Alphonse Mucha - Chocolat Ideal
Chocolat Ideal
Alphonse Mucha
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Chocolate-Coffee Volcano


"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE."
Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"



“You have given chocolates before, just never like this. We bring you a
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wooden box: a sophisticated and unforgettable gift!”

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  Arthur Secunda - Volcano
Arthur Secunda
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Forever Summer: Fresh, Irresistible Cooking All Year Round
Forever Summer:
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Chocolate-Coffee Volcano

How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking
How to Be a Domestic Goddess:
Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking

© Nigella Lawson, 2001, Hyperion

“Despite a move toward chic simplification, sometimes we need a touch of vulgarity in our lives. This dessert certainly provides that. The idea came from a dessert I had at Spago, the Los Angeles restaurant comprising chocolate Bundt cake stuffed with raspberries and topped with crème brûlée. This is my version: a light chocolate cake baked in a Bundt pan – that’s to say, a turban-shaped one with a hole in the middle – its hole, once the cake’s turned out and dampened with liqueur, filled with chopped walnuts with a creamy coffee custard poured over; finally, imagine sugar sprinkled over and that sugar set alight so that you’ve got a hard, crackle-glazed top (for which you’ll need a small blowtorch). And funnily enough, although it is very much in composition and appearance a swaggering pièce de résistance, it’s easy to make. Just isolate the three separate tasks: the making of the cake, which is infant-school easy; the making of the custard, which is so eggy it scarcely takes 5 minutes; and the final torching to turn the coffee custard into café crème brûlée.
Then – pa-dah!”

Serves 8

for the cake:
1 cup sugar
Scant a cup cake flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated, plus 2 more egg whites (from the yolks
you need for the café crème)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10-inch Bundt pan, oiled

for the café crème:
1 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

for the topping:
Approximately 12 teaspoons (i.e., 4 tablespoons) Tia Maria or rum
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons sugar
Chef’s kitchen blowtorch

It makes sense to get on with the custard first. So, warm the cream gently
in a saucepan. Mix the yolks, sugar and espresso powder together in a bowl,
and pour the warm cream over this mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the mixture back into the rinsed-out saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens; with this ratio of yolks to liquid, it won’t take any time at all. Pour into a bowl, cover with wet baking parchment,
and leave to cool.
Get on with the cake as soon as you’ve made the custard. It, too, must cool before assembly. (Indeed, you may well find it easier to make both cake and custard a day in advance.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, putting in a baking sheet as you do. In a large bowl, mix together 3/4 cup of the sugar, the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a measuring cup, whisk together the yolks, oil, water, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients gradually, beating to combine.
In another bowl, whisk the 6 egg whites until they are foamy and forming
soft peaks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, a spoonful at a time, still whisking, till the whites are thick and shiny and hold their shape. Briskly
beat a large dollop of whites into the cake mixture to lighten it, then, a third
at a time, fold in the remaining whites.
Pour the mixture into the oiled pan and place on the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes, by which time the cake should be springy and coming away from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack for 25 minutes before turning it out.
Pour or sprinkle the Tia Maria – or rum – onto the top of the cake, letting
the liqueur soak in after each teaspoon. Of course, you could use tablespoons or just pour from the bottle, but you do want to make sure the cake’s moistened rather than drenched.
When you are ready to serve, place the cake on a place with a lip – or an almost-flat wide bowl – and fill the center with the walnuts. Pour the cold custard into the remaining space in the center, letting it overflow a little over the shoulders, so to speak, and the sides. Sprinkle the sugar, a little at a time, so that it doesn’t soak in, on top of the cake, and use the blowtorch to caramelize the top.


 Featured Archive Recipes:
Mary Bergin's Crème Brûléed Chocolate Bundt
Triple Fudge Kahlua Torte
Turkish Coffee Torte
Spago's Chocolate Truffle Cake

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Index - Cake Recipe Archives

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