My friend Janine sells wine, NO! that is not the only reason why we are friends. She is funny and she is honest with me, always! In fact, she is honest to a fault, sometimes I just want to punch her. But I simply return the honesty. She came to visit last December, while her mum was in town from Australia for 2 months. (see this is why I wrote mum!) The three of us had a grand old-time! And BONUS, she invited me to join her in Chicago in January for this fancy dinner party she was attending. This party is held every year for close friends: food and wine people…now now, I love food and wine!!!!!
So after consulting my ever-growing book and recipe collection, I have decided (upon approval by Janine) that I will make my Dreamy Pizza (call me a creature of habits) and stuffed endives for appetizers. But for a dessert/housewarming gift I am making Tarte au Chocolat! Yes, my dear friends I am going all out and hopefully will be the “chocolate” star of the dessert table! I hear someone is bringing amazing cupcakes from this great bakery. Well, I can’t compete with that so I am branching out!
Here is my Dreamy Pizza: Dreamy Pizza
You may go check out the pictures and the “story” on my post: Dreaming of a pizza
The chocolate tart was actually one I found in a book called: A Homemade Life by Molly Winzenberg. (I have her blog spot listed below: Orangette) It is absolutely delicious and somehow you look like a super star when you make this cake. So here is the plan, prep what I can before I drive up there and make the cake on Friday. Another bonus is that this cake is better YES better the next day! That is absolutely crazy, and it works to my advantage.
The Chocolate Tart/Cake or Gateau au chocolat fondant.
7 ounces best-quality dark chocolate
7 ounces unsalted butter cut into ½-inch cubes (approximately 1 ¾ sticks)
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 375F, and butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the base of the pan with parchment, and butter the parchment too.
Finely chop the chocolate and melt it gently with the butter in a double boiler or in the microwave (I have to use a double boiler because it forces me to watch it, we all know I have the attention span of a gnat), stirring regularly to combine. Add the sugar to the chocolate-butter mixture, stirring well, and set aside to cool for a few moments. Then add the eggs one by one, stirring well after each addition, and then add the flour. The batter should be smooth, dark, and utterly gorgeous.
Pour batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake looks set and the top is shiny and a bit crackly-looking. (I usually set the timer for 20 minutes initially, and then I check the cake every two minutes thereafter until it’s done. At 20 minutes, it’s usually quite jiggly in the center. You’ll know it’s done when it jiggles only slightly, if at all.) Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes; then carefully turn the cake out of the pan and revert it, so that the crackly side is facing upward. Allow to cool completely. The cake will deflate slightly as it cools.
Serve in wedges at room temperature with a loose dollop of slightly sweetened whipped cream.
Here is my masterpiece: HA!
Again…this picture does not do this cake justice. It is pure chocolate heaven…assuming heaven is made of chocolate which I, for one, am banking on!
Printer friendly version (ooops I almost forgot!): Gâteau au chocolat fondant
P.S.: Cake was a success, considering that Janine and Brad were standing by the kitchen counter eating it for breakfast!
Note: Here is what our menu was for this fancy dinner party:
Stuffed endives with shrimp
Dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped with bacon
A combined salad: 2 salads on top of each other; bottom was shaved fennel with dressing topped with a baby arugula salad with a different dressing, sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan.
Fresh pasta with braised pork bellies glazed with a miso & maple syrup reduction (I cannot express how amazing this was; simply perfect)
Boeuf Bourguignon with mashed potatoes and vegetable medley
Cupcakes: a peanut butter,chocolate & banana cupcake!!!! (also a simple chocolate cupcake and a red velvet cupcake….can you tell which one I fell in love with?!!)
Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me because I want to make these recipes/ideas accessible to you guys ASAP! I need to re-do these so you and I can make it at home!
Peace and pork bellies 🙂
I also shared this cake here: Sweet-as-Sugar-Cookies