Chocolate Cake + a Cocktail, or, How to Break a Resolution Before You Start It
As much as I enjoy spending time baking and decorating extremely elegant cakes, I still am able to appreciate the beauty in a simple, yet perfectly executed chocolate cake. This recipe comes from David Lebovitz's book The Sweet Life in Paris, which Matt's Uncle Johnny recently gave me. Uncle Johnny apparently makes this cake pretty often, and I could tell by the reaction from his family when it gets brought up that it's a good one. Also, it is almost New Year's Eve and I wanted something simple and classic to accompany my chocolate + salted caramel tart.
Speaking of New Year's Eve...
This is the time of year everyone starts making resolutions and impossible goals for themselves.
"I will lose 20 pounds before March even if it kills me"
"I will read a book every week in the new year"
" I will stop wearing Crocs, I promise"
I have always hated making resolutions and often don't. However, this year my only resolution is to live more slowly. Take things in more. Stop being in such a rush. Enjoy my time on this tiny little planet.
Oh, I have a second resolution which luckily coincides with this recipe. Drink as many cocktails and eat as much chocolate cake as possible in 2015. I'm kidding?
Matt has a special cocktail post for y'all below. Enjoy, bitches!
- 9 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- Pinch of salt
Chocolate Ganache (optional)
- 4 oz semi sweet chocolate chunks or morsels
- 3 T heavy cream
- 1 T butter
- Bring heavy cream to a boil
- Pour over chocolate, let sit for 5 minutes
- Add butter and stir until all chocolate is melted
- Pour over cooled cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare a 9 inch cake pan*
- In a large bowl over a pan of simmering water - it should not be touching the water - heat the chocolate and butter until melted
- Remove from heat and stir in half the sugar, followed by the egg yolk and flour
- Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form soft peaks, begin gradually adding the remaining sugar until the whites are smooth and hold their shape when the whisk is lifted
- Fold one third of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, gradually add remaining whites until the mixture is smooth and no white streaks remain
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, until slightly firm in the center
- Let cool in the pan
* the original recipe calls for a loaf pan, but the cake pan worked quite alright
As promised, here's a cocktail by my wonderful boyfriend Matt
The "So Festive" Cocktail
My name is Matt. Beau and I share a bed. I have a mild-to-obsessive interest in alcoholic beverage knowledge. I came up with this cocktail. It's so festive, so I called it that.
St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram is a Jamaican rum-based allspice liqueur that really tastes like your grandmother's seasonal bathroom potpourri, so it's perfect for a December cocktail. I also used Grand Marnier because orange + spice = the reason for the season. The base of the cocktail is Bulleit Rye, a pretty dry and unobtrusive whiskey that lets those other little buddies shine while still giving the drink a nice structure (because just Grand Marnier and St. Elizabeth's would be grossly thick and sweet).
And then you know what happened? I remembered it's New Year's. That means Champagne. So I topped the sucker off with some. Cheers, y'all.
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 oz. Bulleit Rye
- 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier*
- 1/2 oz. St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram
- Combine in shaking tin. Add ice. Shake, then strain into a coupe glass.
- Top with sparkling wine. (I used De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Brut, but any true brut should be fine.)
*Grand Marnier can be replaced with another orange liqueur such as Tripple Sec or Cointreau, just use one full ounce of the substituted liqueur to replace the Grand Marnier
HAPPY NEW YEAR Y'ALL!