3 tablespoons unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
With a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale and creamy. Add espresso and salt, and beat for 1 minute, just to combine. Add vanilla and chocolate mixture, and beat for 1 minute.
Make the glaze: Place chocolate, butter, and vanilla in a bowl, set aside. Bring remaining ingredients [cream, sugar, espresso,salt] to a boil, stirring, remove from heat, and pour the boiled ingredients over chocolate mixture in the bowl. Whisk until smooth. Serve glaze warm with cake.
Verdict: Anyone see me tasting my first-bite would have called an ambulance. My pupil overwhelmingly dilated with surprise. The bite was tiny but the tasted was packed. It's chocolaty and very very and very light. I drifted away.
I baked this goodie on March 18th. It was not weekend but it indeed was a special occasion. It was my mom's birthday. Her favorite cake is always something associated with fruits i.e. fruitcake, orange-curd cake, blackforest (of course with cherry filling). She also like chocolate cakes especially the fluffy one. I am so sure she and her gangster would love this.
This is my mom, my sister, and me, 9-month old.
Some facts about my mom vs. her culinary world
- She collects baking wares. (repeat.... "collects").
- She bought a then-state-of-art oven in 1980s, but she never used it. I found this treasure "x" years later when I was 18, And that was my starting point of baking addiction. Note that it is not common in Asian household to have an oven. Free-standing style could be bought in store, with limited choices. Built-in oven was considered luxurious. So imagine 20 years ago (!) As if she knew, I would use it more frequent than my MP3. And I have to tell her, the oven is worth every penny she spent.
- Not long after I discovered the oven, I digged out for more, I found a hand mixer and some other rusty items, and a swirling copper whisk ! I tried to find a photo of that wierd-looking whisk which is non-existent nowadays.
One week later, I found a bag of expired pancake flour. OMG, since when did she became a amateur baker. As far as I recall, she was a busy entrepreneur who had two little monsters running around.
- Don't scream if I tell you I am still using "that" oven and "that" hand mixer I digged out from store room. And yes, everything you see on this blog was baked /made/whisked out of almost-20-year-old oven hand mixer. So far, they serve me very well. They are Moulinex's.
- I recalled that, the one and only cake my mom baked was made out of instant cake flour (I think when I was in pre-elementary school and my sister was a third grader?) It was dense and burnt. Well, the oven was good for reheating pizzas but not baking (which is why it burnt). My mom gave a piece to my sister to taste. My sister vanished quickly without a trace. I tasted and I told my mom that it tasted really nice and yummy. What happened next? my mom told me that I was lucky and that I could have to whole tray of (burnt) cake. I stood there trying to figure out what to do....I cried (come on, I was six!)
- She is really good at making ba-jang or Zong zi 粽子, steamed sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves with marinated pork and mushroom. I am certain she could made her fortune out of this if she turned this hobby into business.
- A few years ago, I told her I needed to lose weight. She prepared such healthy and unbelivably delicious breakfasts for me and my sister every day. I lost 4 pound in 2 months without being bitterly skipped meals.
- My mom complained whenever I baked at midnight. She feared of short-circuit as the oven was old. Ya, she has made her point. Unfortunately, I got inspired by nice-looking photos in my cooking book at 10 pm and...I do what I have to do....sorry.
- My old habit persists. Whenever I have free time on weekend, I digged out in store room with the hope to discover interesting (unused) baking equipment.
- I never could have found out what I love to do until that "oven-discovery" day. Thanks mom.
I wish I had a few candle on the cake. The piece below contains zero calories, if you consume it by eyes only.
Mmm..should I sing a birthday song a bit?
(me singing) Happy Birthday to you...Happy birthday to you....Happy birthday...happy birthday..y...y.
Happy birthday to Mami..i..i.