For some reason I felt determined to bake yesterday, and I felt determined to bake with chocolate. I’d been reading my French cookbook from the 60s. I don’t really like to follow recipes, but this cookbook is different, because I don’t really speak French, and because it doesn’t really spell out how to make the recipe in a step by step way. So it’s like solving a puzzle. I’m not sure I made this cake correctly, but it turned out delicious! It has lots of butter, chocolate and eggs, and 1 tablespoon of flour and a smicker of ground almonds. It’s dense, but light, soft, flavorful. We ate half the blackberries fresh, and we turned the rest into a sauce with cassis and sugar. The blackberries and the sauce were quite tart, but I thought they went well with the sweet chocolatey cake.
Here’s Jeanne Moreau singing Le Tourbillon, which always sounds like summer passing too fast, to me.
1 stick cold butter (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1 heaping teaspoon flour
1/2 cup almonds, roughly ground
1 t vanille
4 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan. (I always fold a square of tin foil – about 6 inches across – to fit in the center, and butter and flour that in, too.)
Beat the eggwhites till stiff. Whisk the egg yolks till combined.
In a medium-sized saucepan over low heat, warm the chocolate chips till just melted. Beat the butter with a wooden spoon till soft, and then stir it into the chocolate till everything is just melted. Take the pot off th heat, and, whisking the whole time, add the egg yolks. Keep whisking, and add the sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and almonds. (You might need to change to a spoon, but don’t stop stirring!) Let it cool slightly, and then pour it into the bowl with the egg whites, keeping it to one side. Fold everything together carefully, and then pour it into your prepared pan. Bake for about 1/2 hour, till a knife stuck in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
FOR THE SAUCE
1 cup blackberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cassis
2 T water
Combine everything in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till it’s a bit thickened – ten or fifteen minutes. Taste for sweetness.