To celebrate the 25th anniversary of F&W’s Best New Chef awards, one of our biggest stars shares one of her most requested recipes.
Gale Gand was named a Best New Chef 1994 while at Trio in Evanston, Illinois. She is now a chef-in-residence at Elawa Farm in nearby Lake Forest, as well as a partner at Tru in Chicago.
Over the course of her memorable baking career, Gale Gand has fielded requests for hundreds of recipes. But the most persistent pleas are for her chocolate blackout cake. She made it for the first time in 1996, when a customer asked her to re-create the recipe from the iconic Brooklyn bakery Ebinger’s, which went out of business in the ’70s. But Gand had never tasted the cake, and the recipe was a secret. So she began researching descriptions. “This was pre-Google; it wasn’t easy,” she says. After multiple tests, Gand arrived at a version she was happy with—layers of tender chocolate cake stuffed with chocolaty filling. “Now, it’s almost an underground thing. Someone will call and say, ‘I hear you do a blackout cake,’ and I’ll say, ‘Who sent you?’” RECIPE: Chocolate Blackout Cake