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Finally: Chocolate nirvana

Posted by Sheryl Julian  April 9, 2009 03:13 PM

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This is the third flourless chocolate cake I baked for the Passover Seder I attended last night. The first, from one of America's best bakers, was just 1/2-inch high. "Cut it into tiny squares and call them brownies," said my husband. But they were too thin -- even for brownies.

The second was made with ground almonds and it wasn't much better, also from another famous cook. Finally, I turned to a "Better Homes and Gardens" clipping I pulled out last month and made Judy Bart Kancigor's "Too Good To Be Called Passover Cake." It's dense, baked in a water bath, and really luscious. The only change I made was to bake it longer than she suggests. Kancigor's recipe calls for 25 to 30 minutes in a water bath. It needs closer to 1 hour. After it cooled, I dusted the top with unsweetened cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar.

Third time's the charm.

Too Good To Be Called Passover Cake
Serves 16

Butter (for the pan)
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 eggs
Unsweetened cocoa powder (for sprinkling)
Confectioners' sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch springform pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, and butter the paper. Wrap 2 layers of foil around the bottom of the pan. Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil.
2. In a food processor, combine the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates. Pulse until finely chopped.
3. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Set over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
4. With the processor running, add the boiling sugar syrup through the feed tube. Add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, followed by the eggs, one by one.
5. Pour the batter into the pan. Set it in a roasting pan. Carefully pour enough water around the cake pan to come halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few specks clinging to it. Remove the cake from the water and set it on a rack to cool.
6. Unlatch the sides of the springform. Use a wide metal spatula to slide the cake (without the paper) onto a cake plate.
7. Dust with unsweetened cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar. Adapted from "Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family"

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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