1 lb. top-quality bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate, chopped
1 lb. unsalted butter
2 tbsp Grand Marnier or brandy (optional)
12 egg yolks
12 egg whites
1 ¾ cups sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-inch springform pan (I like to line bottom with buttered parchment paper).
In large saucepan, melt together chocolate and butter over low heat, watching carefully. Set aside.
In an electric mixer, beat egg whites till soft peaks; add a little of the sugar and continue beating to stiff peaks. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and ribbon-like, about 5 minutes. Add brandy or Grand Marnier, if used, and beat 2-3 minutes more. (The yolks must be very thick). With the machine running, add the melted chocolate and butter mixture until all the chocolate is incorporated.
Gently fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in center of cake.
Place cake – in pan – on a wire rack and cool 15 minutes.
Remove the sides of the pan and cool completely. Invert cake onto a serving plate, carefully remove bottom of pan, peel off and discard parchment. You can refrigerate it, but it’s better at room temperature.
Serve in small portions, with whipped cream, or a raspberry coulis, if you wish.
Makes at least 16 servings.
PS If you’d like to use Grand Marnier, but don’t have on hand, just use Brandy or Cognac to which you add about ¼ tsp Orange oil.
(Adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse)
Very simple. Defrost in the refrigerator a bag of frozen raspberries. Pour contents in blender, add a little sugar and a little fresh lemon juice and blend till pureed. Refrigerate till needed. It makes a lot (great to eat with a spoon, late at night!)