Adapted from Julia Child’s Kitchen, Alfred Knopf, 1975
2 teaspoons instant espresso
1/4 cup boiling water
7 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup extra fine sugar plus 2 tablespoons
4 ounces soft unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch cake pans; place wax paper in bottom of each, and then butter and flour.
- Blend coffee and water in top of double boiler over simmering water. Remove from heat. Add chocolates; cover and set aside to melt.
- Beat yolks and gradually add 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until yolks are thick, pale yellow.
- Beat melted chocolate until smooth. Beat in butter, 2 tablespoons at a time; gradually beat chocolate and butter into yolk mixture.
- Beat whites until foamy; beat in cream of tartar and salt. Continue beating until whites form soft peaks; gradually beat in 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Sift on 1/4 of cornstarch and scoop on 1/4 of whites; stir with spatula. Scoop rest of whites on top; sift on 2 of remaining cornstach and fold. Sift half of remaining cornstach on top and fold in; sift on remaining cornstarch and fold to blend.
- Spoon batter into pans and smooth. Bang once on work surface to settle batter, then bake for 15 minutes. A cake tester inserted near the edges should come out clean. Cool pans on racks. Wrap and chill for an hour before unmolding.
Chocolate Filling and Glaze
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon instant espresso
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsalted butter.
- Melt chocolates with coffee and water; beat in butter. If mixture is too liquid to spread, beat over cold water until lightly thickened.
- Unmold one layer of cake onto serving plate and spread top with 1/4 inch of icing. Unmold second layer on top of first and cover top and sides with remaining frosting. Serve, refrigerate or freeze. Return to room temperature before serving.
Yield: 8 servings.