Saturday, May 1, 2010
So, like I mentioned before, this week kinda sucked. It dragged on and on and to make matters worse, there was drama at the very beginning. I'm so happy that it's the weekend, and I'm not even minding that it's drizzly and grey outside; I'm just glad that the work week is over and I can put it behind me.
I hate drama, especially when it messes up my routine, which it definitely did this week. Thankfully, I had someone to bail me out: my sister. I love my sister. We've been through a lot together. We hated each other when we were younger, became best friends when we were teenagers, drifted apart when we both got serious boyfriends, and then drifted back together when we both realized that there's no one in the world that we love in quite the same way as we love each other. I know people that hate their siblings and find it a chore to be around them, and I always feel so sad for them. To be lucky enough to have a sibling is a blessing, one that you should cherish forever. And boy was I glad to have a sister this week. She was there for me in a heartbeat, helping me out of a particularly tricky situation, and as usual, wanted nothing in return.
The least I could do was write a post in her honour. So here it is: Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Cloud Cake. I made this cake for her birthday last year, and after tasting it, she wanted the recipe. I found that strange, since she rarely used to bake, but since that first bite of cake, she's made this recipe for herself quite a few times. She's definitely a chocolate fan, one of the original dark chocolate lovers before it got all sexy and healthy and everyone started pretending that they liked it better than milk chocolate. She's always preferred dark chocolate. I remember her coming home one day with a box of semi-sweet baking chocolate to snack on because there were no good chocolate bars at the grocery store. And I remember having the Swiss Chalet Festive Special with her and giving her my blue Lindor truffles in exchange for the red ones. Dark chocolate all the way. And that's what you need for this recipe -- a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, because you'll definitely taste the difference. It's a flour-less, chocolately, melty, gooey rich treat and I wish she were here this weekend, so that I could make one for her to show her how much I love her.
But she's off chasing indy music shows in eastern Ontario this weekend, so I'll have to wait for another time. In the meantime, I'm sharing this recipe with you, so perhaps if you have a sibling, you'll make them a yummy chocolate treat just to show them how much you care.
Nigella's Chocolate Cloud Cake
(I basically halved the original recipe and left out the orange zest and Cointreau. For the birthday party, I made the whole thing including the whipped cream topping, but for a weekend treat, I'd stick to half, sans whipped cream.)
4.5 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped
62 grams of unsalted butter (about 1/4 cup)
3 eggs: 1 whole, 2 separated
85 grams of sugar (about 1/3 cup)
1. In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and the butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Set aside and let it cool down. (Yeah, I know, it's a faux pas to put chocolate over a direct flame, but the butter kind of protects it, and it should be ok if you keep a close eye on it.)
2. In a large bowl, beat 1 whole egg and 2 yolks with half the sugar until it gets light, fluffy and ribbony. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture.
3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites, adding the rest of the sugar a little at a time, until soft peaks form.
4. In three stages, add the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, folding gently so that you don't deflate it.
5. Pour it into a prepared pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top is shiny and cracked and the smell makes you think that your kitchen has turned into that 24-hour chocolate factory in Spain. Remove from the oven and don't be disappointed when it sinks -- it's supposed to! Add your whipped cream on top if you're using it, or just dig in and satisfy that dark chocolate craving. Don't forget to share it!