So instead of reflecting on the year that was, I would like to look forward to the year that will be. Granted, I started of 2011 with a great deal of optimism for what was sure to be a great year to come, but I am certain that 2012 has better things in store for me than 2011. I am hoping that my falling apart in 2011 only created an opportunity for me to put myself back together in a more fabulous shape in 2012.
So, in parting with 2011, I leave you with a recipe for a most delicious and simple chocolate cake. I wish I had thought to pair it with a peppermint whipped cream, since I served it on Christmas Eve, but it was just as delicious with the orange flower-scented whipped cream that I made. For me, this cake was simply perfect: light, chocolatey, and decadent. Fancy enough for a celebration, but simple enough to pull together in a pinch.
from Ready for Dessert
10 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 70%), chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tbsp freshly brewed espresso
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 lrg eggs, at room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp cocoa nibs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by buttering it and dusting it with cocoa powder.
In a large heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate, butter, and espresso and melt over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
In a smaller bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar and beat on medium-high speed with a hand mixer until the mixture is light and creamy, about 1 minute.
In a clean, dry medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites on low speed until they begin to hold shape. Add the 2 tbsp sugar and beat on high speed until the whites hold soft peaks.
Fold the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, then fold in half of the egg whites. Carefully fold in the remaining whites until there are no streaks of white- don't overfold!
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the cocoa nibs evenly over the top. Bake until the cake is barely set in the center, abut 25 minutes. Let cool completely.