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April 10, 2017
This is about...
        HAPPY EASTER!   "TIS THE SEASON FOR CHOCOLATE in any and every configuration --- bunnies, eggs, dipped marshmallows, caramel, peanut butter and cream filled, you name it. My contribution to this chocolate parade is SARABETH LEVINE'S IRRESISTABLE CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE CAKE. Years back, she almost bought my vegan cookie business, Kollar Cookies, to add to her NYC restaurants and preserves line. They were sold in her bakery case too, just so that she could eat them.
        I've always loved her homemade desserts. So, when her BAKING BOOK was published, I was ONE OF THE FIRST in line TO GET IT. This cake is rich, crackly, creamy, and super chocolatey--- the perfect Easter treat. The original version had a tiny bit of flour in it. Over the years, I’ve chosen to substitute cocoa powder instead, which makes it FLOURLESS and KOSHER FOR PASSOVER TOO.
       Even though this cake looks impressive, it's quick and easy to make. Just make sure you follow the directions to the letter. When you take a bite, you’ll find that IT TASTES like a DECADENT BROWNIE that HAD A BABY with a CANDY BAR. Mandatory for me? Freshly whipped cream on top. YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. You’ll need an 8”x 3” springform pan. Turn the bottom upside down, so that the raised inside is facing up. That makes it easier to take the slices off the pan.
2. Use the best quality chocolate you can find, I like Valrhona (no more than 62%). But I will confess that it’s really good with Hershey’s semi-sweet chips too. OK. I'll admit it. Most times I use the Hersheys.
3. Make sure to beat the eggs and sugar for the full five minutes until very a pale yellow and fluffy. If you’re using a hand mixer, give it an extra minute.
4. Don’t overbake it! When the top is cracked and the time is up, take it out. As it cools, it will firm up.

(Slightly adapted)

12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
       If using bars-no more than 62% cocoa, I like Valrhona, finely chopped
       Or if using chips, I like Hershey’s semisweet chips
7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large eggs, best if room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons cocoa, such as Valrhona
1/8th teaspoon salt

Make the cake:
        Place the rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
        Line a half sheet pan with parchment. Coat an 8” x 3” springform pan thoroughly with butter.
        Over medium heat, melt the butter in a heavy bottomed, medium-size saucepan. Turn the heat down to low, add the chocolate stirring constantly until smooth and very thick. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.
        Add the eggs and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the wire whisk, on high speed, beat the mixture until it is about quadrupled in volume and very pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. If using a hand mixer, add an extra minute to the beating time. You’ll have the right consistency when you lift the beater and the mixture sits on the surface for about 5 seconds before disappearing.
        Reduce the mixer to low. Beat in the vanilla and the cooled chocolate. Add the cocoa and salt, and mix to combine, scraping down the bowl as needed. It may not look like it is not fully incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to hand mix it until fully combined. Pour into the prepared pan.
        Bake until the top of the cake looks dry and cracked. When you press gently on the top, it will feel almost set, about 45-50 minutes. Let it cool for 15 minutes. Using a thin knife carefully loosen the cake from the sides. Unlock the ring and carefully lift it off. Cool to room temperature. To slice the cake, use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dried before each cut. Serve with lots of freshly made whipped cream.
        The cake can be stored at room temperature covered for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to a week.

Makes 8 servings.   YUM!
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