Makes 2 8″ cakes
6 Eggs, separated
7 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
7 1/2 oz. butter (2 sticks minus 1 tablespoon)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
Prepare two 8″ cake pans by buttering well and lining the bottoms with a circle of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Let cool slightly – it should be just warm but not hot. Whip yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar until thick and pale yellow – about 5 minutes. Fold in cornstarch and chocolate mixture.
With a clean bowl and whisk, whip egg whites on high. As they begin to get opaque and foamy, gradually add the sugar with the machine running. Continue to whip on high until soft to medium peaks form – the meringue should cling to the whisk but still be floppy when turned over. Gently fold the meringue into the first mixture, stirring just until everything is evenly distributed.
Distribute between the two pans. Bake at 300 degrees for about 45 mins to an hour. The top will be crusty and dry, and the mixture will jiggle slightly but should not be soupy. Let cool to room temperature before inverting onto a plate. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with vanilla crème anglaise and fresh raspberries.
Vanilla Crème Anglaise (custard sauce)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
7 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
Put the milk and cream into a pot. With a knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pot. Drop the pod onto the pot too. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, whisk the yolks and sugar together in a mixing bowl. When the milk boils, gradually whisk 1/3 of it into the yolks. Off the heat, whisk the contents of the bowl into the pot.
Return the pot to medium heat, and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until it begins to thicken, or reaches 175 degrees on a thermometer. Be sure to scrape all points of the pot while stirring so that it does not curdle or burn. Remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl. Chill immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Philadelphia’s Center City District and Le Bec Fin
1523 Walnut Street, Philadelphia