Chocolate Souffle’ Cake

Chocolate Souffle’ Cake
A couple things happened this week.  I got a new camera so I can take better pictures of all the food on my blog and I’m having a blast learning about it.  Second, a quest for better health led me straight to a Chocolate Souffle’ Cake at the same time I was planning a menu for a good friends birthday.  It happens to be a very funny story. 
The weather has still been pretty chilly and rainy around here which doesn’t do much to improve my low motivation for working out these days.  I have been asking friends to walk trails and run with me, but I think their motivation is actually a lot lower than mine!  Somehow the world became a spooky place to do trail running on your own, so I like to go with others, only others aren’t going.  So now I have high motivation and high commitment and everyone I know has neither.  Time to turn to Plan B which is running on the treadmill.  I like my treadmill, but it’s boring. I’m sure there’s some way to improve the treadmill experience.  In order to alleviate the boredom of running a 5K and staring at the wall, I moved the treadmill in front of the window and put a TV in front of it.  The problem is that the TV is the old kind with the VHS tape deck built right in and the fact that I’m too much of a dufus to fix the TV to get a signal on any other channel other than channel five.  For the record, I really don’t watch that much TV, so figuring out the remote control seems a waste of time.  Putting my high motivation, high commitment to good use, I dug around in some boxes to find an old movie to watch and you’ll never believe what I found.  A VHS tape of Food Network from ten years ago!  Back in 2001, I didn’t have cable, so my sister would record hours and hours of Food Network and give me the tapes to watch at home.  It was hilarious to see Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart back then, not to mention all the cool Food Network shows that were on before reality television became the rave.  What ever happened to Cowboy Kitchen and Jacques Torres (and his chocolate for that matter?)  Now that’s entertainment.  That was the best 5k I ever did run.
The recording had to have taken place around this time of year because Martha (pre-jail) was making her Chocolate Souffle’ Cake as I was panting along in front of her.  What a great idea for the dessert portion of the birthday dinner I was making for my friend.  Mine ended up looking as great as hers, so here is her recipe, but be warned…I added a little more chocolate and vanilla!  Sorry Miss Martha, I think it made for a better tasting chocolate souffle’ cake!

Chocolate Souffle’ Cake (with vanilla!)
Based on Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Souffle’ Cake

Ingredients
Olive Oil Spray
1 C. plus 2 T. granulated sugar, divided
3/4 C. butter
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (use best quality chocolate)
1 t. vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1 egg
6 egg whites
Cocoa powder for dusting
Directions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Using spray, grease a 9 inch springform pan and dust with the 2 T. of granulated sugar. 
Over medium heat, melt butter and chocolate together in a double boiler over simmering water and stir occassionally with a heat proof rubber spatula until all the butter has melted.  Add vanilla and stir.  Remove from heat and set aside.
With an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg yolks and 1/2 C. sugar and blend at high speed until pale yellow and thick, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Set aside. 
Using a very clean and dry mixing bowl attached to electric mixer and using whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and remaining 1/2 C. sugar until thick and batter forms soft peaks when you lift the whisk.  This step should take about three minutes.  Set aside.
Add a very small portion of the chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine.  This is called “tempering” so you don’t make scrambled egg chocolate souffle’ cake.  You are bringing up the heat slowly in order to combine the hot ingredients, stir it and cool it down.  Slowly add the remaining chocolate mixture while stirring the combined mixture until it comes together.  Using a rubber spatula, add the big foamy egg whites all at once to your combined chocolate and egg yolk mixture and fold it into the batter, gently.  Repeat folding until just combined.  You want your cake to be nice and fluffy and overmixing will flatten your glorious cake prematurely.  We don’t want that!
Pour batter into prepared springform pan and cook for 60 minutes.  Your cake is going to do what all souffle’s are supposed to do and rise in the oven.  After it’s done cooking, remove from oven and place on counter to cool.  The cake will flatten and this is okay.  Don’t panic.  It is supposed to look rustic, rough and have cracks.  When it’s cool, dust with cocoa and place on a beautiful pedistal stand.  It’s going to be perfect and taste like a dream.  The birthday girl said, “It just melts in your mouth.  I love it”.  And you will too!!
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