I had lunch with my sweet friend Meghan today! She is not often able to get out of her office for a full hour during lunch time, so it was a rare treat to get to meet up with her. We celebrated by meeting at Siam Rice for bowls of delicious, happy-making, hot Thai curry. Which is especially perfect because it is once again cool, cloudy, and rainy here in the Windy City, and we need something to warm up our bellies and put a smile on our faces!
Speaking of putting smiles on people's faces, let's talk about a life-changing cake.
I know I keep talking about Molly and her book and her blog, but there is good reason for that. I love her writing, and I love her recipes. So I'll just keep talking about her, ok? Anyway, since I read about her "Winning-Hearts-And-Minds" cake, I have been dreaming about it. Dark chocolate, mouthwatering dreams. This cake almost brings me to tears because it is everything a chocolate cake should be.
(I just remembered this wonderfully hilarious cake vs. pie post I read over at Hyperbole and a Half the other day, and I would just like to say that this cake is absolutely NOTHING like that yucky-looking store-bought birthday cake she's talking about. And this cake kicks pie's little butt. Just sayin'.)
After eating this cake for dessert last night (and then again for breakfast this morning shhhhhh), I decided I needed to bring Meghan some so that she could share in my ultimate cake joy. Why I decided that a plastic sandwich bag was the way to transport it is beyond me. I have perfectly respectable tupperware containers just waiting to be recruited for jobs like this. But no, I stuck some cake in a plastic bag, threw it in my purse, and went on my merry way. To the train, to work, to lunch. Then I took the plastic bag out of my purse, and it looked like something I had forgotten to throw away after taking a dog out. No lie. BUT! That does not affect the way it tastes. After Meghan took it back to her desk and ate some, she said to me, via gchat, AND I QUOTE:
"I didn't even know about it, but i think i've been dreaming of this cake my entire life.
Well...until i finish devouring it."
So I will name this cake...
Meghan's Soulmate Chocolate Love Cake
(aka Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake)
adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
Some little notes about this: I used Equal Exchange Organic 65% Dark Chocolate from Ecuador, and it was amazing. I hadn't used European-style butter before, but oh my gosh. It is so much softer and more luxurious than other butter. A couple minutes out of the fridge, it has a texture almost similar to Brie, which convinced me of its higher fat content. It melts like nobody's business. I love it.
7 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 3/4 sticks European-style butter, in smallish pieces
1 cup + 2 T granulated sugar
1 T unbleached all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch cake pan, fit a round of parchment paper in the bottom, and butter the parchment. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, and stir until smooth (or melt over a double-boiler). Add sugar, stir to combine, and let cool for a couple minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring until incorporated after each addition. Stir in the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes. Lick the bowl and spoon clean while it's baking. Don't listen when your husband makes fun of you and tells you you've already had your piece of cake. Cake will look barely set in the center when it's done (Molly says to check every 2 minutes starting at 20). Cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack. Place a piece of foil over the cake, and turn it onto a plate (not the serving plate). Put the serving plate upside down on top of that, and being very careful not to crush the cake, flip it back over. Remove the top plate and foil, and cool completely before eating. Or if you're like us, cool until you can't take it any longer, and then revel in the fudgy goodness. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired.