We've had very mild weather in San Francisco/Bay Area and also very little rain this winter (but we seem to be catching up on that this week). However, Spring has arrived already. The big plum tree in my backyard has lost most of its white flowers, but the rosemary bush is still full of tiny purple flowers. They not only look pretty but smell really good! In the Bay Area, we sometimes forget about the different seasons. We don't really have a true winter here, although it is always wetter than summer. The supermarkets have many different fruits and vegetables available all year round, which can make us forget that there really are four seasons -- at least for growing produce. That is why I like to go to a local farmers market for fruits and vegetables -- where I can feel and taste the seasons.
Anyway, I found very nice raspberries this weekend even though it is not really raspberry season yet. So I decided to make this chocolate souffle cake in my cooking class yesterday. It is very light, but full of chocolate flavor if you use chocolate containing more than 65% cacao. You may also use potato starch, instead of wheat flour, to make it a "gluten-free cake."
Wine: I think this cake is good with a Muscat dessert wine (e.g., Muscat de Beaumes de Venise from France's southern Rhone region), or a late-harvest Riesling.
Chocolate Soufflé Cake with Fresh Raspberry Sauce
One 8 or 9-inch tart. 6 to 8 servings
Preheat the oven to 325º F (145º C)
Baking time about 22-25 minutes.
4 tablespoons almond or canola oil
12 ounce bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72%)
4 ounce (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons flour or potato starch
4 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (5 ounces) fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoon dark rum
2-3 tablespoons water
For making sauce:
In a small saucepan, mix berries, sugar, corn syrup, rum and water together. Cook over medium heat about 5-6 minutes and set aside to cool a few minutes. Press through a sieve (to remove the seeds) and chill.
For the cake:
1. Grease lightly a 9-inch spring-form pan with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Line pan with a sheet of baking paper at the bottom and brush the oil on top of it.
2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the chocolate, butter, remaining oil and sugar. Place bowl inside a larger pan containing about 1-2 inches of simmering water (or in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave), and stir well until the chocolate, butter and sugar have melted. Add flour or potato starch and mix with a whisk. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks. Set aside.
3. In a clean and dry bowl, whip the egg whites until firm. Fold them lightly into the chocolate mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake immediately for about 22-25 minutes. The cake should be soft in the center. Let the cake cool on wire rack about 15-20 minutes and invert on a large plate. It should still be lukewarm. Serve with fresh raspberry sauce.