Flourless chocolate cake
I want to share the recipe for an amazing flourless chocolate cake with you but I have no clever stories around which to weave a tale that ends in this cake. With our new kitchen nearly complete, I have been busy and creative inside but life outside of the kitchen has been a bit staid. While I have been baking, poaching and flambéing, the outside world has passed by largely without notice.
Regarding my new kitchen, I have already scratched the brand-new counter, stained the refrigerator and nearly broken the dishwasher. I’ve moved the blender from here to there and back to here again. I’ve asked myself dozens of times whether the mixer wants to live next to the refrigerator or in that dead space next to the sink. (On which note, I hate that sink. Why did I go for stainless steel?) But challenges aside, I love the whole of it. The countertop, the cabinets, the tile — everything. I have cut flowers in it, had my picture taken in it, rolled pizza dough, stewed, sautéed and braised in it; I have created, riffed and followed with delicate precision. I’ve made these cookies and this tart and this pie. Twice.
I haven’t so much emerged from the 6-month cocoon of Hello Fresh + Deliveroo as I have been shot from a slingshot. I have a new energy and enthusiasm for meals, waking up every morning and asking, immediately, what do we want for dinner? I spend the day with food in the back of my mind, and in the front of my mind (much to the consternation of my personal trainer who stopped mid-exercise and mid-conversation on Tuesday and said “Seriously? Chocolate cake? That’s what you want to talk about while you are exercising?” I answered in the affirmative. She was not amused).
And now that I can take to the kitchen again with enthusiasm and energy (and a bit more style than before) I am beginning to work through a backload of recipes. There is the satay chicken salad that the kids and I devoured last night. Chicken paillard. Enormously blueberry muffins. A kale salad that will change your mind about kale and teach you a great new technique for preparing it. A soup inspired by a recent stay in at the Hotel Camiral in Girona. A sausage and kale stew and duck stir fried rice — but not a single story to go along with those recipes. So here they sit, in my mind, in my recipe notebook, and in my heart, gathering dust.
I am just going to start throwing them out there and maybe the stories will follow. Let’s start with this flourless chocolate cake which is going to guarantee you a return invitation when you bring this over to a friend’s place for a summer bbq or a weekend visit. (Use this cake wisely, I can’t be blamed for repeated invitations to your in-laws if you aren’t careful). And since it is Gluten Free and Nut Free you can even say that you are watching out for potential allergies.
The recipe is pretty easy to follow – the key is to make sure to use a springform pan and grease it generously.
Also, serve with whipped creme and top with cocoa nibs. A really nice crunch added to the cake!
There is such a gorgeously photogenic, flaky thin crust on top that I couldn’t bring myself to top it with confectioners sugar but if you don’t love it like I do try topping it with that – or with good dollop of whipped cream topped with chocolate shavings.
Have fun. Eat well. Tell me what you think.
Oh — and I feel like I need to clarify here that I have a physical trainer because I have spondylolisthesis and I’m on a year-long project to try to neutralize the damage so that I can avoid spinal fusion surgery. For what it’s worth I also almost only wear sneakers which affects my fashion game greatly but I do have great tips on comfy shoes if you are interested. For instance these and these.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 8 ounces really good quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (at least 70%)
- 6 large eggs at room temperature. Separate yolk + whites.
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- Confectioners' / powdered sugar, for dusting
- Homemade sweetened whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 275F to 135C degrees with the rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and line with greased parchment paper.
- Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until completely melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks.
- Using a standing mixer with an extra clean bowl, beat egg whites on medium high until soft peaks form. Gradually add the granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it and then gently fold in remaining egg whites.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center about 45 minutes. Cool it almost completely on a wire rack and then remove sides of pan.
- You can serve it warm or at room temperature. Whipped cream works better than ice cream but both are delicious with this cake!