I attended my five year (?!) business school reunion in Durham, NC over the weekend. It was a great weekend – thanks to everyone who traveled from near and far, bringing their beautiful children and their patient spouses, to celebrate old memories and make new ones. Thanks as well to my former classmates who have been reading The List. Apparently, a link to my little pet project of a blog was included on our class reunion page on the school’s website. I have no idea how the link found its way to the class page, but it was great to hear that I have a new reader base.
In honor of Durham, I thought that it would be nice to post one of my favorite recipes from Sara Foster, owner of Foster Market’s in Durham – a charming spot offering prepared foods and sandwiches and specialty grocery items (I could spend an hour in the candy section alone, which features everything from old-time penny candy to fancy chocolate). Foster’s was the first place that I ate in Durham when I went to look for an apartment before my first year of school (a friend who was getting her PhD at Duke tipped me off), it was the scene of weekly lunches and brunches when I was in school, and it is at the top of my list of places to visit when I am in the area (as it should be on yours) as much for the memories of student life as for the food.
This recipe is from “Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster’s Market” – I have made this cake twice and it turned out perfectly both times. Enjoy!
Dark Chocolate Soufflé Cake
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for buttering the pan
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for dusting the pan
8 ounces good-quality chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
6 large eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust lightly with sugar.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the Kahlua, vanilla, and cinnamon. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and the sugar together on high speed until pale yellow and thick enough to hold a ribbon, about 2 or 3 minutes. Gently fold a quarter of the beaten eggs into the chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture with the added eggs into the bowl with the remaining eggs and fold gently to combine.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until incorporated. Do not over-mix the batter. It’s fine if you see little traces of the egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula to make it even. Bake on center rack for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still soft. The cake will set completely as it cools. Cool the cake on a wire rack for five minutes.
Run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake. Open the springform pan to release the sides and transfer the cake onto a serving plate. Slice and serve immediately.
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