Pour chocolate mixture into a large bowl. Some pea-sized chocolate pieces may remain, don’t worry they melt amazingly in the cake.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until combined.
3. Pour the batter into a buttered, round 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake in a pre-heated 350*F oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out smoothly with a few crumbs attached to it. This is a fudgy cake. I found the cake needed the full 55 minute bake time.
4. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely. Put cake in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Ideally, you want to serve this cake the next day. When I first cut it, about three hours after baking, it was way too fudgy in the center. It was cooked, but needed the full time to cool. Cutting a slice this morning was much easier. Yes, I ate chocolate cake before noon. But my pictures from last night were too yellow and the morning light was just so much better – at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
5. Serve with fresh whipped cream, really it’s worth the extra effort. See here for an earlier post about real whipped cream.