Sunday, June 04, 2006

Suzy's Cake - Pierre Hermé

After reading so much about Pierre Hermé in different blogs I ordered his Chocolate Desserts book from Amazon. When the book arrived I thought that perhaps I had been a bit premature since it all looked so grand. However, I was wrong; the book is not only beautifully photographed but also has wonderful recipes, nicely explained. I strongly recommend it. Yesterday I decided to make use of it by preparing a recipe for my dinner party to two very dear friends. I ended up choosing this beautiful chocolate cake entitled Suzy’s cake. Suzy is a good friend of Pierre and Frédérick. The cake is a wonderfully moist and terribly delicious chocolate cake. Very easy to prepare - its secret likes in the quality of the chocolate. I laid a very fine layer of batter, and then put fresh raspberries over it before putting the rest of the batter over it. We were unanimous in electing it one of the most wonderful non fussy chocolate cakes we have eaten. We had some vanilla ice cream on the side but I am still to have it with ginger icre cream as Hermé says that it makes a very nice match.

Sharing it with you:

250g bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona Guanaja

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

200g sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

70g all-purpose flour

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180oC (350oC). Butter a 24-cm (9-inch) round cake pan that is at least 5 cm (2 inches) high, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, and dust the inside of the pan with flour; tap out the excess and set the pan aside.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over – not touching – simmering water and heat until the chocolate is melted; or melt the chocolate in a microwave oven. Set the chocolate aside to cool; it should feel only just warm to the touch when you mix it with the rest of the ingredients.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently, until the butter is creamy and the sugar well blended into it. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low, pour in the cooled chocolate, and mix only until it disappears into the batter. Alternatively, you can fold in the last of the flour with a rubber spatula. You’ll have a thick, smooth, satiny batter that looks like old-fashioned chocolate frosting.

Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and slide the pan into the oven. Bake for 26 to 29 minutes or until the cake rises slightly and the top has lost its sheen. The top may crack a bit and the cake may not look entirely set in the center; when you test the cake by inserting a slender knife into the center, the knife will come out lightly streaked with batter, which is what you want. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool.

When the cake has cooled, chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or two to make it easy to unmould. Turn the cake out, remove the parchment, and invert the cake onto a serving platter so that it is right side up. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before slicing and serving.


Paz said...

Sounds very nice! Beautiful photo, too.


valentina said...

Paz, thank you. This was such a lovely cake. Perfect for chocoholics.

Pille said...

I borrowed the book from Melissa of the Traveler's Lunchbox for a week or so, and was totally intimidated as well. Everything looked so grande, with lots of different steps and ingredients. I did like the rice and chocolate pudding though, and your chosen cake looks manageable, too!

Fran said...

Sounds so delicious--but I can't see the pic! Have been having that problem lately. I just made a chocolate tart.

Paz said...

Valentina: Can you e-mail me, please?


valentina said...

Paz, this cake is divine. I have only had good feedback from others who have made it.
Pille, I found that the length of the steps was because everything is so well explained..not necessarily because the recipes are difficult.He has selected well the recipes to be on display.
Fran, I have seen your beautiful tart. As for not being able to see the pictures, sometimes if you right mouse click where the picture should be, you can select option 'view picture'.
Paz, I have send you an emai.

keiko said...

Valentina, I hope you'll find lots of favourite recipes from the book. Your Suzy"s cake looks irresistible - rich, moist and chocolatey...

Anita said...

This is one of my favorite books - and it looks like you did a beautiful job with the recipe! Wonderful blog!

jenjen said...

yummmmo, I love chocolate and this cake looks absolutely divine!

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