Hello!  We are back from our vacation in Hawaii.  I can’t believe I just said that!  I’ve dreamed my whole life of running into the ocean.  I spent my years growing up at Crooked Lake, Saskatchewan.  It is a “crooked” (ie. lots of bays) lake in the Qu’Appelle Valley – the gem of SK.  I love the water and swimming in waves.  I dreamed of looking out into the water and never seeing anything on the other side.  The ocean was what I wanted to see.  My first time was on the coast of Vancouver island.  I ran (ok, that was a lie.  I carefully tip-toed over the rocky shore) and bust into a freezing cold wave that rolled me up the afore-mentioned rocky shore.  Not really like my dream…. I had to rewrite that dream in my head.  Picture running on a silky sanded beach, into a warm salty clear turquoise wavy ocean.  There’s all the descriptive words I was missing.  That is what I was really dreamin’ about!  Well, I just checked that off my list at Makelawena Beach on the big island.  Thank you Hawaii!

Back to the real world, I was anxious to post something new.  Gentle readers, I know I have left you hanging here for a while, but this chocolate cake might be my ticket out of the doghouse.  I made it for the engagement dinner for my sis and her beau.  I wanted to make a flourless chocolate cake to top off the fancy dinner (see engagement dinner).  I grabbed a cookbook that my Mom had bought us, that we hadn’t made a single thing from yet.   I didn’t find a flourless cake, but I found this one.  Saying the words, “Yes, I made a chocolate cake from that cookbook” trumped the flourless detail.

It is moist, dense, very chocolat-y and a flat platform for the monogram.  I didn’t have any great completely over the top letters (like I wanted), but I did have some modern lowercase ones.  In the end I think it fit the couple, so just go with what you got or get some that would fit who you are making it for.  Icing sugar (that’s powdered sugar/confectioner’s sugar for all you non-Canadians) looks good for a big contrast, but using cocoa would give that monotone look that is oh-so-very chic as well.

So there was a fold in the parchment paper and it left a line.  Oops!  Try your best to keep it flat.

Chic Chocolate Cake – adapted from Berries (it’s supposed to have raspberries in it…)

9 squares bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

1 tbsp strong dark coffee (espresso works perfectly)

5 eggs

0.5 cup sugar

0.5 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

icing sugar or cocoa for dusting

optional  – 175 g fresh raspberries

I couldn’t find bittersweet chocolate, but to be honest I didn’t try that hard 🙂  I used semi-sweet.  Might be the same thing, but I’m not sure. 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch round cake pan and line the base with parchment paper.

Put an inch or two of water in a saucepan and place a heatproof bowl on top (ie. double-boiler) making sure the bowl does not touch the water.  Put the chocolate, butter and coffee in the bowl and bring the water to just a simmer.  Stir occasionally until melted.  Set aside.

While the chocolate is melting, beat the eggs and sugar in another bowl until it’s pale and thick.  Then, fold the chocolate into the egg mixture.  Tip – put in a little of the chocolate at a time so that the eggs get warmed up.  Do not add the chocolate when it is burning hot.  That will make egg chunks – gross!

Stir  in the flour and cinnamon and then pour into the prepared pan.  If you decide to use the raspberries, sprinkle them evenly over the top now.  Set aside bowl.

Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  My oven was maybe even a little under 35min.  Let cool in pan for about  15 minutes before you turn over onto a plate.  Place stencils on and sprinkle dusting ingredient of your choice through a mesh strainer.  I always think “let it snow!” in my head when I am doing this – FUN.

Remember how I said, set aside bowl?  Now lick every bit of leftover batter our of the bowl.  Yum!  (there are raw eggs in it so don’t blame me for an upset stomach, but this is a risk my husband and I are willing to take).