Bábovka fit for a president.

I finally did it. Before being socked by the early fall chill with a cold and going to bed for four days, I managed to whip up a pile of egg whites without using any motorized power but my own flailing elbows. At the end, the counter, tea tin, pasta jar, and salt and pepper shakers were covered in egg white, but I did it. And it was worth it, since the effort produced an honest-to-God Czech-looking bábovka of the same ilk that emerges from ovens in Prague. VICTORY.

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Given the title, you know that this isn’t just any cake. It’s high-office cake. Democratically-elected-by-a-landslide cake. Streamers-and-ticker-tape-parade cake.

For Prezidentská bábovka, you bring out the good stuff: fine dark chocolate and ground hazelnuts. It’s the kind of family cake that the words “happily munching” bring to mind. And it’s very easy to make.

President’s Cake
Prezidentská bábovka

A luxurious, special-occasion bábovka, flecked with chocolate and ground nuts. Also perfect for weekend breakfasts.

2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup butter
6 eggs, separated
1 tbsp. vanilla
½ to ¾ cup grated chocolate
¾ cup ground hazelnuts (3 ½ oz.)
1 cup heavy cream

Butter and flour a Bundt pan, and set aside.

Sift together flour and baking powder, and set aside. Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl, mix sugar with butter and egg yolks. Add vanilla. Add grated chocolate, nuts, cream, and flour mixture.

Beat egg whites into firm peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Ladle batter into Bundt pan, and bake for 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

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Grated chocolate is an underappreciated food form.

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Eureka!

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This is the cake that keeps on giving. It takes thirty minutes to make, and you’ll reap the rewards and praise for two weeks.

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You could go nuts and serve with fresh whipped cream, but only on formal state occasions.

Next up will be cakes from the American side–my great-grandmother’s trifecta: Lady Baltimore, Sunshine, and Devil’s Food.

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