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Csudafinom csokitorta ~ a Deluxe Chocolate Cake Hungarian Style

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Level: Easy

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Description

This Hungarian chocolate cake is an uncomplicated one and the likelihood of success in turning out a fine, dense, chocolate cake of the European variety is very high … even for the novice baker or those whose cooking talents don’t run chiefly to baking.

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces, weight Dark Chocolate, Chopped
  • 11 Tablespoons Butter, Plus Some More To Grease The Cake Pan
  • 6 whole Large Eggs
  • 1-½ cup Minus 1 Tablespoon Granulated White Sugar
  • ¾ cups Minus 1 Tablespoon Pastry Flour Or Regular Unbleached White Flour
  • ½ cups Ground Almonds: Ground Almonds May Be Bought Already In This Form. Alternatively, To Make Your Own, Blanch Unpeeled Almonds In Boiling Water For A Minute To Loosen Their Skins, Remove The Skins, Dry The Nuts And Grind Them In A Blender Or Food Processor
  • ¼ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ teaspoons Almond Extract
  • Powdered Sugar And Cocoa Powder For Decorating The Baked Cake
  • A Bowl Of Heavy Cream, Lightly Whipped And Sweetened To Serve At The Side (optional)

Preparation

A timing note: The cake may be made a day in advance, cooled completely, wrapped and refrigerated overnight. Bring it to room temperature the next day. Decorate it with the powdered sugar and cocoa shortly before serving. Csudafinom csokitorta will keep well (refrigerated) and continue to be moist and delicious for a week after it is baked.

You will also need:

1. A springform cake pan with a 9 and 1/2-inch (24-centimeter) base.
2. Parchment paper.
3. A double boiler or homemade bain marie made with a pot partially filled with water and a bowl that fits snugly into the rim of it.
4. A mixer: a hand mixer is very convenient since mixing the cake requires two mixing bowls.
5. 2 mixing bowls: one of them may be the bowls of a standing mixer.
6. A cooling rack.
7. For decorating the cake: a small sieve and scissors and paper if you wish to draw and cut out a stencil and stencil something pretty on top of the cake. (See the photos in the related link.)

For the cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter the cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set pan aside.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler or the top bowl of a homemade bain marie. Once melted remove the bowl from the heat and set the melted mixture to the side.
3. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Set the whites aside in one bowl. Put the yolks in a large bowl. Beat the yolks a little. Add the sugar and mix until the eggs and sugar thicken and turn a pale, faintly lemony, color.
4. Mix in the melted chocolate and butter. Then mix in the flour. Then mix in the ground almonds. And finally, mix in the vanilla extract and almond extract. Set aside.
5. Use a mixer and beat the egg whites to form stiff (but not dry) peaks. (The whites should not slide up the side of a tilted bowl.) Fold the egg whites into the chocolate batter.
6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake it for 50 minutes. Remove pan from the oven. Cool the cake in the pan set on a rack. As the cake cools, the top will crack. This is the nature of the cake. The ‘crackled’ surface has its own special texture and is powdered over with sugar and cocoa after the cake cools so that it will look pretty.
7. Once the cake has cooled completely, remove the rim of the springform pan. Leave the cake on the bottom of the pan or shift it off the pan bottom onto the rack. Peel away the parchment paper by carefully lifting the cake a little, first on one side, then on another, detaching and pulling away the parchment from underneath it. The cake is dense enough to lift gently but do not turn the cake upside down on the rack.

For decorating the cake: Photo illustrations are on the related link. Sift powdered sugar and then some cocoa over the top of the cake or make a simple stencil by tracing the form of the cake pan on a piece of paper, drawing a simple design in the middle and cutting it out with a pair of sharp scissors. Sift powdered sugar over the cake. Then, place the stencil over the top of the cake and sift cocoa powder over the cut-out portions, creating a pretty two-tone design.

Serving suggestion: Some heavy cream, lightly whipped and sweetened, goes very well with this cake.

An acknowledgement: Cusdafinom csokitorta is adapted from a recipe in the Hungarian cooking journal “Konyha Magazin” (September 2000).

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