Saturday, January 22, 2005

Chocolate delirium: no substitutions

Here's a recipe, and here's what I've learned about it.

Chocolate delirium

What you need:

A 12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
6 eggs
2 sticks of butter

Melt the butter and chocolate together, either over hot water in a double boiler, or else in the microwave. If you use the microwave, watch it carefully so the chocolate doesn't burn. Let it cool a bit.

Beat the eggs well, then combine them with the chocolate mixture. You should temper it by adding some of the chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating it in gradually so as not to cook or curdle the eggs. If you've let the butter-chocolate mixture cool enough, you shouldn't have to worry, but hey, can't hurt to be careful.

Pour it into a 9-inch cake pan that has been lined with foil; put the cake pan into a 13x9 baking dish. Pour hot water into the baking dish until it comes halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. The mixture will still be liquid and wobbly; take it out and let it cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate or freeze it overnight.

Remove from pan. Eat. Amazing.

Now, what I've learned: don't mess with the Golden Recipe. When a friend came to town, I hosted a small dinner. For a similar dinner the last time this friend visited, I made the same dessert. This time around, I wanted to try making it sweetened with stevia.

So, I did some math. If I used unsweetened baking chocolate in place of the semi-sweet chocolate, how much stevia would I need? It appeared that I would need a cup of sugar to accomplish the same sweetness, which equals one teaspoon of powdered stevia (it's powerful stuff.)

As I was halfway into the preparation, I realized I only had 8 ounces of baking chocolate, not 12. More math: could I substitute cocoa powder for baking chocolate? Sources said yes, if I also increased the butter. So I did.

Somewhere in the various substitutions, this recipe lost its charm. The recipients ate it politely, but it turned out somewhat bitter and chalky. I think this was really the cocoa's fault; things might have been different if I had just reduced everything along with the chocolate - using four eggs, and 1 2/3 sticks of butter. But I didn't.

If you make it the right way, it turns out as an extremely intense, not-too-sweet flourless chocolate slab. I have recently decided, after that crazy liver-cleansing diet, that I would like to eat less sugar. But I'll make an exception for this. Yum.


Blogger jwer said...

It was indubitably the cocoa's fault.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Zenchick said...

YUM is right. And yes, much more so the first time than the second.

9:39 PM  

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