9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (minimum 60 percent cocoa solids)
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 large eggs (2 whole, 4 separated)
3/4 cup sugar (divided into 1/4 and 1/2 cup measurements)
Grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (for sprinkling)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with baking parchment. (Do not grease the pan.) Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate; the optional orange zest can be added at this point. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture.
In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.
When you are ready to eat, place the still pan-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its pan. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: It's the crater look that you're going for. Whip the cream until it's soft, and then add the vanilla and sugar. Continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently toward the edges, and dust the top lightly with the cocoa powder through a tea strainer. Do not top with whipped cream if you are not serving the whole cake right away; instead, top each slice with cream as you serve it.
Tiffany Fox made the decision to go gluten-free recently, but give up desserts? Are you kidding?
"Dessert is one of those things you just can't live without," the Harrison wife and mother says. "So I'd been hunting for a good recipe."
In time, Fox found Chocolate Cloud Cake on the website of Nigella Lawson, a British food writer, author and former Food Network show host, and since has made it for family, friends and shared it with patrons at the Ooltewah Farmers Market.
"I've made it a couple of times," she says, "the first time mostly just for me. Next thing, my mom and my husband [David] tried it, and liked it. And my husband never eats anything like health food. Then my daughter tried it. And since, I've made it for friends. Everybody who has tried it has loved it."
The concoction does not have flour, so a slice has somewhat of a fudgy-brownie consistency. And, with nine ounces of dark chocolate, it has a bit of an exotic flavor.
"It kind of reminds me of a devil's food cake," says Fox, 40. "It doesn't get real dry."
And the real whipped cream topping substitutes for a sweet icing.
Lawson's original recipe calls for orange liqueur, but Fox says she finds the alcohol doesn't cook out so she "tends to back off." However, her recipe calls for the grated zest of an orange.
The recipe can be "a little time-consuming," she says, because you must separate egg yolks and whites, "but it's easy ingredients. And it's yummy."
When Ooltewah Nursery and Landscape Co. held its first Recipe Club in late June, it had the stipulation that the one ingredient must be available at the once-a-week Farmers Market.
Fox submitted the recipe to the club, saying she buys the duck eggs she uses in the recipe -- chicken eggs are fine, though -- at the market. She says duck eggs make the cake even fluffier.
Angel Miller, marketing director for the nursery and farmers market, says the recipe club was begun as a community outreach and to stimulate interest in the 11-week-old market. Participants bring two copies of their recipes, one that will be copied for all those in attendance and one from which -- if they want -- they can use to talk about their recipe.
The market, according to Miller, has 20 farmer/members and usually draws between 10 and 14 farmers each Thursday between 3 and 6 p.m. About 400 people per week come and take a peek at what's available, she says.
"It has far surpassed our expectations," she says.
The next Recipe Club event is set for Aug. 15.
Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to my posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.