Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Winning Hearts

A beautiful spring photo from Cannelle Vanille
(All copyrights to Cannelle Vanille blog)
It's Easter.

It's an excuse to eat chocolate, well more chocolate than usual.

It's spring, and here we have cherry Blossoms and their cotton slowly drifting in the spring air around our work place.

It's the holiday, like Christmas where it's completely excepted and alittle strange if you don't, to eat chocolate as your breakfast or alongside it with a good cup of tea.

And of course its the time of year for mini eggs. Huh?? Mini eggs are delicious, moreish, chocolate shaped little eggs in a crispy sugary coating. They are everywhere in England now.

My favourite word I heard the other day describes them perfectly... nom.
As in nom, nom, nom.. oh no I've just finished another bag!

Easter and chocolate, led me to bake the perfect chocolate treat last weekend. It is the perfect chocolate cake if your looking for deep, sillky smooth, truffely softness of chocolate melting slowly in your mouth with each spoonful.

This cake is amazing.
And of course it is by Molly, everyones much loved friend from Orangette.

The cake is called 'The winning Hearts and Minds cake'. Molly describes it ever so lovingly in her book, as the cake you make when you want to win over the heart of a hope to soon be, loved one.
It is the cake you make to those who you love and want to share and bake for.

I've made it about 4 times now. Once for family, another for close friends and another even as part of our Christmas Eve dinner.

What's most important is choosing a chocolate whos flavour you love, as this is the most dominant feature of the cake. I choose one with 70% cocoa.

I also definitely recommend as Molly does to make this cake ahead of time, allow it to fully chill and then freeze it, the flavours completely blend and rest together and produce a luxurious cake, so worth the wait.

We ate the final slice last night, 4 days after I made it, and it was still beautiful.

So if you are looking for an Easter chocolate treat, or need a 'winning' cake. This is it. I promise you and I think everyone else out there with a blog and some good sense to follow Molly's word, can promise you, this is the cake you've been waiting for.

Happy Easter!


The Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake
Followed exactly from Orangette

7 ounces (200 grams) best-quality dark chocolate (L&A - at least 70%)
7 ounces (200 grams) unsalted European-style butter (the high-butterfat kind, such as Lurpak or Beurre d’Isigny), cut into ½-inch cubes
1 1/3 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar (L&A - I reduce mine to 1 cup)
5 large eggs
1 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, 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 (a serrated bread knife does an outstanding job of this) and melt it gently with the butter in a double boiler or in the microwave, 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.

Note: As mentioned the cake freezes very well, and actually improves its flavour. Wrap well in a layer of greaseproof, then clingfilm, then a few layers of foil - I put mine in a freezerproof bag also and freeze for up to a week of more, and then allow it a full 24 hours at room temperature before serving.
Can be served with slightly sweetened cream, or creme fraiche is perfect.

Or mini eggs at your discretion.

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