Last weekend, I went down to Seattle for my younger brother’s high school graduation. Only a swank private high school would have a reception and a pre-ceremony the day before the actual graduation ceremony. During the pre-ceremony, the graduating class of 50 shared their strengths like playing Bach on the piano or Greek dancing or an impressive recorder solo. Meanwhile I was remembering my own senior ceremony in high school. I was pulled on stage to receive an award for “Girl who always has food in class.”
Similarly, I just gave my college senior presentation on my love for food and how it resulted in a major in food writing. I told the class about recently reading Molly Wizenberg’s book and how by the end of the chapter about her chocolate cake, I was buying bulk chocolate at the co-op. Molly wrote that she had made the cake for love interests and her now husband. When she made it for friends, they would ask for the recipe. Her friend named it the “Winning Hearts and Minds Cake.”
My classmates passed it around, sliding the butter knife through the fudgy cake. Spellcheck is currently trying to tell me that “fudgy” isn’t a word. I’m just going to ignore that.
At first I was alarmed at how soft, supple and molten the middle of this cake was. Did I not cook it enough? I reread what Molly said about the cake and decided it was intentional. My classmates happily licked the bittersweet chocolate off their fingers and your lovers will too.
Also I should note that I live alone, and to keep myself from eating the whole cake in one sitting, I wrapped it and put it in the freezer. I found myself pulling it out throughout the next couple of days and nibbling on it anyway. Still delicious.
Makes one cake/Molly Wizenberg
- 7 ounces bittwersweet chocolate, finely chopped (use good quality chocolate)
- 1 3/4 (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- Whipped cream for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, and butter the paper too.
Put the chocolate and butter in a medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring often, until just smooth. (I don’t have a microwave, so I melted it over the stove with a double boiler.) When the mixture is smooth, add the sugar, stirring well to incorporate. Set the batter aside to cool for 5 minutes. Then add the eggs, one by one, stirring well after each addition. Add the flour and mix.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be puffed up and cracked. The center will still be slightly “jiggly.”
Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool for 15 minutes. Run a butter knife along the edges of the cake to make sure it doesn’t stick. Because the cake is delicate, very carefully place a plate over the pan and gently flip the cake so that it comes out, upside down, onto the plate. Then take your serving plate and place it ever so gently on top. Flip once again, so the cake is right side up on the serving plate. Cool completely and enjoy.