Editor’s Note: Barbara Lauterbach is taking a temporary leave of absence from the Lake District Foodies section. While he was away, the chronicle fell into the hands of Jim Dodge, a chef currently working in California but with strong roots in the Lake District. Dodge’s parents were the second owners of the inn in Steele Hill, and later owned the Squam Lakes Club and Inn, where Dodge began working under the direction of a pastry chef. Discovering his passion for baking, he studied in Switzerland and then, in 1978, went to San Francisco where his culinary career took off. Dodge is currently the Director of Specialty Culinary Programs for Bon Appétit Management Company, Chairman of the Jury for the first-ever Julia Child Award, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Julia Child Foundation. Lauterbach said of the following recipe, “I got it and it’s fabulous and easy! “
Makes a 9 inch cake, about 12 servings.
Set the oven rack to the lower third level and preheat to 325 ° F for a standard oven without convection.
Brush the bottom and sides of a 9×2-inch circular cake pan with melted butter. Line the bottom of a circle with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside until you need to.
8 ounces of bitter chocolate
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Cut the butter into small pieces and place it in a medium sized stainless steel bowl, you can use a double boiler for this step. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and place it in the bowl over the butter. Spread the chocolate so that it evenly covers the butter. Place the bowl on a pot of simmering water. Stir in butter and chocolate occasionally until both are melted and combined evenly. Turn off the heat and let stand so that the mixture remains melted.
Sift cocoa and sugar to remove lumps and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until well combined. Add the sifted cocoa and sugar and continue to mix until incorporated.
Pour in the melted butter and chocolate and mix until completely blended. Pour the batter into the pan and spread the top evenly. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the top center rises slightly and is set like a cheesecake. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack for one hour. Turn out onto a 9-inch wavy cake ring or flat dish, so that the bottom becomes the top. Cover with cake or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When cutting the cake, run a thin-bladed knife between a folded tea towel after each cut.
Serve with fresh berries and lightly whipped heavy cream.