BÍte Noire

This is an ultra-decadent chocolate recipe I often serve as a finale to an important meal. Leftovers store well, though I can't vouch for beyond 2 days. You can serve this with a chocolate glaze or, as I do, with a raspberry sauce. I also make mine with Eggbeaters, and that reduces the evil at least a little!

8 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
2 sticks unsalted butter or margarine [1/2 pound], cut into chunks
5 eggs, beaten - or substitute 1/2 c + 2 T [5 oz.] Eggbeaters
1/2 c water + 1 1/3 c sugar

Put chocolate pieces into food processor. Heat water and sugar together, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Immediately pour half of the simple syrup into the processor and turn it on for about 15 seconds. With the processor running, add the rest of the hot simple syrup and the butter chunks, several at a time, adding more when the previous ones have melted. Add eggs/Eggbeaters.

Pour into a greased 9"-diameter flan-bottom cake pan (I use Pam). (Just remove the outer rim/side portion. Leave the cake on the bottom part.) Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the center no longer looks unset and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean- to almost-clean. Do not overbake!

Set aside to cool; I generally don't refrigerate it if I'm serving it that evening.

1 pk. frozen raspberries, thawed and undrained
sugar
cornstarch

Press berries through a sieve or a chinois to remove the seeds. Don't throw out any "thawing juices."
Add some sugar, about 1 t at a time; the amount will depend on how sweet the berries are and how sweet you want the finished sauce. (I use just enough so the berries aren't tart.) I usually heat the sauce in the microwave to help the sugar dissolve fully.

Your sauce may be thick enough to use, but I usually find that it needs some thickening. I mix 2 t cornstarch with 1 T water and pour it into the sauce, heating again and stirring until the cornstarch "clears." If the sauce isn't thick enough, I mix in another 1 t each of cornstarch and water, again heating as necessary. I serve the sauce at room temperature, but it's fine chilled, too.

Presentation:

Put a puddle of sauce on the plate and tip it around until the plate is covered. I drop drops of cream - - about 8-12 drops - - around the outside of the sauce puddle. I have also used non-fat evaporated milk or even non-fat milk, depending on what I have. Although I have not tried it, you could make up a thin icing from powdered sugar and a little water; or use commercial aerosol whipped cream and let a squirt or two of it sit until the fluffiness is gone; or thin some vanilla pudding with milk. The consistency should be a little thick, which is why non-fat milk is the least successful.

I draw a toothpick or the tip of a paring knife continuously through the dots--like connect-the-dots. This turns them into little hearts.

I put the slice of bÍte noire in the middle and usually add a little more sauce on top, where it sits in splendor in the middle of the plate.

Alternate presentation: Use the white stuff to make concentric circles about 1/2 to 1" apart. Starting at the center of the plate, draw the toothpick to the edge at about 8 evenly-spaced places. This creates a spider web.


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marbeth@marthabeth.com