I started watching Pati’s show on PBS about a year ago. Not only every recipe I made from her show (and cookbook) worked great, but I became more and more fond of her warm personality, authenticity, down to Earth way. The type of person I would not think twice about inviting over for dinner or sitting down at a cafe to shoot the breeze. Her show is always refreshing and fun. In her travels around Mexico she visits interesting spots and focuses on real people, fishermen, cooks on street stands, farmers, I always learn something new. Come to think of it she is the antithesis of Giada in her current show on FoodTV. I keep losing my enthusiasm for Giada, more and more, due to her excessive focus on Hollywood-style glamour. Hosting a fashion dinner on the rooftop of the Prada store in Firenze, with chamber music playing and wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress? The whole time acting all matter-of-fact about it? It’s a bit much for me… But, back to Pati. This cake is a cinch to make, tastes wonderful, and is superb with a cup of coffee. Try it, and you will love it.
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE PECAN CAKE
(from Pati Jinich)
1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon for buttering the pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup (125 g) pecans
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate and the 1/4 cup butter in a microwave at 50% power for a couple of minutes, stirring after one minute. Set aside to cool.
Using a blender, chop the pecans finely. If you have a Vitamix, it will take about 30 seconds, do not let it turn into pecan butter. Add the eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and melted chocolate mixture, blending until smooth. Pour the batter into the buttered springform pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out moist but not wet, about 40 minutes.
Once it has cooled a little, run the tip of a knife around the pan and release the cake from the pan. Invert onto a plate, and then again, or serve directly onto plates if left on bottom part of springform pan. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: This is by far the easiest cake ever to make. Perfect to bake with kids, since it will be ready in minutes with the help of a blender. Pour the batter into the pan, and you are done. It is very moist, the pecans giving it a perfect additional flavor that matches the chocolate quite well. It has of course the added benefit of being gluten-free, so if you bake for someone with gluten sensitivities, it is a must-have in your repertoire.
I took it to our department and it was a huge hit with everyone who arrived early enough on that Monday to enjoy a piece. Pati says in her show that she’s been making this cake for many years, it is a favorite with her family. Once you baked it, you’ll see why. Simple, no fuss, sweet but not over the top, rich but not too extravagant. My favorite type of dessert.
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