French Silk Cake
by Lucia Watson, Chef , Lucia’s Restaurant, Minneapolis, Minn.
This recipe has been adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table by Chef Pati Jinich. It produces a dense, fudgy, flourless cake with a light and rich layer of French silk. The cake is gluten free and delicious even without the silk, which can also be served as a mousse in individual dishes.
- For The Cake:
- ¼ cup butter
- 6 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup pecans
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
Lightly butter a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment paper round. In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.
Put the nuts in a blender and pulse to slightly chop. Add the eggs, vanilla, and sugar, then the chocolate mixture. Blend until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350ºF for about 40 to 50 minutes or until firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out moist but not wet. Let cool, then unmold.
- For The Silk:
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup butter
- ⅔ cup heavy cream plus more for whipped topping
- Pecan pieces for garnish
- Whipped cream for garnish
Combine the sugar and eggs in a non-reactive sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the mixture reaches about 160°F, or just until it coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla and continue to keep over low heat until chocolate is melted. Set aside and let cool slightly. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, then add the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat until the mixture lightens up. In a separate chilled bowl, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks, and then fold into the chocolate mixture.
To assemble the cake, slice the cooled cake in half horizontally. Spread half the silk mixture over the cake evenly. Top with the other cake round and then the remaining silk. Let cool, and then serve sprinkled with pecans and extra whipped cream.