Bittersweet Chocolate Cake

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake

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Recipe by Stephen Pavy

Serves: makes 20 portions

Serve with Joseph Phelps Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


10-inch spring form pan

Soft butter, enough to grease the sides and bottom of pan

  Granulated sugar for spring form pan
14 oz. Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate (72%)
12 Eggs, separated
2 cups Granulated sugar
3½ sticks (7/8 lb.) Sweet butter, preferably Strauss brand or other European-style
3 Tbsp. Cold water
1 cup Unbleached all purpose flour

Pre-heat oven to 325°F

Apply butter, then sugar to spring form pan, tapping out any extra sugar. 

Cut chocolate into large chunks and place in top of double boiler over simmering water.  When chocolate has melted, add butter and stir until butter has just melted, then remove from heat.  In a mixer, beat egg yolks with sugar until they are thick and pale yellow and form a ribbon when they fall from the beater.  Fold in the chocolate/butter mixture, mixing thoroughly but gently.  Stir in water, mixing thoroughly but gently.  Stir in flour, mixing thoroughly but gently.  Beat egg whites until stiff.  Carefully fold egg whites into batter, incorporating whites completely but not over-mixing.  Scrape batter into baking pan.  Set in middle of oven and bake for 60-80 minutes (lower time for an oven with “convection bake” setting) or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Be careful not to dry out the cake.

Cool on rack for 15 minutes and then remove outer rim of pan. The cake will collapse somewhat; that is expected.  Refrigerate cake for up to several days before serving.

Cake is served cold and you may wish to sift confectioner’s sugar over cake in a stenciled design.