Saturday, July 9, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake

As I type this, the start of the 20th storm (or what seems like the 20th storm) for the week is starting. Everyday this week, the sky has gushed all of its rain onto us about three times a day. And it’s not little drizzles of rain either, it is a full on power shower of heavy drops. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain, but when you are caught outside when it is thundering and lightning and your clothes are getting drenched within a matter of seconds, it’s not all that fun. The good thing is though, the storms usually last about an hour at most, then there’s clear skies for a few hours and then the downpour begins all over again.

Now, on a completely unrelated topic: flourless chocolate cake! I have made flourless chocolate cake once before, and it was…well to put it plainly, it was a disaster. After about 30 minutes out of the pan it had become a rock. I can’t remember if it was because I baked it too long or what, but all I remember is that it was a very weird and not so good tasting rock. So that ended up being tossed. My mom recently went out of town to visit her long-time friend and when she came back, my mom raved and raved to me about this flourless chocolate cake that her friend had described to her and so she took the liberty in asking her friend for the recipe so I could make it. Skeptical because of my last attempt at a flourless chocolate cake, I made it to please my mom.

This cake came out so much better than that first one (maybe it’s like the pancake effect--your first flourless chocolate cake is the tosser-outer). The top was crunchy, like a chocolate meringue. I liked the flavor, but I wish the top was just a wee with chocolateyer. The cake itself was fairly nice too. I’m not sure if it was because of how long I baked it for or what, but the consistency was like a mousse, a very deep and rich mousse. There was even a little thin and crisp layer on the bottom which paired nicely with the moist and airy cake; together they created a very nice balance of soft and crunchy.

I don’t want to be a drag, but this cake (as with many flourless cake I assume) is very messy because of that top layer, it falls away like that (not that that is a bad thing, not at all). So, if you are a type of person that loves the way things look, I would make this cake into one serving ramekins. If you don’t care about looks and just like to eat fudgey, yet light chocolate cakes, then bake this one right on up, because I think it’s worth it just to try. Also, don’t forget the scoop of ice cream right next to it, my mom said she loved the cake with a serving of ice cream and I don’t think that would be a bad idea, just thinking about the contrasting textures makes me want to go back in for a second slice with ice cream.

Flourless Chocolate Cake 
slightly adapted from Jo Ann

3 ½ oz semi sweet chocolate
3 ½ oz bittersweet chocoate
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, soft
1 cup sugar, divided
4 eggs, seperated

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Jo Ann states that she uses convection bake, which is what I normally set my oven for, so if you end up using a convection bake setting then it will automatically set itself to 275 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the butter into the chocolate until smooth and creamy. While you are waiting for the chocolate and butter to melt, mix together ½ cup of sugar and the 4 egg yolks. Once the chocolate mixture has fully melted, add a little bit into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs and then add that mixture back into the rest of the melted chocolate and butter mixture.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium high until light and frothy. Slowly add in the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy peaks form. 
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg whites and gently fold in the chocolate, making sure to fully incorporate. If you see egg white, keep folding. The egg white will not just magically mix into the batter, you will get spects of egg white into your cake if you don't fold it in all the way.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes. It took me 46 minutes and 30 seconds to get the consistancy I got. The top of the cake will looked very cracked and may even be a little broken, that is ok, it's supposed to look like that. Once the cake has baked, let the cake cool on a wire rack while still in its cake pan for 30 minutes. Turn the cake out and then turn the cake over again onto your final serving platter so the cracked top is visible. 

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