Thursday, July 1, 2010

Baking Cake Part 2

The day after the church potluck, I went to a baby shower for a very dear friend from college who is also expecting her second child. Our due dates are only 10 days apart and since she lives out of state, it was especially fun to get together. I can't wait to meet her baby boy but it's kind of crazy to think that the next time we see each other, we'll have 4 kids between us. We enjoyed a great meal with other college friends and I brought a flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Here's my belly and the dessert (thanks Amber for the photos!):

I haven't made this recipe in probably 4 or 5 years. There aren't many ingredients and choosing a good quality chocolate is key (I used Scharffen Berger 72% cacao). Separating and beating the egg yolks and whites is the hardest part. If you know someone who has to eat gluten-free, this is a decadent dessert that you can serve. I really wanted to toy with the ingredients (add a teaspoon of cinnamon or sub the vanilla for almond extract or add some espresso) but since I hadn't made it in so long, I stuck to the recipe.

I used to serve this with raspberry puree which is really easy to make: Thaw a bag of frozen raspberries, put them in the blender until smooth, and strain the seeds. This time I served it with sliced strawberries (macerated with about 1 tablespoon of sugar for 2 cups of strawberries) and whipped cream.

When the cake came out of the oven, it was really puffy and cracked on top and I thought I had overbaked it. The cake sunk quite a big as it cooled (which is normal) and when I unmolded it, the edges crumbled a bit. I thought it looked cakier than I had remembered, which is suprising because there is no flour or leavening agents. However, when I sliced it, the cake was moist and fudgy and just like I hoped it would be.

Flourless Chocolate Cake (serves 8-10)
from Bon Appetit, January 1999

12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 large eggs, separated
12 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper or waxed paper; butter paper. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, stirring often.

Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 6 tablespoons sugar in large bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Fold lukewarm chocolate mixture into yolk mixture, then fold in vanilla extract. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, beating until medium-firm peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake until top is puffed and cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack (cake will fall).

Gently press down crusty top to make evenly thick cake. Using small knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Invert cake onto a plate or tart pan bottom to peel off parchment paper. Serve at room temperature.

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  1. Wanted to let you know I tried your fried rice recipe last night and it was excellent! Thank you.

  2. You've reached my favorite food group. Cake! Yum.

  3. AH - glad you liked the fried rice!
    Now that I've been making so much cake, I can't stop.