Biscuits de Chocolat
- 2 one-ounce tablets of semisweet chocolate, grated
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 8 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Combine and beat the grated chocolate, sugar and egg yolks until thick and creamy.
- Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.
- Sift the flour over the mixture and fold it in gently.
- Set paper cupcake liners (preferably silicone-coated for easier extracting) on a baking sheet and spoon no more than quarter-cup of batter into each one.
- Sift confectioner's sugar over the tops and bake at once, until the tops of the cakes are just firm (about 15 to 20 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
This delicate chocolate biscuit, akin to today's ladyfingers, might very well have been a part of Sarah Jay's dessert course. Originally appearing in Menon's La Science du Maitre D'Hotel, confiseur of 1750, the recipe has been adapted for the modern kitchen by Barbara Ketcham Wheaton in Savoring the Past: The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996; $21.50 paperback). These cookies would make a delicious accompaniment to a festive bowl of chocolate mousse as a holiday dessert, or as an elegant addition to a holiday cookie tray.