Friday, February 13, 2015

Simple & Rich Valentine's Dessert - Flourless Chocolate Cake

This rich and dense dessert is for the (chocolate) lovers of the world.  It only has four main ingredients - well six if you count the confectioner's sugar and raspberries used for garnishing - and it's the perfect thing to end a special Valentine's Day Dinner.  It's especially great with a cup of coffee. I stumbled on it when I was thumbing through One Big Table , a huge book of American recipes compiled by former New York Times columnist Molly O'Neill. It was located way in the back of the cookbook, and I tweaked it just a bit since I like my chocolate experiences not too teeth hurting sweet. Still, this is extremely decadent so keep the slices small! Happy Valentine's Day! Enjoy!

Ingredients for a Nine Inch Layer or a Dozen Individual Tart Pans

8 large eggs
1 cup butter (2 sticks) plus a bit more to grease the pan
15 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (or a baking bar chopped up)
1 cup sugar
1 pint raspberries for garnish
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Generously grease the cake pan or individual tart pans (or cupcake pans) with butter.  For a cake pan, I even cut a circle of parchment paper out, lay it in the bottom of the pan, and grease it as well.

With an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they start to thicken and turn lighter in color.  Add the sugar about a third of a cup at a time, beating for about two minutes in between. Beat two more minutes.

Put the butter and chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 1 minute and thirty seconds.  Vigorously stir it until it is smooth.  This takes some effort, but usually the surrounding heat will melt any stubborn pieces of chocolate so it all becomes nice and smooth.  It it is really necessary, it can be microwaved again - but only for 15 seconds at a time. 

Now, pour the egg mixture into the melted chocolate and butter and gently fold to combine. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan or divide it evenly between the tart pans. Place in the oven and bake one hour for the cake pan and 45 minutes for the tarts. A "crust" will form on top, but when touched, the cake or tarts will still feel soft or wiggle in the middle.  After removing from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes. Then run a knife around the inside edges of the pan and gently invert onto wire cooling racks.  Cool to room temperature before serving. Garnish with raspberries and a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar. Cake should be stored in the refrigerator.

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