It was the day. The day I was about to bake Le Marquis, or chocolate sponge cake from MTAOFC. The cake from the movie Julie and Julia. The chocolate cake everyone wants to drown in and would not care if they had a mild cardiac infarction. In a true Alex fashion, I got all dressed up and went to the grocery store where it took me at least fifteen minutes to find the semi-sweet chocolate. I went down the aisle where it was several times. Forgive me, my height (5’2”) clearly gives me a disadvantage when it comes to finding things (and reaching things) above eye level.
And so when I came home, I was more than ready to bake this cake. Bring it on.
Well, turns out baking a cake from scratch is much harder than pouring the mix in the bowl. No duh. Julia recommended that I flour the pan (?), place a pan with the chocolate and coffee inside another pan (?), beat until egg whites peaked (??), and fold egg whites into egg yolks (?!?).
I set out all that I thought I would need, forgetting the majority, and started “flouring” the pan from the instructions in the Bible, oops, I mean book. I did not know how much butter French cooking required. Yes, I’ve seen the movie and read the books, but holy dairy product. I used a whole stick of butter making this thing and I can fairly say that “flouring” the pan uses much more butter than flour.
After that, the pan within the pan thing came about. And voila! C’est manifique! The strange notion of putting a smaller pan inside a larger one with simmering water actually does help melt chocolate better. And coffee. (About the coffee thing, sometimes Julia isn’t very specific. So when she said stir in coffee with chocolate, I wasn’t quite sure if she meant brewed coffee or regular, un-brewed coffee. I did the best I could because the chocolate was melting wonderfully and I made some Folger’s instant and used that.)
Then, came the eggs. It is always known that I will have trouble with eggs. You can’t get around it. Even with the omelet last time I decided to cook something my eggs turned out looking somewhat disgusting. Good thing the people I was feeding were teenagers and don’t really care what food looks like (or tastes like even for that matter). So needless to say, I had a bit of trouble separating the yolk from the white. After several attempts, I finally got it. It did not look good, but it would work and so I congratulated myself.
Then came the beating of the egg yolks, adding sugar, and then the beating of the egg whites. I beat those suckers until they looked very fluffy, and I could only assume that’s what Julia meant when she said “peaked.” I mixed it all together, poured it in the baking pan, and set it in the oven.
The icing was very easy compared to the cake. I just used the pan within the pan trick again with more chocolate, more butter (blechhhhhh), and a splash of rum.
Here’s what I got when I put it all together:
How did it taste? Let’s just say it was more than worth the effort.
Do you have any fun recipes? Any of Julia’s you dare me to try? Give me a comment!