Clutch cake

We were away for the holiday weekend.  The rental home was not especially equipped for extensive baking projects.  It’s best to bring your own knives, if you can.  Otherwise you will be left mincing an onion with a dull paring knife.

One the long weekend we cooked every meal.  I would not say it was basic, but it was not extravagant.  There was a lot of dish washing mid prep to cycle the one large bowl back into use.  The last night together however, demanded a bit more effort.  Ribs were prepared, chicken was quartered and grilled, ratatouille was made.  In order to ensure success with dessert I searched for a classic recipe from Julia Child.

There is a chocolate cake recipe complete with chocolate butter icing at the end of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  It is divine.  It does require that butter and sugar are creamed.  As well as that egg whites need to be whipped to stiff peaks.  There are no other leaveners.  All of the puff and body for the cake comes from these two critical steps.

Hmm.  Like I said there was one large mixing bowl available.

Nevertheless, I was supremely confident Julia’s chocolate cake recipe would be clutch.  Her recipes are classics for a reason. Compromise was necessary to go forward.  Perhaps this cake would not reach its greatest potential in terms of oven spring.  It would without a doubt taste delicious.

And so, egg whites were whipped and reserved in a cereal bowl.  Sugar and butter creamed, vanilla paste, melted chocolate, rum, and egg yolk added. Then the egg whites. Followed by almond flour, sifted AP Flour, and salt.  It was all folded together with a firm, but gentle hand.

25-28 minutes at 350˚F.  I pulled the cake out to cook before the knife came out clean.  This gives the final product a rich, fudg-y texture.

Final analysis – the egg whites had deflated a bit while waiting for the butter and sugar to cream.    This did not take away from the cakes presence on the table.  The icing shone glossy under the glow of the candles.  Before night’s end once many were tucked in for sleep, the remains slices disappeared.



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