Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate with Francois - Chocolate Pudding Cake

It is such an honor to be the "host" of a food group.  You bake together with your friends and then one day you get to choose the recipe that your group bakes together.  This month I got to choose and I chose Charlie's Chocolate Pudding Cake from Francois Payard's Chocolate Epiphany cookbook.  In our Chocolate with Francois group, we choose a recipe per month to prepare together and we post on the last day of the month.

In Francois' recipe, he uses certain percentages of chocolate with each recipe. Here is a guide for this:
30-40% = milk
50% = semisweet
60% = bittersweet
72% = extra bittersweet
99-100% = unsweetened
I had to figure this out because this recipe called for 50% chocolate and I had no idea what Francois was talking about! I learn something every time I cook with one of my groups. This cake is full of delicious, rich, yummy chocolate. And who doesn't like chocolate, right?

We have a small group but the recipes are really interesting and challenging.  This one, however, was easy to put together.  I made a few mistakes along the way, but I got rave reviews on the end result.  This cake is uber chocolate so if you are not a chocolate fan you should not even consider making it.  If you are, you'll be in heaven with each delicious bite.

First, I got some ingredients together. 

 Then mixing of the batter:

It was a nice thick beautiful batter.
You bake the cake in a water bath.  After cooking, you put in the freezer for a little while.  For me, it was a week before I could get back to it to glaze it.  The instructions said to run hot water over the bottom of the pan so that it releases the cake.  I had to run a knife around the edges several times and let it sit in the warm water for a while before I finally managed to get the cake to come out of the pan.  So as you see, there are some rough edges where I was prying with my knife!  It finally let loose and came out.
After making your glaze, you pour over the top of the cake making sure some drizzles down the sides.  Francois says after the cake sits a while and the glaze hardens a bit, to tap the back of a spoon on top  and make the glaze crack.  Well, my glaze never got hard enough to crack.  But it was delicious anyway!
This is my finished product.  I accidentally deleted from my camera the best photo I had of the cake, so this one will have to do.  Chandler and I indulged in a piece, but you cannot eat a large piece of this cake at one sitting.  It is extremely rich.  I took some friends at work a slice and it was a huge hit with them.  All in all, I definitely would make this cake again for a special occasion and for chocolate-holic friends.  Thank you Francois.   Check out our group and see if the other bakers liked it.  Thank all of you who made this fabulous cake with me this month!!!
Here is the recipe:

For the cake:

Vegetable cooking spray, for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces 50% chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

For the glaze:
7 ounces 50% chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the cake:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray the sides and bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Dust it with flour, shaking off the excess, and set aside.
Bring the butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and eggs together until just combined. Stir in the chocolate mixture, then the cream. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 18 minutes, then put a piece of aluminum foil and a baking sheet over the top of the cake, to keep it from rising too much and to keep it moist. Lower the oven temperature to 360ºF and bake for another 20 minutes. The cake will be just set around the edges, and very loose in the middle, like a pudding. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool to room temperature while still in the pan. Place it in the freezer for at least 45 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
For the glaze:
Combine the chocolate and corn syrup in a small heat-proof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour it over the chocolate. Whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth. Let the glaze stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, then whisk in the butter.
To finish the cake:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place a wire cooling rack on top of the paper. Remove the cake from the freezer, and dip the bottom of the pan in hot water to unmold it. You want the pan to be just warm enough for the cake to come out smoothly, but not melt. Flip the pan out onto the rack and tap the pan until the cake pops out.
Pour the glaze over the cake, using a spatula to even out the top and help the glaze run down the sides of the cake. Carefully, with a serving spatula, lift the cake from the rack and place it on a serving platter. Allow the cake to come to room temperature for 30 minutes, which will give the glaze time to set up. Using the back of a spoon, lightly tap the top of the cake in a large "figure eight" swirl, going from one end of the cake to the other. Serve at room temperature.


Julie said...

Thanks for such a great pick. I think this is my favorite recipe so far! I loved it!!!

You're so right, it is very rich!

Rita said...

I just came from Julie's place because that cake is just what I have been looking for.I was looking for a cake recipe that is perfect for 2 What a great blog!

Bri said...

Okay, my whole wheat toast is no longer satisfying me this morning after seeing this cake, lol! That looks positively delicious! Great choice.

Heather said...


Seattle Pastry Girl said...

Thank you so much for picking this cake-I can't believe how incredible it is. And I was stunned at how easy it was to make-something unusual for Francois P. Yours came out beautifully , I'm just finishing my post and will have it up shortly. Everyone who tasted this couldn't believe how creamy and delicious it is. Thank you again, Sandy

Joanne said...

Thank you SO much for the reminder! This was too good not to post.
Great pick Peggy! The whole family loved it. was easy :)

Linda said...

It is so rich and chocolaty! Great pick!

Susan said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Though I will hate myself in the morning, this cake was incredible and I am glad I decided to make it. Sorry it's taken me so long to post. :}

Leslie said...

This was a fantastic pick! It was loved loved loved here. I didn't pour the glaze over the entire cake but served it like a sauce and that was a hit, too! Thanks for hosting and picking such a wonderful, easy recipe.