David Lebovitz’s Gateau Therese

What happens when a winter storm collides with a planned dinner party?  People cancel.  At least that’s what happened to the December 2010 installment of our Inspired Supper Club.  Fr. Leo was coming in from Emmitsburg, Adam and Joanne were driving up from NOVA, Mary was driving cross town, and Lan was crossing the Boulevard to meet up at our house for a pre-holiday celebration. Then the ice came. And the calls and emails started.  Should we cancel?  Should we continue as planned?

The good thing about my Type A personality is that I usually have a back up plan.  So when Adam and Joanne said they wouldn’t be able to make it, we moved Fr. Leo’s soup into the appetizer spot on the menu.  And when Mary decided that the ice and her brakes were not getting along, I immediately put Gateau Therese to the task of rounding out the meal.

If someone had walked into our house not knowing the chaos that the weather had wrought, they never would have guessed the evening had ever been in jeopardy.  Because The Mistah, Lan, Fr. Leo, and I had an  incredibly Inspired Supper.  While there were a few empty chairs at the table, we had an abundance of laughter and were nourished by the chance to connect with one another.

Gateau Therese

Adapted from David Lebovitz “The Sweet Life in Paris”

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom with a strip of parchment (make it into a sling so you have handles coming out the sides), and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with the kosher salt on low speed until foamy.  Increase the speed to medium until soft peaks form.  Add half the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks are formed when the beater is removed from the bowl.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler set over a pot of simmering water.  When just melted, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining half of the sugar, the egg yolks, and the flour.  Stir until just combined.

Mix 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter.  Then carefully fold the remaining whites into the batter just until the batter is smooth and no white streaks remain.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes until the cake just feels slightly firm in the center.  Cool the cake in the pan then grab the parchment sling and carefully remove the cake from the pan.

{printable recipe}

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11 Responses to David Lebovitz’s Gateau Therese

  1. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) says:

    Mmm, looks somewhere between a cake and a brownie. And dinner was saved! Good work.

    • Wendi says:

      Jennifer, that’s a really good description. I overbaked it a bit but used some of Abby Dodge’s Killer Chocolate Sauce to distract attention away from that fact.

      • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) says:

        That sauce is insane good. You probably could have poured it over cardboard and gotten away with it.

  2. Some plans are meant to be derailed. What a great way to spend an icy, winter evening.

  3. Jenna says:

    When faced with an unexpected change in plans, I usually spend 5 minutes a little mad and a little frustrated. After that I realize it’s no big deal, and adapt. I just wish I could skip those first emotional 5 minutes! I’ve learned not to talk during that time so that no one has to bear the brunt of it. =)
    Anyway, delicious looking dessert!

  4. liz2024 says:

    Yumm. a perfectly simple and delicious chocolate cake. Good thing you have quick recipes like that up your sleeve!

  5. Jen W. says:

    Wendi, I love your picture here, especially the indent in the gateau therese. The cake looks rich and most and delicious. Wow, I really wish I had some right now.

  6. I’ve had to conspicuously work through times like you describe. It helps that sometimes the end resulting size of a smaller group that made the night so special that helps me not hold expectations on who shows but whether I had a good time.

    That cake would also help a lot.

    • Wendi says:

      Barbara, you’re right…it really is all about having a good time with the people gathered around your table. And cake doesn’t hurt either.

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