Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Egg Nest Cake

Back in March of 2008 I checked out Nigella Lawson's Feast Cookbook from the library.  While perusing the pages I came across this beautiful idea for an easy Easter cake.  I copied the recipe and tucked it away.  The cake seemed to daunting for me to make that year and each year as Easter would come around I would glance at it but never committed to making it.  This year as I was looking for something spring-y and Easter-y to make for my blog I remembered this cake and thought that it would be perfect. 

For Easter I am known for making sponge cakes, srawberry shortcake, or things with citrus, because they remind me of spring.  This is a chocolate flourless cake with chocolate whipped cream on top, and covered with mini cadbury chocolate eggs.  A far cry from what I am traditionally known for but it is so dang cute I had to give it a try.  I made the cake, let it cool, and assmebled it the next afternoon.  Not daunting in the least and I really have no idea why I put it off so long.  Without the cadbury eggs atop this would easily be a dessert that could transform to any occassion.  I'm pretty sure it'll be gone by Saturday morning so maybe I can make my traditional sponge cake yet!

Easter Egg Nest Cake
for the cake:
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs, 2 whole and 4 separated
1/3 cup sugar, for the egg mixture
1/2 cup sugar, for the egg white mixture
for the topping:
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup robin eggcandies or 1 cup other egg shaped easter candy

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.

Melt the 8 oz. chocolate with the butter in a double broiler or a microwave and then set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk the 4 egg whites until firm, then gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape and gleaming but not stiff. Set aside.

In another bowl, add the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with the 1/3 cup sugar and the vanilla extract. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture. Lighten the mixture with 1/3 of the egg whites incorporating into mixture. Add 1/2 of the remaining egg whites, and then the last batch incorporating after each addition.

Pour into the preapred pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly on the surface. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack; the middle will sink when cools and the sides will splinter. You want it to look like a cake with a crater in it.

To finish the cake, carefully remove the pan and place on a plate or cake stand.

Melt the chocolate for the topping and leave it to cool a little. Meanwhile, whip the cream until it is firming up and aerated but still soft and then add the vanilla and fold in the chocolate.

Fill the crater of the cake with the chocolate cream, easing it towards the edges with a spatula. Arrange the robin eggs on top.

Servings: 8
Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Oven Temperature: 350°F

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