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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cake: Take Two

The last time I made a flourless chocolate cake I accidentally forgot to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and the cake stuck like crazy.  The two slices I photographed were the only two I was able to pry off of the base of the pan intact.  The rest of the cake crumbled into pieces.  Though the cake was delicious, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.  The cake was dark, moist and heavy.  It was like a slab of decadent chocolate mousse.  Delicious, but not cakelike.  Having had such good results with Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Cake I looked again to her recipe collection for her take on a flourless chocolate cake.  The following recipe is an adaptation of her Chocolate Cloud Cake.  This cake is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the flourless chocolate cake I made the last time.  The exterior is crater-like and cracked to reveal a moist but light interior.  The whipped cream topping is barely sweet and is a perfect counter point to the cocolatey cake.  This recipe is going into the keep file.

You'll Need:

For the Cake
9 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 stick butter
6 eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 Tb sugar
1 Tb orange liqueur

For the Topping
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Tb. orange liqueur
1 tsp vanilla

cocoa powder

Getting Started:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9" spring form pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper.

Soften butter.

Dig the double boiler out of the back of your cupboard or assemble one using a medium saucepan and large bowl.  Put about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan and set the water on the stove to heat.

Chop chocolate into small chunks.

Separate 4 eggs.

Now You're Cookin':

Put chocolate chunks into the top of the double boiler (or large bowl) and melt stirring frequently.

When the chocolate has melted add the butter to the warm chocolate and stir until melted and fully incorporated.

Add the orange liqueur.

Whisk together two whole eggs, the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar.

Add a large spoonful of the warm chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture and stir to combine.

Add the egg and sugar mixture to the chocolate and stir to combine.

Whisk the egg whites until white and frothy.

Slowly add 1/4 cup of sugar to the egg whites and beat until the whites form soft peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions.  Stir to incorporate fully.

Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.  When cake is done the top will have risen cracking the top of the cake and revealing a firm center.

Cool the cake completely in the pan.

Beat together the whipping cream, orange liqueur and vanilla until the mixture holds its shape but is not stiff.

Spoon the whipped cream over the top of the cake and dust with cocoa powder.

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