This cake I was introduced to earlier in the summer, while visiting my hubby's cousin, Ema. I like to think of her as my cousin too now. I love her, she is an awesome person. Everybody in the family was excited for her barbecue party, but not as much for the barbecue itself but more about this scrumptious cake she makes. And you can imagine I got very excited about this, all our cousins were raving about it, and as soon as we got there we dug in, before having any actual food, even some of us breaking all strict diets and all, and ate half of the cake in a heartbeat. Then we ate an array or various grilled meats, sides and salads, all delicious, and yes, we finished everything with the other half of the cake. It was an awesome evening!
And of course I asked her for the recipe and the permission to share it here on Askanam. She is a total sweetheart, and agreed.
Back home we call this type of cake a brownie, although it has nothing much in common with the American brownie. My Mom also makes this type of cake, but Ema had changed and improved the recipe over the years, as she has been making this since her school years, and the results are great to say the least. Well I must say I added my own touch to it, errrr, just by doubling the quantity of chocolate sauce, haha. Because well, you can never have to much chocolate, right?
Ingredients for a 9x13 inch pan, around 40 servings (yes, portion size is very small, as the cake is very rich, but of course, you eat as many as you want or can... that means a lot more than 1 for us):
For the cake:
7 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
7 tablespoons vegetable oil (sunflower, canola or corn)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional, works just as fine without)
1 small pinch of salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean paste or extract
For the frosting:
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar (optional)
2 tablespoon corn starch (optional)
For the sauce:
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 stick of butter, softened preferably
1 cup of milk
2/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
First, make the cake.
Prepare a 9x13 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
Separate the egg whites from yolks, putting the whites in the clean bowl of your mixer, fitted with the whip attachment, and the yolks in the bowl of a small food processor, blender or just a medium bowl.
Start beating the egg whites on lowest speed for 20-30 seconds. Increase the speed to high, and beat for 1-2 minutes until soft peaks. Add a pinch of salt. With the mixer still on high speed add the sugar gradually, and beat until stiff glossy peaks form, another 2 minutes or so. This times are for a KitchenAid stand mixer, it might take a little longer time if you use a hand held mixer, that is not as powerful.
Blend/process or beat with a fork or whisk the egg yolks and vegetable oil very well, until thick and lighter in color. Mix in the vanilla.
Add the egg yolk mixture over the egg whites (meringue) and mix/fold in gently with a wooden spoon.
Sift on top of it the flour and baking powder, and fold in gently just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter in the pan, level with an offset spatula, and bake for 23 minutes, on the middle rack. Check after 20 minutes, by gently pressing with the finger on top. If the cake springs back it is done, so you can take it out of the oven. Don't over bake the cake, as it will dry out, and you will place it again in the oven later. It is better to be under baked actually. But not as much as it to deflate when you take it out. Keep a close watch on it, and take it out as soon as it sets.
After the cake is done,take it out on a heat proof surface, and let the oven on, increasing the temperature to 380 degrees F.
While the cake bakes, make the topping.
Wash and dry the mixer bowl and whip. Repeat the same process with the egg whites as you did for the cake. When the meringue is stiff and glossy sift over the corn starch, add the vinegar and gently mix.
Pour the meringue over the cake, level it well with an offset spatula, return pan to oven and bake at 380 F for 15 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp. You can put the meringue on the hot, just out of the oven cake.
Let the cake cool down completely on a rack, in the pan. When cool using a sharp knife cut it in small, 1 inch squares.
Make the chocolate sauce.
In a sauce pan mix well together the cocoa powder and sugar, so there are no cocoa lumps. Add the milk and butter, mix, and place on medium heat, mixing constantly. Get to a boil, and let it cook for 1 minute.
In a medium bowl beat the egg yolks with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. When the cocoa has boiled, take it off heat. Add one tablespoon of the hot mixture and add it to the yolks, mixing very well. Do this for several times, increasing to 2,3, 4 tablespoons of hot mixture you add every time, mixing well after each addition. This is in order to temper the eggs, so you don't get scrambled eggs. When the bowl is almost fool, return it's contents to the rest of cocoa mixture in the sauce pan, and mix well everything. The sauce should be glossy, thicker and delicious. Add the vanilla and mix.
With a spoon, pour hot chocolate sauce on each cold cake square. Or just pour it over, but slowly. The cake should be "swimming" in chocolate sauce. It is best to make the cake few hours in advance, so it has time to soak up the sauce. It keeps well for 2-3 days, in a cool dry place. I keep it in the oven after it cools.
Now stop thinking about calories, and eat!
Thank you, Ema!