It’s been a while since I cooked anything for this silly blog series, but I’ve been like busy and stuff. And so I’m going to cheat and not actually read a book (this is a food/book pairing blog, I’m sure you don’t remember).
So just food this time, but it’s food that takes a while to er marinate or something.
Look at all these ingredients! Well, OK, the laptop with SG1 isn’t going into the pot, but the rest is.
It’s basically beef in wine (Boeuf Bourguignon or something), so you need some meat that can cook for a long time, so I chose these, but I’m a bit leery about the one to the right… doesn’t seem fatty enough…
Well, it’s all chopped and in a pot. Easy enough.
Then the wine is added, and then…
… it’s into the fridge for 24h to … get all flavourful or something.
So while that’s taking care of itself, I thought I’d make a cake.
It’s a suspiciously simple recipe, and it’s got a suspiciously small amount of flour…
I mean, these are the ingredients. Chocolate (half a kilo), butter (a quarter kilo), sugar, eggs (ten of them) and a teensy smattering of flour. How is this ever doing to result in a cake?
OK, so first get the chocolate a-melting in a pot-in-pot water bath thing. I know that everybody recommends doing this in the microwave these days, but doing it this old-fashioned way is fine by me: It’s a bit slow, but….
… I’ve got to separate ten eggs! I’m pretty good at separating eggs, but I’m not perfect, so I’m doing it in an intermediate small bowl to catch mishaps.
See? The chocolate is totally melting.
And the eggs are separating! I only fucked up a couple.
And egg whites.
And then the butter is dissolved into the chocolate. I have to say, the resulting mess is really, really tasty.
The egg yolks are whipped a bit, and then the minuscule amount of flour is whisked into it, and then it’s all whisked into the chocolate/butter mixture (that’s now cooler).
Now the batter tastes even better!
And then all the egg whites are whisked gently, gently into the mess…
And then into a springform. That’s a heavy cake, dude.
So after I had popped the cake into the oven to bake (for just 15 minutes) I re-read the recipe and saw that it called for a 27cm springform, while I had used a 24cm springform.
It’s a bit overfull, but I hope it’s baked enough now… The recipe calls the baking method “bizarre”: 15 minutes in the oven, then 12 minutes out of the oven with a lid on top to “steam”. Well, there’s no way to put a lid on that, but I put a slightly bigger bowl over it and hoped for the best..
OK, it sank a bit…
OK, it’s more than a bit too moist in the middle (well, runny, actually), but it’s totally, utterly delicious! It’s so light and fluffy! It’s … like… a chocolatey omelet! A chocolate souffle! This is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had! Such a clean, great chocolate flavour, with a fabulous light texture.
I’m definitely going to do this cake again, but I’m getting a bigger springform to get a more even bake. Or perhaps I should get out my slide rule and do some maths on how to scale the recipe down.
OK, still in a chocolate coma the next day, the meat is now all marinated and stuff.
Smells surprisingly good for a cold casserole of raw meat. I guess it’s the herbs that do it.
I don’t know how well this photographs, but the meat is now purple.
So the red wine is reduced a bit…
And the meat, after being patted dry, is given a good browning. This seems like a pretty strange way of doing it, but then again, I know nothing. But can you even get a good sear after the meat has been in an acid liquid for 24 hours?
Well, I don’t know. Difficult to tell with the purple colour, anyway…
And then the veggies are also sauteed, and then it all goes into the sauce to “barely simmer” for four hours.
A heaping of mushrooms are also sauteed. The recipe calls for cépe mushrooms, which I couldn’t find fresh in the shop at all. The recipe also says that if you can’t find cépes, then use “mushrooms”.
I googled and found that some people (especially Americans, apparently?) use “mushroom” as a synonym for champignon, so I got a bunch of those.
Then, after four hours, they’re added to the rest, along with orange juice and orange zest. Smells nice! Looks horrible!
OK, and now I was prepared for something wonderful and… eh… no. Not at all. Was there something off with the orange? I used organic ones so that the zest wouldn’t be all POISON and stuff, but… the flavour… is really harsh. It tastes like I’ve dropped a bottle of orange extract into the dish: It has a horrible, astringent, artificial smell and taste.
WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT.
As for the meat — as I suspected, the leaner cuts were dry, but the fattier bits had the perfect consistency: Moist and totally tender.
But also pretty much inedible due to the orange zest.
Oh, well, I can eat more chocolate cake (with some port) instead. Cheers!
This blog post is part of the Bistro
Cooking & Books series.