I set a precedence. Or maybe it’s an expectation.
(And thankfully the original expectations weren’t too high – you’ll see why in the next paragraph.)
I made a cake for my dad’s birthday. A very, um, memorable cake, you might say. Remember my Boston Cream Pie Disaster? Yep, that was for my dad. (He still loves me, by the way.)
Anyways, guess what was last week?
Of course: my mom’s birthday.
I kept her expectations really low (as in I didn’t even tell her I was making a cake, just in case). But I did make her a cake. And for her, it had to be chocolate – the women in my family, you might say, are chocolate connoisseurs. (Well, unless we need chocolate right now – and then we settle for these.) I knew that I had to make it rich, chocolately, and full of flavor.
And with this recipe from Geni at Sweet and Crumby, I would say I succeeded – with flying colors.
Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake, adapted from Sweet and Crumby who got it from CookingLight.com
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
3/4 c brewed black coffee
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa
1/4 t salt
2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 T Tia Maria (coffee-flavored liqueur)
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sifted cake flour
6 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 t cream of tartar
1/3 c sugar
1 T powdered sugar
1/4 c raspberries
Preheat oven to 300°. Coat bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and coffee in a large saucepan; stir well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add cocoa, salt, and chocolates, stirring with a whisk until chocolate melts. Stir in coffee liqueur and egg yolks. Then stir in flour; cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed in a mixer until foamy. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; repeat procedure with remaining egg white mixture, one-fourth at a time. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove sides from pan; sift powdered sugar over cake. Garnish with raspberries.
Let’s just say that I was a bit intimidated at first. It didn’t help that I started with chopping the chocolate. Can I just say that all that chopping sucks?! I tried to find an easier way to chop those thick little squares (like grating in a cheese grater), but nothing worked. My arms were even a little sore afterwards – not because I’m out of shape, mind you, just because I was using muscles that normally don’t get a workout. (No snickering from the peanut gallery, please.)
And when the cake finally came out of the oven…
(Well at least for a couple of minutes, until it began to cool. Then it totally cracked around the edges – with little chocolate mini-canyons. But I tried not to let that bother me too much.)
Oh, a special note to everyone out there who’d like to use this as a birthday cake – add the powdered sugar after the person of honor has blown out their candles. We learned that lesson the hard way.
Oh, and the taste was decadent. It had a rich, dark, not-too-sweet flavor. Everyone else liked it cut with vanilla ice-cream, but when I had some the next day (yes, I did take some home – sorry, mom), I ate it with just the sugar and raspberries – and I just about died. It was so heavenly.
But now, at my folk’s house, the precedent has been set.
The expectations are quite high.
And there’s no going back.
At least I have until next summer to plan.