This year, we spent our Christmas Eve at home instead of traveling and had so much fun. We went shopping (wasn't as crazy as I thought it might be!), decorated cookies for Santa, and made this birthday cake for Jesus. Christmas in the Manger has been one of Caitlin's favorite bedtime stories since last Christmas, so she can recite the story herself now, and we have been talking about Christmas being Jesus' birthday. I think it's a fun tradition and good reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!
The cake turned out great. It is dense, rich and almost brownie-like. It has a slightly hard outer crust, but is soft and chewy inside. I topped the cake with chocolate ganache (heat 1/2 c. heavy cream in a small saucepan with 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth) and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I cut out a star shape to use as a stencil to go along with the first page in her book "I am the Star that shines in the East. I light the stable for man and beast."
- 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.
Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)