When I cook, I know if I'm off on something, it's relatively easy to course-correct. Hell if I burn garlic, I can always cut up some more and clean out the pot/pan and start fresh. (I have progressed beyond burning garlic plus I have a magical skillet that makes one-pot ~wonders~ a joy to make so I'm pretty good at not screwing up by burning stuff.)
Yet with baking, everything can get fucked over in a second and there's nothing you can do about it. My family are all pretty great cooks (my mom grew up having to eat canned veggies and wound up becoming a master at schooling the fuck out of classic Puerto Rican cooking and rocks at baking, she makes the best cheesecake in the entire universe and fortunately only makes it for Christmas otherwise I'd be dead from cheese[cake]). My Sister K has been really getting into cooking (she's a huge Giada fan) and has been called the baker in my family. Me, I'm the cook.
I'm an incredibly picky eater but when it comes to stuff I love I will figure out as many recipes as possible to make using favorite foods. I have many, many recipes for zucchini and will bacon up, garlic up, and zest (lemon zest that is) many, many foods.
Obviously I am not so down with making the sweet treats. I can make pretty good lemon bars and I've got one chocolate chip recipe I've mastered. It's a Weight Watcher's recipe to boot and it kicks ass, I actually make it once for a college bake sale (ahahahahaha that is so hilarious to me right now, I mean, a COLLEGE bake sale, LOL oh my college) and my cookies sold out damn fast.
However those aren't exactly intense recipes that'll be screwed by my usual...bouts of idiocy.
So. Since today was cold and sucky and it started to snow, I decided to make use out of one of my Christmas presents, a cookbook, and bake something. Cuz today, I needed me some chocolate.
(Also because I am an incredibly intelligent person I went out last minute to pick up a couple of things at the grocery while it was snowing heavily. Note: stop being such an idiot. House would not approve.)
The book I received was Tyler's Ultimate because my mom thinks he's hot. I'm sorry, that's TOTALLY the reason I got it and that will not stop cracking me up. For the past two Christmases I've asked for any of Nigella Lawson's cookbooks and gotten Rachel Ray and Tyler Florence. (I will admit I do kind of like Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals 2 because it has a lot of flavor combinations I personally enjoy but the other RR cookbook I received sort of blows and the cutesy language is out of control.)
At least my mom loves me enough that she will never get me Sandra Lee. *shudders*
Anyway the desserts section in Tyler's Ultimate intrigued me (hello Sangria Granita...you shall be enjoyed by me in the summertime oh yessssss) and I tonight I baked (and did not FAIL at baking) Cracked Chocolate Earth.
You guys this involved melting chocolate and tempering eggs yolks and folding in egg whites and the end result was NOT a disaster. I'm so patting myself on the back right now.
Cracked Chocolate Cracky Crack CRACK
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up (plus butter to coat the pan)
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
9 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (note: I did not use this)
Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch springform pan.
Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or a heat-proof bowl, I used an awesome pyrex bowl since I am not fancy and don't own a double boiler) over about 1 inch of simmering water. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the warm chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs--this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate--then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture. (I whisked the eggs into the chocolate as my pyrex bowl was much bigger than the bowl I use for the yolks.)
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cae is set, the top starts to crack, and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs cling to it, 20-25 minutes. Let the cake stand for 10 minutes, then release the sides of the pan. Serve at room temperature.
My verdict: I totally served it warm and it was DELICIOUS. Also it's a pretty intense chocolate taste on its own so ice cream would probably rock with it. I actually had it with some whipped cream and it was UGH so yummy. It may have knocked me into a partial coma. Totally worth it.