A flourless chocolate cake is one of those restaurant-style desserts that it’s tempting to think is too fussy to make at home. Pish posh! It’s gluten-free by nature, and if … more
A flourless chocolate cake is one of those restaurant-style desserts that it’s tempting to think is too fussy to make at home. Pish posh! It’s gluten-free by nature, and if you can stand the 3 bowls it takes, you can whip up for your chocolate-loving Valentine any time.
The truth is (not that anything else I’ve told you is a lie – I never lie!), I hate using springform pans. I’ll do almost anything to avoid them. They tend to leak, they’re confusing to assemble if you’re not really on your game (which is the top, which is the bottom, for crying out loud?), and they’re a b**** to clean. But. But you’d better use one for this flourless chocolate cake or I’ll never forgive you.
As a consolation prize, I will allow you to complain bitterly about all the bowls you have to press into service to properly assemble this otherwise simple cake. Complain away, my Valentine friends! I certainly didn’t hold back. Not that anyone was listening, mind you. It’s just me and the dogs here, and all they do is listen for a well-placed expletive so that they know to come running. Expletive = something dropped on the floor (don’t worry – they don’t get to eat anything with chocolate in it, even off the floor).
This was what it looked like as I prepared to enjoy a slice of this cake. And then the children ruined everything by showing up and each giving me “the look.” I’m powerless in the face of the look! I gave them my piece. I have the spine of a jellyfish.
Anyway, here are the bowls in action:
They clean up fast, though. I promise.
If you’ve never made a flourless chocolate cake before (although I will submit that you’ve never really even had flourless chocolate cake until you’ve had this recipe), you may find its tendency to rise like a regular cake and then fall abruptly after it is removed from the oven rather alarming. Fear not! That’s what it is meant to do. Oh, and if you use a dark-colored springform pan (which if you can avoid, do), start watching it closely at 25 minutes so it doesn’t burn.
Even though we already did a Valentine’s Day Sweets Menu, this smooth and decadent cake is just too good not to share. ‘Cause you know, you can totally make it any day of the year. I’ll still call you Valentine, if it makes you happy. Here are the printable details:
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, chopped (plus more for greasing)
2 egg whites (60 g out of shell) + 3 eggs (180 g out of shell)
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted (it’s worth it here to sift)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round springform pan, line with a 9-inch round of unbleached parchment paper, then butter the paper. Set the pan aside.
Melt the chocolate & butter. In a double boiler or a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and 8 tablespoons butter until both are melted and smooth. If you are using the microwave method, microwave in 30-second increments at 70% power, stirring in between intervals, taking care not to burn the chocolate. Set the mixture aside to cool briefly.
Beat the egg whites. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), beat the 2 egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly, beating medium-high speed until glossy peaks begin to form. As you add more sugar, the whites will thicken and will not hold peaks as well. Keep beating until a thick, glossy mixture forms.
Assemble the batter. In a large bowl (lots of bowls!), whisk the 3 whole eggs and cocoa powder until well-combined. Add the chocolate and butter mixture slowly, whisking constantly, until fully combined. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour the beaten egg white and sugar mixture into the large bowl, and fold the egg white mixture into the batter carefully but completely. The mixture will be thickly pourable, and medium-brown in color.
Bake & serve. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top carefully, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake, rotating once, for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is set in the center and has just begun to pull away from the sides of the pan in spots. Cool the cake completely, in the pan, on a wire rack. For extra insurance against cracking, chill the molded cake in the refrigerator for 5 minutes before unmolding. Slice with a sharp, wet knife and serve.
P.S. Please pick up your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!