Thursday, June 08, 2006

Chocolate in Various Contexts

Chocolate in Context has been hard to keep up with lately: In the past month, this website and I have been in Hanoi, Siem Reap, Kolkata, and Paris. I'd like to thank all the readers who've come along for the ride, which just landed me in New York. Since I'm finally settled in one place (albeit briefly), I'm going to take advantage of the moment and catch everyone up on some exciting news.

First, Chocolate in Context now has its own proprietary URL address, Please bookmark it and pass it on. And you can find more of my writing at Food Bound, a blog that's inspiringly dedicated to cookbooks and the literature of food. I hope you'll find my review of Tim Ecott's Vanilla to be a compelling compliment to the articles I write here.

Melbourne's The Age newspaper is also paying attention to my chocolate writing, as are plugged-in Australian foodies Allan Campion and Michele Curtis. The Age listed Chocolate in Context as one of the "Top Five Food Blogs" and Campion and Curtis had equally gracious things to say in their May newsletter. I'm quite flattered by this warm welcome from the community of food writers in Melbourne, a city I'll return to in wintry July.

Finally, I know that recipes have been conspicuously absent from this site since I set off for my journey, so I'll leave you with this indulgent flourless chocolate cake. This basic recipe was passed on to me by my cousin, Amanda Bader (who in turn would like to credit Peggy and Mel Bellar).

Flourless Chocolate Cake
4 oz bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1 stick butter
3/4 C sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees [F] and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom with a round of wax paper and butter the paper.

Chop chocolate into small pieces; melt chocolate and butter slowly in a double boiler.

Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in sugar. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift in cocoa and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes or until the top has formed a thin crust. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then invert onto a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar or additional cocoa (or a mix of the two).

Use the best-quality couverture you can, since the taste and texture of the chocolate drown out everything else on the short list of ingredients. Amanda warns not to overcook the cake, and explains that "it's best when the middle is just past fudgy." (If you're not sure, feel free to poke the top with your finger.) My only mistake was not presenting the finished product in a manner that was consistent with chocolate flavor's simple elegance. Don't leave this rich cake naked--make sure to include the last step of dusting the cake, and consider serving slices with a spoonful of berries. This straightforward dessert is essentially a chocolate bar in cake form--perfect for chocolate lovers on the go.


Blogger Parisbreakfasts said...

Well I wish I'd had your list for my May Paris trip. Aside from the Picasso Museum-these are all new names for me and I stayed in the Marais last year. So many places to discover...this is a fun and informative blog! Glad I discovered you par hasard.

7:22 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Parisbreakfasts said...

Are you still in NYC Emily? Please get in touch if you many places...
Best, Carolg

7:29 AM GMT-5  

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