Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Double-baked Flourless Chocolate Cake

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These days, I am nervous about trying out new recipes from cook books. I am so used to reading reviews and checking the ratings of recipes, that cook book recipes have become risky!

I was feeling particularly brave yesterday and took out a book I have had for ages but never used. It is The Best American Recipes 2001-2002, edited by Fran McCollough. It has recipes from various chefs and restaurants and seemed to be trustworthy. And this recipe did not disappoint.

I would like to start off by saying that I am not a fan of chocolate cake. This recipe did not convert me. But, the other chocolate cake fans who ate the cake seemed satisfied.


This was the first time I tried a flourless chocolate cake. As one dinner guest pointed out, it was more like a pudding than a cake, texturewise. This cake also takes time to make because it is double baked. But, I am sure that if you are a chocoholic, this cake will hit the spot. It is not too sweet and and very, very moist inside!

I served it with fresh strawberries, vanilla ice cream and a salted Dulce de Leche sauce, which I made by thinning out the Dulce de Leche with full fat milk and adding salt. The strawberries really helped to cut through the richness of the cake and the vanilla ice cream made everything lighter. For me, the salt in the sauce was the best part!


Double-Baked Flourless Chocolate Cake
Source: Lettie Teague, Food & Wine
Cooks: Sara & Jamie Guerin

Ingredients
1 cup butter, soft
225 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
7 eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 1/3 cups white sugar

Method
1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan. Cover the bottom with a circle of wax or parchment paper.
2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and the chocolate on low heat. Stir continuously until both have melted. Add the sifted cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Set this aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, using the electric mixer on medium speed, beat the seven egg yolks with 2/3 cups sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. You know it is done when you lift the beaters out of the mixture and the egg yolk mixture falls in a thick heavy ribbon.
4. In another large bowl, using clean whisk attachments on the electric mixer, beat the egg whites till the soft peak state. Start adding the remaining sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition. Add the remaining 2/3 cups of sugar in this way and beat till the hard peaks stage.
5. At this point, you can preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
6. Fold the cool chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture until completely incorporated.
7. Add the egg whites and fold gently until no white streaks remain. Do not over mix.
8. Remove 2 cups of this mixture from the bowl and refrigerate in a covered bowl.
9. Pour the remaining batter into the spring form pan and bake until the cake has risen & a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. This should take 40-45 minutes.
10. Place the baked cake on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Then, slide a knife to release the cake from the sides of the pan (if there is any sticking) and remove the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely. At this point, the center of the cake will sink. This is normal in flourless cakes and will be rectified in the next step.
11. When the cake is completely cool (I waited about an hour and a half), spread the reserved batter all over the surface of the cake. Leave a one inch border around this batter. Smooth the top.
12. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour.
13. Preheat your oven to 425. Bake for 10-15 minutes until a crisp crust forms on the cake and the batter below is smooth and creamy.
14. Let it cool for 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with your favorite accompaniments.

The recipe says that this cake can be made till step 12 up to 2 days in advance. The final baking can be done just 20-30 minutes before you serve it. I refrigerated the leftovers and microwaved a piece this morning and it was just as nice as the night before. Why did I need a piece in the morning, you ask? My husband wanted it for breakfast!


Overall, it is a long process, with the double baking, but fairly easy if you follow the instructions. And the results are excellent. My chocoholic husband and friends agree.
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9 comments:

Clover said...

O.M.G. M, this looks so good. I am not a huge fan of chocolate cake like you but this looks so good, I WANT!!!!! And the dulce de leche and fruit to go with it, droooollll!! i'm surprised your husband isn't obese!!!

The Harried Cook said...

Thank you so much, Clover! :) I couldn't eat more than one small piece but the others liked it... :)

Amanda said...

Despite my not loving chocolate so much, it was really good. So good that I had 2 servings! (which I would NEVER do with chocolate). The dulce de leche was perfection.

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

Why aren't my comments showing? x-( I had to re-remember what I said and re-type the whole thing!

briarrose said...

I am so spoiled by reading recipe comments and reviews as well....it's tough to shift gears to a standard cookbook. ;)

Amazing cake....it makes my little chocoholic heart go pitter patter.

The Harried Cook said...

@Amanda - Sorry! I hadn't logged on for a while & therefore hadn't approved your comment!

@briarrose - Thank you :) :) :)

Firefly@fireflyblog.org said...

It looks so good and moist :) I need chocolate now ;)

Renee Julia said...

It looks really succulent but, like you, I am not a big chocolate-cake fan. Something about moist white cake that I just adore. THough, I know my daughter would adore this recipe :)

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