Tasty Treat Thursday: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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12 to 15 slices

16 oz. solid dark chocolate
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white cane sugar
3/4 cup very hot strong coffee (or use espresso powder in very hot water)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
8 large organic free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract- yes, a tablespoon!

Prep Day: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 10-cup Springform pan by lining the bottom with buttered parchment

Note: Using a smaller cake pan will result in a longer baking time; adjust accordingly and keep an eye on the edges; if it browns too much while the center is still wet, wrap edges in foil; or if you are using a smaller pan, try placing it inside a warm water bath.

Break up the dark chocolate into pieces and pour the chocolate into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until the chocolate breaks up into small bits. Add the sugar. Pulse until the chocolate and sugar turns into an even, sandy grain.

Pour the hot water or coffee slowly into the feed tube as you pulse again. Pulse until the chocolate is melted.

Add the butter pieces and the cocoa powder, and pulse to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla, and process till smooth. The batter will be liquid and creamy.

Pour the batter into the lined Springform pan. Wrap the outside of the whole pan with a big piece of foil. Bake at 350º F in the center of the oven, till puffed and cracked and lovely – about 55 to 65 minutes. (Note – it took an hour plus 15 minutes when I baked this at high altitude.) Use a wooden toothpick to check the center of the cake; pick should emerge clean, with maybe a crumb.

Place the cake pan on a wire rack to cool. The cake will deflate. Don’t worry! When cooled a bit, press down on it gently with a spatula to make it even, if you wish. Or not.

When the cake is completely cooled, cover, and chill it for at least three hours (best up to eight hours), until serving. Overnight is even better.

Serve thin slices with drizzled chocolate sauce or a sprinkle of sifted powdered sugar. Garnish with a fresh berries or mint leaves.

Tasty Treat Thursdays: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus extra for sprinkling
Whipped cream and berries (optional)

Prep Day: Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom of pan with a round of wax paper; butter paper.

Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; add sugar, and whisk. Add eggs and whisk again.

Sift ½ cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Be careful not to overbake. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a plate, then invert onto a serving plate.

If desired, dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet. Another option: Decorate with whipped cream and berries of your choice. Or serve with whipped cream flavored with a dash of vanilla extract.

Note: Once it has cooled completely, the cake will keep in an airtight container for a week. You can also freeze it, sealed in freezer-quality plastic wrap, for up to two months.

Serve Day: Simply defrost overnight in the fridge and serve at room temperature.