Nigella Lawson is lighting more than a few fires in kitchens these days, and we're not talking about the stove.
The sizzlingly attractive chef who hosts the popular Style Network show, Nigella Bites, shared some holiday goodies on Good Morning America, as part of a new series called Perfect Party Pleasers. Here are her recipes for Chocolate Cloud Cake; Apple and Blackberry Kuchen, a German cake; and Chocolate Pots, a chocolate custard-like dessert.
Chocolate Cloud Cake Ingredients and Directions
• 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70 percent cocoa solids • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened • 6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated • 1/2 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon sugar • 2 Tablespoons Cointreau (optional) • grated zest of 1 orange (optional) • 9-inch springform cake pan
For the cream topping:
• 2 cups heavy cream • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional) • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. Line the bottom of the cake pan with baking parchment. 3. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate. 4. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 1/3 cup of the sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and the orange zest. 5. In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining sugar and whisk until the whites hold their shape but are not too stiff. 6. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the center is no longer wobbly. Cook the cake in its pan on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools. 7. When you are ready to eat, place the still pan-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its pan. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're going for here.
8. Whip the cream until it's soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently toward the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea strainer.
Apple and Blackberry Kuchen Ingredients and Directions
*Note: Kuchen is the German word for cake.
For the cake base:
• 2 1/4 to 2 1/3 cups white bread flour • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 2 Tablespoons sugar • 1/2 package (1/4-ounce package) rapid-rise yeast (about 1 teaspoon) • 2 eggs • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract • grated zest of half a lemon • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk • scant 1/4 cup butter, softened • 13 x 9-inch jellyroll pan
For the topping:
• 1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of cream and a pinch of ground cinnamon • 1 small or 1/2 medium firm, tart apple (approx. 6 ounces in weight) • 1 2/3 cups blackberries • zest of 1/2 lemon • 1/3 cup self-rising flour • 2 tablespoons ground almonds • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon • scant 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar • 2 Tablespoons Demerara, or granulated brown sugar • 2 Tablespoons sliced almonds