RECIPES: Delicious Desserts From Francois Payard

Chef Francois Payard's latest cookbook, "Chocolate Epiphany," includes simple recipes to nurture home chefs who also happen to be chocolate lovers. Look below for Charlie's Afternoon Chocolate Cake, Triple Chocolate Financiers (on page 2) and Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu, also known as Chocolate French Toast (on page 3). To see all of the recipes at once, click on the 'print' button at the right and all three will appear on the same page.

CHARLIE'S AFTERNOON CHOCOLATE CAKE

Recipe courtesy Francois Payard

Makes one 9-inch cake

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

Vegetable cooking spray, for the pan
All-purpose flour, for the pan
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces 60 percent chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions:

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the sides and bottom of a round 9-inch cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Dust it with flour, shaking off the excess, and set aside.

2. Bring the butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir a couple of times to prevent it from burning. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix well.

4. Add the chocolate to the batter and stir until the mixture is just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 300°F and bake for an additional 8 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan. Unmold, and serve.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE

Recipe courtesy Francois Payard

Covers one 9-inch cake

Ingredients:

8 ounces of 61 percent or 72 percent chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream

Instructions:

Place the chocolate and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Use immediately.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and place a wire cooling rack on top of the paper. Place the cake to be glazed (make sure it has been chilled) on the rack, and pour the glaze over its top. Use a spatula to even out the glaze and help it run down the sides of the cake. Let it cool at room temperature and serve within a few hours to make sure that the glaze retains its shine.

CHOCOLATE DECORATION (Optional)

Ingredients:

Piece of marble (at least 1/2 inch thick, kept in freezer overnight, or for at least 3 hours)
1/2 pound (250 grams) of dark chocolate, melted and kept hot at about 100 degrees farenheit.

Instructions:

Remove marble from freezer and clean with metal spatula and/or cloth to remove any frozen condensation.

Pour melted chocolate over marble and spread evenly. Watch for the coloration to change and the chocolate to begin to set. Remove from marble very quickly with spatula -- one quick motion and begin to shape. You will have a few seconds to mold the piece of chocolate to desired shape. Place on top of the glazed cake.

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE FINANCIERS

Recipe courtesy Francois Payard

Makes about 40 financiers

Ingredients:

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