Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Month-of-Eggs: Flowerless Chocolate Cake (Happy V-Day!)

Ah! The day for a way to the heart. Traditionally, V-Day centers around chocolates and flowers, so here you go! You could make your true love a first course of fruit soup and float some nasturtiums on top. That way you’d have both areas covered.

Nah, you probably won’t do that.

So go for the chocolate. This cake is easy and uses (surprise!) meringue!

This recipe is for FlourlessChocolate Cake from Martha Stewart, so you know it’s good! It’s gluten-free and vegetarian so it’s a good choice to serve many of your guests on another day. If you want to hunt around for other options, there are a ton of flourless chocolate cakes out there. This one has a crispy top and edges, but it is fudgy in the center. I have mostly used the recipe as written, but I added some clarifications in the NOTE section. However, in honor of the day, I renamed the cake.
Flowerless Chocolate Cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 large eggs, separated (see NOTE)
½ cup granulated sugar (see NOTE)
good pinch of salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving (see NOTE)

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees with the rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until completely melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks. (see NOTE)

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form.

Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in remaining egg whites.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool completely on a wire rack; remove sides of pan. Serve at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

NOTE: Use room temperature eggs for better meringue. I don’t microwave the chocolate and butter. I melt them over a double boiler (don’t let the top pan bottom touch the water) for more control. Superfine sugar dissolves better. But don’t buy it. Make it in your mini-food processor. Just add the sugar and pulse until it is very fine. I whisk the egg yolks before adding to the chocolate mixture. Also, I always sweeten my whipped cream with confectioner’s sugar (which you can make by continuing to food process the sugar). I baked this in a 10” springform pan and cooked it less. To make a thicker cake, use an 8” or the suggested 9” pan. Adjust baking time for the pan size.

DH’s Rating: 4 ½ Tongues Up  DH commented that it is more fudgy than cakey. True that. But the butter really shines through. He takes his with vanilla ice cream not whipped cream.

I have to get a new springform pan. This one sprang a leak this one time when I needed it to be perfect, right? Bummer.

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