Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cookbook Thursday: Shaffer offers a chocolate cookbook to die for

            I adore chocolate so imagine my delight upon discovering Bev Shaffer’s new cookbook, “Chocolate Desserts to Die for!: The Complete Guide for Chocolate Lovers.” Shaffer offers more than just chocolate recipes, although I must admit I headed straight for the warm chocolate beignets, the Not-Just-for-Tree-Huggin’-Hippies chocolate granola and Chicago-style deep-dish dessert pizza. She offers fun trivia and historical information, chocolate varieties and baking tips, but if you’re like me, you’re saying where’s the recipe? Here’s one that may put you in a chocolate coma but what fun that will be!

Deep Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake
From “Chocolate Desserts to Die For!”
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
6 large eggs, separated, then room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons chocolate liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chunks of fresh pineapple
Unsweetened whipped cream
            Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 10-inch springform pan. Melt the chocolate and butter; remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and yellow colored. Stop and scrape bowl and beater. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture, cream, chocolate liqueur and vanilla. In another clean large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (but mixture is not dry). Gently fold one fourth of egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites until thoroughly incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 26 to 35 minutes or until cake is just set. Cool on wire rack. When completely cool, loosen the edges of the springform pan and remove ring. Serve with chunks of fresh pineapple and a wisp of unsweetened whipped cream. Serves 8 or more.

Cheré Coen is a Lafayette freelance travel and food writer. She is coauthor of “Cooking in Cajun Country” with Karl Breaux and author of “Exploring Cajun Country: A Tour of Historic Acadiana” and “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana,” both from The History Press.