Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Julia Child's Cake

(Chocolate and Almond Cake)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
Pinch salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted with 2 tablespoons rum OR brewed coffee
1/3 cup finely pulverized (ground) almonds
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup sifted cake flour, returned to sifter

1 ounce (1 square) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon rum OR brewed coffee
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

To make Cake, butter and flour an 8-inch diameter cake pan that's at least 1 1/2 inches deep. In a 3-quart mixing bowl, cream butter and 2/3 cup sugar together with an electric mixture for several minutes until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow. Beat in egg yolks until well blended. Beat egg whites and pinch of salt in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold chocolate mixture into butter-sugar mixture, then stir in almonds and almond extract. Fold in 1/4 of whites to lighten batter. Fold in 1/3 of remaining whites. Sift 1/3 of flour over and fold in. Fold in remaining whites alternately with flour in 2 more additions each.
Turn batter into prepared cake pan, push the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake on middle level of a preheated 350-degree oven, about 25 minutes or until cake has puffed and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a tested in that area comes out clean. Center should move slightly if pan is shaken. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pan and reverse cake on a rack to cool completely, an hour or two.
Cake must be cold to ice.
Meanwhile, make Chocolate Butter Icing. In a small metal bowl set over a small saucepan of not quite simmering water, combine chocolate and rum. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from water. Beat butter into chocolate, a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over cold water until chocolate mixture is cool and of spreading consistency. Place cake on a platter. At once, spread evenly over the cool cake with a spatula or knife.
Makes 1 (8-inch ) cake, 6 to 8 servings.

From "Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume One,
" by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Knopf, 1961).

Ruth Ann

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