Sunday Dinner

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Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Tomatoes and Marinated Red Onions
Simple Salad

Chocolate Nemesis

It is the height of Summer and I know that I should be making desserts involving the bounty of the season.  While I love and appreciate all that nature provides for dessert making this time of year, I really need an excuse to make something with my old friend chocolate.  Try as I might, no reasonable excuse has presented itself.  Well, I'm just gonna have to make something anyway.  At the end of the day, chocolate needs no excuse.

This is like a pudding that you can eat with a fork.  The chocolate flavor is deep and intense, giving you a perfectly valid reason to have a dollop of whipped cream on the side.  The cream takes that rich edge off just a bit while adding a dimension to the overall taste and texture profiles.  Oh, and the name!  It is absolutely brilliant, but after a few bites you might be calling this dessert "Chocolate Frenemy".

Sunday Dinner one year ago

Chocolate Nemesis
seves 8-10

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing pan
12 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 extra large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
7 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place oven rack in middle position and preheat the oven to 300º F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment, then butter parchment.

In a large glass or metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until just smooth, remove from the heat.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and 1/3 cup of the sugar until tripled in volume and thick enough to form a ribbon that takes 2 seconds to dissolve when the beater is lifted, about 5 minutes.

Heat the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, water, espresso powder, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Pour the hot syrup into melted chocolate, stirring to combine.  Stir in the vanilla and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

With the mixer on medium speed add the chocolate syrup, a little at a time, to the egg mixture and continue to beat until just incorporated.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Place cake pan into a roasting pan lined with a kitchen towel, then add enough boiling water to reach about three-quarters up the side of the cake pan.  Bake until just set, about 50-60 minutes.

Cool cake completely in water bath before unmolding, at least 2 hours.  Run a sharp knife around the the inside edge of the cake pan to loosen if necessary, then invert a flat serving platter over pan and flip cake onto the platter; carefully peel off parchment.  Cake can be made 6 hours ahead and kept in pan, covered, at room temperature.  Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or lightly sweetened whipped crème fraîche.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Gourmet: Italian Kitchens Special Addition 2011


  1. This looks better than the one from The River Cafe, London because of the addition of espresso powder and vanilla, both of which intensify the chocolate flavor. I'm looking forward to trying this very soon. Thank you for the post!

  2. Menu sounds great! And I need no excuse to eat chocolate either. Cake looks amazing, thank you!


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