We have not been very bloggish these past months because we are all scrambling around the software switch. But I did have to take a day off and organize The Manly Dinner. Robert has had this absolute killer bottle of wine that had to be paired with steaks from Peter Luger. We are always trying new steak vendors, and still the best is http://www.peterluger.com/. Once you have closed your eyes at the price and clicked on the Submit button, they arrive second day air and unfrozen.
You can throw away all those annoying mailers from Omaha Steaks, this is worth the price even though you get two bottles of their steak sauce (which I leave out on the sidewalk and they always go home with someone) and some fairly innocuous milk chocolate coins. Two Porterhouses will feed 8 people. Plus save the bones for French Onion Soup and the sticker shock lessens. .
The wine is called Screaming Eagle and I give you their website so that you can see how forthcoming they are! http://www.screamingeagle.com/. Once upon a time he was on their mailing list, but then the offerings became more insurmountable every year and he fell off the mountain. This bottle is the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon and after tasting it, I don’t think a winemaker or grape can do any better. Donna Lewis who like me is just along for the wine ride said: “I could drink this every day!”
We really do have a 30 year old wood fired stainless steel grill called The Grillery which did a superb job even thought it was raining. Nils and Robert pulled the grill right up to the door to the deck and stood inside the doorway to grill. The menu was pretty simple since we had these stars competing with each other. For appetizers we had the parmesan twists from Puff, a nifty cookbook on just puff pastry. The Resident Wine Maniac picked Selosse Initial Brut (Anselme Selosse was a radical and lonely reformer of biodynamic champagne 20 years ago). Grilled scallops with capers and Cavalli Aceto Silver on a bed of Arugula. This is a recipe adapted from River Cafe cookbook (now out of print in the US, alas). This was followed by the steak with bread to mop up the sauce. The sauce is melted butter with the steak juice mixed in. So easy and so basic! Sonia did a fall salad with roasted squash and greens which we had three cheeses which the owners from La Fromagerie had selected. Breads were from Grape + Bean. Chris Lewis had given the RWM a killer bottle of Banyuls which begged for a chocolate dessert and here it is from another out of print cookbook by Simone Beck. She was the recipe genie for Julia Child when they wrote their cookbooks. I have changed the recipe a bit over the years.
Butter & dust with cocoa powder an 8 inch cake pan which has a parchment circle in the base Manque from Gobel has slant sides and creates a cake that is easier to glaze.
Beat 3/4 cup Golden Baker’s sugar with 4 egg yolks until a creamy yellow. Melt 6 ounces of a mild bittersweet couverture (55-62% cocoa solids) with 3/4 cup unsalted butter just until they are smooth. A good gauge copper or aluminum saucepan is best for this. Check out our Chocolate Couverture section that Stephanie has slaved over on our website for ideas on how intense you want the chocolate to be.
Add this to the yolk and sugar mixture until blended. Add 4 tbs cake flour and 2 tbs almond flour. Beat the 4 whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Stir 1/4 of the white mixture into the chocolate lighten it and then fold that back into the remaining whites. Fill the pan with the batter (It should be about 3/4 full) Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for about 25 minutes. Outside should be solid but the center a bit creamy. Allow to cool before unmolding.
Make a glaze with 3.5 oz of the same chocolate by melting it with 3 tbs espresso and 3 tbs unsalted butter. Pour over cake and garnish with toasted slivered almonds. You should refrigerate this cake if not serving it the day you make it.