Alice Eats Sunken Dark-Chocolate Cake

Sunken Dark-Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Fool

29 Oct Alice Eats Sunken Dark-Chocolate Cake

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Describing this cookbook as unconventional would be misleading. It doesn’t contain outrageously challenging recipes or impossible to get ingredients. You won’t find odd flavour combinations or dishes that look like storybook animals. If I may mix my fictional elements, Alice Eats is the James Bond martini of the cookbook world. Its motto isn’t so much “Curiouser and curiouser!” as “Shaken, not stirred.” While the ingredients are familiar, it’s the assembly that defies convention. And like a Bond martini, the results are intoxicating.

Based on Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandAlice Eats grabs the traditional cookbook genre by its ankles, drops it down the rabbit hole and then leads it on a psychedelic, edible romp. Confused? Don’t be. Instead, set aside your expectations of what a cookbook is and dive in.

What will you find? Two books in one. Alice Eats includes Carroll’s full text interspersed with “recipes inspired by the story and its characters.” Inside the jubilant cover, you’ll find Mock Turtle’s Mock Turtle Soup, Caterpillar’s Stuffed Mushroom Caps and the Queen of Hearts’ Jam Tarts. The rock-solid recipes are created and photographed by Julie Van Rosendaal while the story itself is illustrated by the quirky, splashy, neon drawings of award-winning chef / illustrator / beard-grower Pierre Lamielle. (If you know the significance of the beard, share your answer in the comments section. You could win a copy of Alice Eats. See below for details.)

Who’s it for? Readers. Parents. Kids. Art lovers. Cooks. Eaters. The Cool Crowd.

I made the Sunken Dark-Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Fool from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party section. My mother was hosting a tea party and the out-of-town guests showed up with fascinators and crazy feather-rimmed hats. I take such convergences as signs that the cake, the party and the book were “meant to be.”

Sunken Dark-Chocolate

The recipe’s headnote says it “Serves 8 to 12 fools and /or geniuses.” I’m not going to gauge where our IQs fall, but I will pass judgement on the cake. Even though there were 10 of us, a dozen scones, four kinds of homemade jam, two platters of finger sandwiches and copious quantities of tea, only a sliver of this moist, sloppy cake survived the feeding frenzy. It’s that good.

Sunken Dark-Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Fool

While labels in Wonderland urge Alice to “Eat me” or “Drink me” I would make a third:  “Buy me!”

If you do, I promise you won’t grow, or shrink or encounter talking animals. You will, however, be enthralled. And hungry. And oh, so glad you decided to join in on the adventure.

Sunken Dark-Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Fool
Author: 
Recipe type: Baking
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 to 12
 
The heart is always making the head into a fool, so follow your heart and rush into this lovely fool.
Ingredients
Cake
  • 8 ounces (250 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (125 mL) butter, cut into chunks
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar, divided
Raspberry Fool
  • 2 cups (500 mL) fresh or frozen (thawed) raspberries or blackberries
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar, divided
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) heavy (whipping) cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom of 9-inch springform pan with waxed or parchment paper. Don't grease the pan —the batter needs to cling to the sides as it rises.
Cake
  1. Gently melt the chocolate with the butter over low on the stovetop, or in a glass or stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Separate 4 of the eggs, putting the yolks and whites in separate medium bowls. Add the remaining 2 eggs and ½ cup of the sugar to the egg yolks. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.
  3. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy.
  4. Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until the egg whites form soft mounds but aren't yet stiff. Fold about one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold in the rest, without deflating the egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake is puffy and cracked on top, and the middle isn't wobbly. Cool the cake completely in the pan without loosening the sides (the batter will cling to the pan is it cools, sinking in the middle and keeping its high sides).
Raspberry Fool
  1. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, gently crush the berries with half the sugar —a potato masher or whisk works well. Set aside to macerate for 10 minutes or so.
  2. When you're ready to serve the cake, whip the cream with the rest of the sugar until softly stiff, and fold in the fruit mixture, leaving it swirled through the cream rather than blended in.
  3. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sunken cake and remove the sides of the pan. Transfer the key to a serving plate, leaving the cake on the pan bottom. Mound the fool in the middle of the cake. Serve immediately.
Notes
This recipe is excerpted from Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook. Words and pictures by Pierre A. Lamielle and Julie Van Rosendaal. Published by Whitecap Books ©2013.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which inspired the recipes, was written by Lewis Carroll and now falls comfortably in the public domain.

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Update: The winner, selected using random.org, is Anna. Congratulations, Anna. I’ll be in touch with you soon my email about claiming your book. Happy reading and eating!

Want to win a copy of Alice Eats? Leave a comment telling me the significance of Pierre’s beard — he grew it just for the book. Don’t know? Then share your favourite Alice in Wonderland character or who you would read this book to if you were lucky enough to win.  I’ll draw a name at random on November 16. Winners must reside in Canada or Continental US. [/box]

 

 

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11 Comments
  • Donna
    Posted at 23:30h, 29 October Reply

    Oh my goodness me———-it’s our tea party and a Mad Hatters Tea it was ~! But then we are all easily persuaded to be wacky~! The food was DIVINE and this chocolate dessert sublime~! Lucky us ~! Luv you……….

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:20h, 30 October Reply

      I think we were born wacky. Thanks for providing the excuse to make this decadent cake. There is always room for you at our table – with or without the mad hats. :-)

  • Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate
    Posted at 14:51h, 03 November Reply

    That looks like one wicked flourless dark chocolate cake!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:30h, 03 November Reply

      It is. And the fool doesn’t hurt much either. I love that it’s so easy to make and cracks. You can’t mess this one up!

  • Aurelie
    Posted at 10:13h, 04 November Reply

    I think this book would be a perfect read for my bf. He really likes Alive in Wonderland, and now I could use this book as an excuse for him to do more cooking and baking around the house :)

  • Katie
    Posted at 11:29h, 04 November Reply

    I like the Dormouse best!

  • Christie
    Posted at 01:05h, 05 November Reply

    I’d love to share this book with my children. I had the pleasure of meeting both Pierre and Julie over the weekend. Fabulous, funny people!

  • randi
    Posted at 22:02h, 11 November Reply

    I would read the book to myself – with a scone and a teacup full of wine

  • Anna
    Posted at 15:34h, 12 November Reply

    Oh wonderful! I used to follow his blog and I have his other cookbook (both of which I love!) I don’t know the significance of the beard except maybe if he was going to sport the walrus whiskers. As for who I’d read this to…who wouldn’t I? My sisters, my future kids, random strangers on the street. When wielding cake in one hand and the willingness to share, you can read whatever you want to anyone who isn’t on a diet 😀

  • Anna
    Posted at 21:14h, 06 April Reply

    I made this cake today!
    I confess, I made two alterations: I one-and-a-halved the recipe, and I also replaced the whipped cream fool with a glaze made from fresh blended strawberries, a pinch of salt, lime juice and zest, and much powdered sugar.
    The cake was delicious, but I can’t help but feel that it was slightly off, as it absolutely came off as a moist, flour-containing chocolate cake. The dough was springy, like an extremely cakey brownie. Maybe I underbaked it, or had the batter in too thick a layer? While mixing the dough the egg whites didn’t deflate at all!

    I will probably make this again next time I need a chocolate cake, but I’ll keep my glaze as topping, and not mention that it’s flourless there are entirely different expectations for a floureless chocolate cake 😉

  • Charmian Christie
    Posted at 10:20h, 07 April Reply

    I like the idea of your strawberry glaze topping. What a wonderful way to enjoy fresh berries! The basic cake works well with any number of different toppings and flavour combinations. I will have to experiment some more myself.

    As for the texture, if you made 1 1/2 recipes and didn’t change the pan size then the batter would definitely be too thick. I wrote a post on how to adjust pan size, so you can figure out what size pan would make a suitable substitute.
    http://themessybaker.com/2012/01/16/how-to-adjust-pan-size-in-baking/

    Happy baking!

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