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Dark Chocolate Cake

To turn this simple cake into an impressive dinner-party dessert, add a drizzle of raspberry coulis. To make the coulis, puree 2 cups raspberries in a blender or food processor and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add sugar and fresh lemon juice to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cognac, rum or brewed double-strength coffee
  • 6 Tbs. flour, sifted
  • 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Prepare the cake pan
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Mix the batter
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates, stirring to blend. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and salt on high speed until thick and pale in color. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until the mixture is light and doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Beat in the cognac. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the melted chocolate mixture and then the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake
Bake until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the pan sides and let the cake cool to room temperature. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar shaken through a sieve, cut the cake into wedges and serve. Makes one 9-inch round cake.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).