Princess Of Georgia Cake
Source of Recipe
Minneapolis Star and Tribune, 12/98
This low, gooey cake is usually made with almonds, and in that arrangement it is known as the Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba). I decided to make it with toasted pecans (a swell idea, it turns out), so the change of name seemed obvious. The center of the cake is supposed to be underdone. A springform or other loose-bottom pan is required. The cake recipe started with one from Julia Child; the glaze and method are from Alice Medrich's "Cocolat."
3/4 cup pecan halves (about 3 oz.)
4 squares semisweet chocolate or 2/3 c. (1-oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, divided
3 eggs, separated
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1/2 cup cake flour
6 squares semisweet chocolate or 1 c. (1-oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Whipped cream for decoration
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch springform or loose-bottomed cake pan.
Set aside 12 nice looking pecan halves of equal size (for decoration). Chop or break up the remaining pecans and toast both whole and chopped pecans in a frying pan over low heat about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until they color slightly and become fragrant. Pour out of hot pan.
Set aside the 12 unchopped halves and whomp the chopped pecans in a food processor with 1 tablespoon of sugar until they are powdered (or until they just won't get any smaller). Set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a medium saucepan over very low heat or over hot water (or in a microwave at half power), stirring very frequently (even in the microwave) until completely smooth. Set aside at room temperature.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and 2/3 cup of sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Putting the egg whites into the small bowl of the electric mixer, beat the egg yolks into the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat the melted chocolate, the pulverized pecans and the brewed coffee into the butter mixture until all is well blended. Scrape down the bowl and beaters.
With thoroughly washed beaters, beat the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks, then add the remaining tablespoon of sugar while beating, and beat until stiff peaks form.
Stir about a fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in a third of the remaining whites, sifting a third of the flour into the mixture as you fold. Repeat until all the whites and flour are incorporated.
Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly to the edge of the pan. Bake about 25 minutes until it has puffed slightly and a toothpick inserted an inch or so in from the edge comes out clean -- the center will still be slightly gooey.
Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge, remove the side of the pan and cool the cake on a rack at least an hour until it has cooled through. If you like, invert the cake, gently lift away the pan bottom (restore any gooey center that stuck to the pan) and invert onto a serving plate.
While the cake bakes, prepare the glaze: Melt the chocolate, butter and syrup together in a medium saucepan over very low heat or over hot water (or in a microwave at half power), stirring very frequently (even in the microwave) until completely smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat when a little of the chocolate remains unmelted; stir off heat to finish melting.
Set aside to cool at room temperature.
To glaze the fully cooled cake: Tuck strips of waxed paper under the edge of the cake all the way around, to keep glaze off of the plate. Using about a fourth of the cooled glaze (warmed slightly if it's too thick to spread), gently coat the top and the side of the cake. Warm the remaining glaze very gently, stirring, just until it's the consistency of they cream. Pour the glaze into a puddle in the center of the coated cake. Spread it quickly over the top of the cake, letting it flow down the side.
Cool completely and decorate with whipped cream and the pecan halves.