That was David Rosengarten’s closing line in his wonderful show “Taste,” years ago on FoodTV. Each episode centered around one dish, prepared by David while he talked about its origins, variations, and ultimately, his method to flawlessly reproduce it in your own kitchen. It was a simple format, but it delivered everything I expected from a cooking show. He almost always remained true to the classics. For instance, his shows on quiche Lorraine, cheese souffle and croissants were all based on recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But sometimes he would wander off in new directions: his interesting show on “Compromise Clam Chowder” was an example of his gastronomic rebellion. After explaining the differences between the New England and Manhattan methods for chowder, he offered his own version, borrowing a little bit from each. Similarly, his macaroni and cheese included a few “extras” to make the dish less monotonous, and it was absolutely delicious.

Through his show I learned about many exotic dishes such as laarb, before I even had a chance to try it in a restaurant. And, I stopped twisting my nose at offal, because David Rosengarten’s recipes were perfect for any palate. From him I learned how to cook pork ribs in a stove-top smoker, mimicking as closely as possible the best ribs of Memphis, one of the homes of barbecue. I loved watching him prepare Brazilian moqueca, even if his pronunciation of the state of its origin (Bahia) was a little off ;-). His show was classy, informative and fun, and I was sad to see it end.

So, I guess you can imagine how I felt when I received an email from Daniel Boneville, who just produced a video with David, and sent me the link. If you’ve also been suffering from Rosengarten-withdrawal syndrome, allow me to ease your pain, and I cross my fingers that this is just the first of a very long series!

Click here for the one and only David Rosengarten, on a quest to re-create his favorite tomato sauce…

With many thanks to Daniel Boneville….

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For someone who doesn’t much care for desserts, I’ve posted quite a few lately. Probably part of it was the holidays that just kept on coming: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, with Valentine’s Day around the corner.    All of these special occasions call for a sweet closure, often with chocolate written all over it. 😉

To get in this proper dessert spirit, I’ll share my favorite recipe for  flourless chocolate cake.  Even someone as cake-challenged  as myself can make this scrumptious dessert, as I have since I saw it on “Taste”, with David Rosengarten (back when the FoodTV Network was worth watching).  I didn’t miss many of David’s shows, that I taped on my old VCR, and still have the box of those tapes.  VCRs are a thing of the past, but one day I’ll digitize those shows on DVDs (…one happy day… right after I organize my recipes in beautiful, indexed folders).

David Rosengarten’s flourless chocolate cake is special.  I mean, who doesn’t like a pony?  Even if you’re not a chocoholic, this dessert might be for you, but if you love chocolate, then don’t let this recipe pass you by.  It’s dreamy with a little whipped cream on the side, that slightly mellows its potent chocolate kick.   Please, use the best chocolate that you can find, because here quality makes a difference:  the chocolate is all that you will taste.

(from David Rosengarten show Taste)

7 oz extra bittersweet chocolate
14 Tbs unsalted butter  (1 + 3/4 sticks)
5 large eggs, separated
1 Tbs vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water, heating until fully melted and smooth.  Transfer to a bowl, let it cool slightly for a few minutes, and whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla.  Sift in the sugar, salt, and cocoa powder, while constantly stirring.

Whip the egg whites to soft peaks.  Gently mix about one third of them into the chocolate mixture, fold the remaining whites trying to deflate them as little as possible. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.  Place in the lower rack of the oven and bake for 25-28 minutes.

Remove the cake to a rack and immediately loosen the sides of the pan. Allow the cake to cool before serving.


to print the recipe, click here

Some people, including my husband, can’t conceive of a cake without icing (irony of all ironies, he married the “Anti-Cake”).  Yet, this cake won his heart (though he  insists it will still improve with a thin chocolate glaze).  Years ago I baked it in a heart-shaped pan for our Valentine’s dinner.  OK, it was a little  cheesy,  but it doesn’t hurt to travel that route every once in a while…  😉

David’s original recipe instructed to press the cake down with a plate or other appropriate flat object right after removing the ring, to compress it and release a bit of the air produced by the whipped egg whites.   In his opinion, the cake is all about a fudgy, dense, chocolaty texture.  I’ve tried it both ways, and prefer to skip the compression, allowing it to naturally cool and deflate.

For the fans of his show, those who certainly still remember his closing line….

” Life is a matter of taste.” (David Rosengarten)

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