It was more than a year ago when Alon, my eldest made his very first Pavlova, a meringue dessert named after a ballerina. The outcome? Cracked eggs all over the table and the sink high with dishes. But amid this destruction, like an eye of a hurricane was his Pavlova, a strawberry covered beauty. It has become his signature dessert and for the holidays he made a special pomegranate edition.
A few days ago, Uri, the boy with the hiccupping, contagious laugh announced that he too was going to bake a cake by himself. Leaving behind a mini-explosion of eggshells and melted chocolate, there was little hope that anything could come out of it alive. I left the kitchen hoping that his experiment in entropy would somehow spontaneously sort itself out. It did, in the form of a magnificent chocolate cake. The family gathered around to celebrate another baker in the kitchen. His big brother said simply “very good Uri for making such an excellent cake” and Uri smiled back, so proud.
Elad, the youngest, not to be outdone, reminded everyone that just yesterday he baked a batch of cookies, “but with Mom”.
So I have three boys in the kitchen. When did this happen? Sometimes they are busy baking, smearing butter on the cookbooks, dropping flour on the floor… they usually do a bad job cleaning the mess, I know. But in a few tomorrows, they’ll grow up. I’ll miss it.
Decadent Chocolate Cake
A recipe by Carine Goren, Israel’s favorite dessert cookbook author
7 eggs, cold from the refrigerator
400 grams (14 ounces) dark chocolate
200 grams (7 ounces) butter
3 tablespoons liquor of choice, I used Grand Marnier
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F)
Fill a deep oven pan with boiling water and place on bottom rack. This will add humidity to the oven to create a creamier cake.
Whisk the seven eggs in a mixer on high until they have become light and fluffy. The volume will expand considerably but they won’t become as stiff as egg whites alone.
In a bain marie, melt the chocolate and the butter. Add about 1/3 of the egg mixture to the chocolate and mix until incorporated. Add the liquor and the remainder of the eggs, folding gently. The mixture will lose most of the volume, this is supposed to happen.
Pour the mixture in a 24 cm (9.5 inches) baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes or just until the top begins to crack. The cake will not look completely baked but will stabilize once it is cooled.
Continue to cool in the refrigerator for two hours before serving.
Tip for cutting the cake: dip a sharp knife in boiling water so the knife will not stick to the cake. Serve at room temperature.