the chocolate cake

Our neigh­bor Lisa made this for us once, after a deli­cious din­ner full of live­ly con­ver­sa­tion.  It’s noth­ing much to look at.  How­ev­er, as we dis­tract­ed­ly put the forks in our mouths, the con­ver­sa­tion stopped.  Here’s what Lisa wrote back the fol­low­ing day when we asked the inevitable fol­lowup ques­tion:

Thanks Adri­enne and Blaise for an all around fab­u­lous din­ner and fun evening on Sun­day.  Includ­ed is the recipe for those who are in mode to con­vert from met­rics to OZ.

Be good and Mer­ryX.

Lisa

The Choco­late cake

  • 3 dl sug­ar [1.268 ≈ 1¼ cups]
  • 1½ dl flour [0.634 ≈ 2/3 cup]
  • 2 tea­spoons of vanil­la sug­ar [or a few drops of vanil­la extract]
  • ½ tea­spoon salt
  • 4 table­spoons of cacao
  • 150 g melt­ed but­ter [5.291 oz]
  • 2 eggs

Mix dry ingre­di­ents.  Pour in the melt­ed but­ter and eggs.  Fill in bake form that has been but­tered and bread crumbed (for cake to not stick).

Put into oven (200 C [392ºF]).  The cake should look just slight­ly baked when tak­en out from oven. Serve with ice cold whipped cream.

[Just to pre­tend I’m con­tribut­ing some val­ue here, I’ve added the impe­r­i­al units in square brack­ets.]

When I tried mak­ing this cake some days lat­er, I made a cou­ple of mod­i­fi­ca­tions, almost with­out think­ing.  When it was in the oven I real­ized that I should have left the recipe alone, since Lisa’s ren­di­tion was pret­ty much unim­prov­able.  But to my sur­prise, when the cake came out it was– not bet­ter than Lisa’s– the same as Lisa’s!  She admit­ted lat­er, when pressed, that she had made pret­ty much the same changes.  Name­ly: reduce the sug­ar a bit, per­haps to just a cup; and increase the cocoa by a large fac­tor, as in, 12 table­spoons.  We could call these “the girl change” and “the boy change”.

A cou­ple of oth­er notes.  The bake form or cakepan should be small­ish, per­haps 10″.  Since I don’t usu­al­ly have stale bread around, I’ve used polen­ta or corn­meal to crumb the pan after but­ter­ing it, and this has worked well.  The whipped cream is quite essen­tial to this dense and intense flat cake.  Put a pint of heavy whip­ping cream in the freez­er for a short while to get it very cold (but don’t freeze), then whip, adding no sug­ar or vanil­la– non-sweet whipped cream goes best.  You turn out the cake onto a plate, and if you want it to look cake­like, put a light dust­ing of pow­dered sug­ar on it.  (Or skip the pow­dered sug­ar, which is strict­ly speak­ing pure style.)  Serve it still warm.  Put gen­er­ous dol­lops of whipped cream on each slice.  Enjoy in silence.

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