Friday, July 1, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake


There are times when all I want is chocolate.  But I mean, actual chocolate….not some “chocolate-y” dessert kind of thing.  That’s not the real deal and I just refuse to deal with chocolate imposter desserts when I get a serious chocolate craving.  Sorry if that seems a bit aggressive.  There’s nothing wrong with normal chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies, or chocolate muffins…it’s just that they’re not REAL chocolate desserts…their “chocolate-y” flavor just doesn’t suffice.

So when a craving for REAL chocolate dessert kicks in…I make a flourless chocolate cake.  Now that’s a REAL chocolate dessert that will make any chocolate lover happy.  Flourless chocolate cakes are very rich, and very dense, and their flavor is just…perfect.  They can be eaten as is, dusted only with a little powdered sugar to allow their chocolate flavor to come through strongly, rather than have it hide behind a sauce or mounds of chocolate frosting.  I didn’t want to make a very sweet cake, as I just wanted the chocolate flavor to come through, so I decided to use an unsweetened chocolate in the cake, although you can use bittersweet or semisweet if you want.


 By the way, in case you’re wondering.  Unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate are NOT the same thing.  Unsweetened chocolate is chocolate in its rawest form, as it is only made of chocolate liquor and cocoa butter, while bittersweet chocolate has sugar added to it, with semisweet naturally having even more sugar added to it.  The lack of sugar in unsweetened chocolate is what gives it such an intense chocolate flavor, making it ideal for baking.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 275 degrees Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In a large heatproof bowl, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each time, until completely melted and combined.  Let cool slightly, and whisk in the egg yolks.

In the bowl of a standard mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the granulated sugar, and continue to peat until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Gently fold in ¼ of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, and then fold in the remaining whites.

Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared springform pan, and smooth with a rubber spatula.  Bake in the oven just until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, and the center of the cake is just set, approximately 45-50 minutes.  Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before removing the sides of the springform pan.  Dust the cake with powdered sugar, and serve the cake at room temperature.

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