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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chocolate Genoise for the Slim-Minded

Low-Cal But Still Lovely
A few weeks ago at Look what the Cat dragged In (the Santa Fe Humane Society's awesome resale shop), I found this cool little cookbook called Sweet Nothings by Jill O’Connor. It has over 50 luscious, low-fat, low-calorie desserts! So you know I just had to start my testing with the chocolate recipe. This isn't difficult, but you do have to wash your electric mixer bowl in the middle of the recipe — unless you have two. Also you will end up with 2 left over egg yolks. Susan Purdy would never design a recipe like that. But if you love chocolate as much as I do, it's still totally worth it, trust me!

2/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 teaspoon instant espresso
2/3 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
6 egg whites room temp
3/4 cup cake flour sifted twice
pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a spring-form pan with parchment and spray the bottom and sides with non-stick spray. Place the cocoa powder and instant espresso in a small bowl, add the boiling water, whisk till smooth, then add the vanilla extract and set aside to cool.

Combine the 4 yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar in the top of a double boiler and whisk till the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Then scrape this mixture into the bowl of your electric mixer and with the whisk attachment beat it on high till the yolks double in volume and change to a lighter color. This mixture will be quite thick and will ribbon when drizzled into itself. That takes 3 to 5 minutes. Next, fold the yolks mixture into the chocolate mixture.

Clean the bowl of your mixer well and add the egg whites and start mixing on medium speed till whites are foamy. Then turn the mixer up and start sprinkling in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Whip till soft peaks form. Don’t take them too stiff peaks or — trust me — this recipe will fail. Sift the flour and the salt together and gently fold in 1/2 of the flour. Then fold in 1/2 the egg whites and repeat till everything is in the same bowl and there are no streaks of flour remaining.

Now carefully spoon the batter into the prepared pan and place on a cookie sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake for between 18 to 25 minutes. I overcooked it the first time. If you see lots of little cracks on the top you have gone too long. You can stick a toothpick in it to see if it is done. It should be a little jiggly on top. It will also shrink away from the sides a little. This cake is big and a little goes a long way so the serving size is 16 thin slices and each slice has just 97 calories and 1.8 grams of fat. You can also freeze it.