Recently, I inherited a battered recipe card holder with 2 bundles of index cards covered with splatters, bent, and smudged. They are the combined recipe boxes of both of my grandmothers. While both were fabulous cooks, my mother’s mother (Grandma Ruth) reigned as baker supreme. I remember my grandmother making this cake when we would visit her in Ohio. She told us she made it for us but secretly I think she made it especially for herself (a committed chocaholic) and my grandfather, a lover of anything resembling dessert. In later years she made it for my cousin’s husband Kyle. She typically served it plain with a glass of milk or coffee or my favorite, with a scoop (or 4) of Cincinatti’s own Graeter’s ice cream. I confess, I did do some tinkering with the recipe and swapped the coffee for really strong chai tea, using darker chocolate, decreasing some of the sugar and adding some vanilla.
SERVES AT LEAT 16-20 THIN SLICES
- 12 ounces dark chocolate (I use70% but would have gone darker)d
- 5 tablespoons really strong chai tea (I used 2 teabags steeped in 1 c. water)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour/all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and butter a 9 inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder.
- In top pot of a double boiler, over hot (not simmering) water, melt the chocolate and coffee together, stirring occasionally till smooth. Remove from heat and cool till tepid and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- In a large bowl, using a hand held mixer (Kitchen-Aid or whatever you have), cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in egg yolks one at a time and beat well. Beat in flour and salt.
- In a large grease free bowl, using hand mixer (Kitchen-Aid or whatever you have…with clean beaters please) beat egg whites until they form stiff shiny peaks. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Fold in the butter and flour mixture. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake 60-70 minutes, or until the top is crusty and cracked and middle is slightly moist. Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the cake to a serving plate.