Memorial Day weekend is the first big Holiday weekend of the year here in the U.S.
It's a time to pay homage & remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is also happens to be the weekend where the outdoor pools are flung open for the season and backyard BBQ's summer grilling and get togethers are everywhere.
The reason I'm getting all excited about this post, is that as y'all know I love supporting small businesses and artisanal products.
And Green & Black's story fits the bill - it all began in London in 1991 when Craig Sams (founder of the pioneering food company, Whole Earth) received a sample of dark organic cocoa beans. He had a sample of 70% dark chocolate made from the beans. His wife, Josephine Fairley, discovered the half eaten bar of chocolate and tried some herself. So taken was she by the flavor that she was convinced other chocolate aficionados everywhere would share her appreciation. And so began the endeavor of making the world’s first organic chocolate – a high quality bittersweet dark chocolate packed with 70% cocoa solids.
My dark brown rectangular box of chocolatey lovelies (not full of half eaten bars I must clarify) arrived in the mail a few days ago and nestled in lovely gold embossed tissue were 4 bars of chocolate.
I decided I would work on a recipe that would use dark chocolate - half a little sweeter than the other.
When I think of dark chocolate, I think wine, blackberries and cardamom. All of it goes so very well together don't you think?
So a dense, chocolate cake made with premium dark chocolate and blackberries - frozen, to omit the whole stewing to soften et cetra, baked to perfection, dusted with cocoa powder and finished with some love chocolate eggs seems like a perfect, minimalist and classy finish to this cake.
Incredibly smooth and delicious with a texture in between fudge and mousse.
Do I have your attention yet?
Sensational Blackberry, Cardamom & Chocolate Cake
Serves 8 - 1 qty 9" cake
4 oz. - 70% cocoa dark chocolate - preferably Green & Black's dark chocolate
4 oz. - 85% cocoa dark chocolate - preferably Green & Black's dark chocolate
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter
4 eggs at room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 cup white superfine sugar
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cup frozen blackberries
milk chocolate Easter eggs
white chocolate or cookies & cream Easter eggs
Also required, a 9" spring foam pan, non-stick baking spray & parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 375 deg. F.
Line the baking pan: Trace and cut the parchment paper to line the bottom of a spring foam pan. Spray non-stick baking spray on the bottom the the spring foam pan and 'glue' the parchment paper to the bottom. There is no need to spray the sides of the pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Butter: Melt butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Set aside.
Chocolate: Roughly chop and set aside.
Eggs: Separate the whites and the yolks in 2 separate bowls and set aside.
Dry ingredients: Measure and combine the flour and the cardamom.
Meanwhile, set up a home-made version of a double boiler. Fill a sauce pan with water. Place a Pyrex mixing bowl over the pan making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the Pyrex bowl.
Place the double boiler on medium-high heat until the water is simmering. Add the milk and chocolate to the Pyrex bowl and stir with a metal spoon until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Using an electric hand beater, add the sugar and beat until combined.
Remove the Pyrex bowl from the heat and place on the counter top. Add the heavy cream and whisk to combine. As the chocolate cools over the next 10 minutes, it will regain its glossy smooth texture.
Add the egg yolks - one a time and whisk to combine between each addition. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.
Hold a sieve over the chocolate mixture and add the flour mixture to the sieve. Hold the sieve at least 6 inches over the bowl and tap sieve so flour falls into the bowl. Fold with a rubber spatula until well but just combined.
Meanwhile, to an electric stand mixer add the egg whites with cream of tartar. Fit the mixer with the beater and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.
Cook's Note: The mechanical process of beating the egg whites denatures the egg proteins ovalbumin allowing them to unfold. The air bubbles are suspended in the egg whites and the cream of tartar helps stabilize the air bubbles by acting as a surfactant between the air bubbles and proteins so the egg white foam does not fail and separate.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the blackberries and fold until combined. Empty the batter into the lined baking pan and placing the oven along with the baking sheet on which it sits.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 300 deg. F.
Bake for another 25 minutes or so or until a toothpick comes out clean when pierced in the center of the cake. Allow the cake to cool in the pan and do not worry if the cake sinks a little as it cools.
Once completely cool. dust with cocoa by placing in a small sieve and dusting all over the cake.
Mound white & dark chocolate eggs along with fresh blackberries.
Serve with fresh whipped cream or crème fraiche.