Monday, November 25, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake

The holidays are upon us.  And, while most people enjoy pumpkin and a few other favorite pies at Thanksgiving, you can never go wrong with a decadent, chocolate confection, thrown into the mix for a little variety.  It's especially fun to bring one if you're the guest.  And, with today's rising gluten-intolerant crowd, you will be doubly loved for bringing this marvelous, flourless cake that I adapted from a Bon Apetit recipe.  Dense and moist, it's always a hit.  And when Christmas comes, you can sprinkle it with some finely crushed peppermints.  Here's one I just made.  Notice the glaze dripping down onto the platter.  I am cool with this.

12 oz. semisweet chocolate (bars or chips)
3/4 Cup butter
6 eggs, separated
6 oz. sugar, divided (12 Tbsp.)
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

1/2 Cup corn syrup
1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream
9 oz. semisweet chocolate
Optional garnishes: Berries, chocolate shavings, chocolate leaves, etc.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.  Line the bottom with a circle of parchment and then spray that as well.  Wrap the outside of the pan with foil. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter until smooth.  Let cool to lukewarm.
2. In a large bowl, beat yolks with HALF the sugar (3 oz.), until they're pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes.  Fold in chocolate mixture and extract.
3. In a separate bowl (use clean, dry beaters), beat egg whites until frothy.  Keep beating as you slowly add the other 3 oz. of sugar.  Beat until peaks form.  Fold a little at a time into chocolate mixture.  Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out with a bit of baked batter on it.  Place cake, still in pan, on a cooling rack until cool.  The top will be cracked; don't worry, as this will be the bottom of the cake.  Press down on the cracked parts to make a level surface.
4. Use a knife to loosen pan edges, then invert cake onto a serving platter.  Remove parchment.  In a medium sauce pan, simmer cream and corn syrup.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth.  Pour a small amount over top of cake, smoothing it onto the sides.  Freeze 5 minutes.  Pour remaining glaze onto cake (I leave most on top, as you can see), then chill until firm, about an hour.  Now you can store it at room temperature, and garnish it before serving (serves 10 or more).  Or, it's possible people will not be able to wait for the garnish, and may slice it up and start eating, as you can see below!

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