This is my first book review for the Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge
over at Out of the Past: A Classic Film Blog.
The book I am reviewing is the recently published Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother's Kitchen with Recipes, Photographs, and Personal Stories by Luca Dotti with Luigi Spinola.
This 265 page book has a simple format. It is written by Audrey Hepburn's second son (with Andrea Dotti) Luca Dotti. It is divided into 6 sections. Each section is divided into short chapters based on a certain family recipe. Dotti shares memories of his mother's life and the foods that she loved. He was only 23 when she died so most of his memories are from Audrey's later years when she spent most of her time as a mother and humanitarion instead of movie star. The first two sections focus on her childhood and early career.
There are a lot of family photographs in the book which are fun to look at. I always enjoy seeing natural photos of the stars where they are simply enjoying life as opposed to the glamorous publicity photos, not that I don't like those too.
Skipping the recipes, I was able to read this book in one evening. I highly recommend it to any Audrey Hepburn fan. It's a light, enjoyable read that gives you a little bit of everything: food, family, traveling, fashion, and above all - Love. This book was written with love and it is evident on every page. It is a lovely tribute to a lovely person.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Let's face it. A nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people. It does for me.
~ Audrey Hepburn
Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream (from the book)
This flourless cake is thin and moist, but it should form a slight crust. Audrey prepared it for special occasions, like birthdays and homecomings. It is one of those dishes that is better the next day.
11 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup whole milk (just enough to soften the chocolate)
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
8 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
Flour for pan
Preheat oven to 400F. Butter and flour a 10- or 12- inch round baking pan.
Melt the chocolate with the milk in a bain-marie (a pot inside another pot filled with hot water so as not exposed to direct heat). Add the butter and stir to blend thoroughly. Turn off the heat and add the 8 egg yolks; mix. In a separate bowl gradually add the sugar to the egg whites and whip to form soft peaks. Gently fold into the chocolate-egg yolk mixture. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, open the door, and leave the cake inside for a few minutes (this will prevent the crust from cracking). Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.