Endorphin rush – flourless chocolate cake that still resembles cake
It’s nearing the end of Univeristy holidays (for me anyway), and it was also Will’s birthday yesterday, so I ruffled through the dessert recipe folder to find something sugary that would cheer us up. Even after biking into a headwind to get to Slack’n’Slave for the ingredients, buying full price unsalted butter (which only comes in the best butter and worst kind of butter), separating 5 eggs (I still have some hair left! Mainly because I didn’t want to get egg in my hair though), and realising I couldn’t make dinner because there was a cake in the oven at a low temperature for the next hour…this cake was worth it.
Hopefully, because you’ve been cooking at home over the holidays, you’ve saved up a bit…yes? Yes…because this cake isn’t recession material, you see. The hearty dose of eggs and chocolate and and ground almonds make this one hell of a treat. If I hadn’t just spent most of my dollars on Will’s birthday presents, I would havebought proper chocolate for this cake, because due to how much there is in it, you’ll actually taste the difference.
As you can see, it’s also preeeetty. Unlike many a flourless chocolate cake, this still has a cakey crumb, but with a mixture of gritty (from the almonds) and silky, smooth moistness. It’s so rich, in fact, you may want to make this cake with more than one or two people in mind – a relatively small slice will satisfy even hardcore chocolate fans. It’s up there with Clare’s chocolate guinness cake and the Tia Maria cake I made a while ago. While it’s a little finickier (what with the separation of eggs and all), it’s all worthwhile.
Flourless chocolate torte
found on Taste
makes a thick 8″ or 9″ cake
250g dark chocolate (60% gives a regular chocolate cake level of bitterness, so if you like dark chocolate cake, best to go 72%)
5 eggs at room temperature (important!), separated
1/2 c icing sugar
1 1/2 c ground almonds
1/2 c raw, white or caster sugar
Melt butter on low heat in a small/medium saucepan. While butter is melting, roughly chop chocolate. Once butter is fully melted, turn off heat and mix in chocolate (at this stage you can mix it a little to get it started and prep your other ingredients while the heat from the butter melts the chocolate). Make sure you don’t cut corners by heating the chocolate, or it will taste burnt and will RUIN the cake *gasp*
Set yolks aside in a small cup or similar, and separate egg whites into a large bowl (I tried to find a video, but they were really more moronic than useful, so I have a litte written thing on it below if you’ve never done it). Beat egg whites (you want an electric beater for this, trust me), gradually adding the caster sugar, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. When you stop the beaters and bring them out of the mixture, they should form sort of stiff peaks (that fall over, but they’re peaks nonetheless).
Mix chocolate into butter until fully incorporated, smooth and glossy. Add egg yolks, icing sugar, and ground almonds, and mix until fully incorporated. Preheat your oven now to 150C or 300F.
Fold the chocolatey mix into the egg whites, being careful not to beat (you want to keep as much air in as possible), until the mixture is uniform (do not keep mixing after this point). It looks pale now, but don’t worry, the insides will darken during cooking.
Generously grease an 8″ or 9″ springform cake pan, and dust with cocoa (optional), tapping the edges and rotating the pan so the cocoa sticks to the butter. This cake will stick, but if you let it cool completely, it will be possible to take it out without the whole thing falling apart (I did say it was moist!)
Scrape cake batter into the pan, and pop in the lower middle rack of your oven. Let cook for at least an hour, up to an hour and about ten minutes for the 8″ version (which is thicker). When removed from the oven, the center should not wobble, but it will be very soft (gently press the cake in the middle and it should spring back).
Once cooked, let the cake cool in the tin until the cake sinks down a little (about half an hour). Run a knife around the outside of the cake (between the cake & tin sides), and remove the ring. Let cool completely (it’s only a few hours of torture, but it’s very important if you don’t want your cake to fall apart) before dusting with icing sugar and serving with fresh fruit on the side :)