It’s springtime here in Southern California despite the fact that we have had early summer-like weather already with temps hitting the high 80s and even 90! In March! But it still cools off at night and the mornings are cool so baking is still possible and even nice as it does warm up the kitchen and those glorious smells that come out of the oven will get anyone out of bed!
This recipe is one that will be a perfect dessert for just about anyone – unless you have given up dessert for Lent, it is fine for diabetics as it has no sugar, great for those who can’t or don’t eat gluten as it is flourless, good for vegetarians and as Passover approaches will make a perfect dessert for your Seder!
Let’s face it … no meal is really complete without dessert and the preponderance of dessert lovers favor chocolate. What’s so nice about flourless chocolate cakes, and there are many recipes (this is one of the easiest I know), is that they don’t need to be fancied up! They are densely chocolate, almost fudgey and like a mousse – both at the same time. It’s fine to dust some powdered sugar on top if you want, or add a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream if you must. I just like to enjoy it as is with a cup of coffee or tea and be able to savor the richness of the chocolate.
How do you like to enjoy it?
Flourless Chocolate Cake
1 lb. High quality semisweet chocolate (at least 64 % cacao or higher), roughly chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter (salted or unsalted but I prefer unsalted)
5 eggs, separated
Preheat your oven to 375. In a small pot over low heat, melt the chocolate with the butter (you could do this in the microwave too, or in a double boiler), stirring often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Butter or spray an 8″ or 9″ spring form pan, line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper, and butter or spray that, too.
Separate your eggs, and beat the whites in a clean glass or stainless steel bowl with an electric mixer until stiff but not dry. (Beating them stiff means that the points stand up straight without curling over, but don’t have a dry look, so once they are stiff, stop beating.) In another bowl, slowly stir together the cooled chocolate mixture (it can still be warm, just not hot enough to cook the yolks) and the egg yolks. Fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate, and then the remaining whites, being careful not to deflate them. Leaving a few streaks of white through the batter is OK.
Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 25 minutes, until an instant read thermometer reads 140. (If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.) Cool slightly before removing the sides of the pan.
To remove the cake, run a sharp knife around the edge, all the way around. Set the cake on a tall can or jar whose top is flat and wide enough for the cake pan to sit securely. Release the spring and open it; it should pull away from the cake. Lower the ring. Remove the cake (on its bottom of the pan) and slide it onto the serving platter. You can leave it on the parchment or remove it. If bits of the side stay on the side of the ring, just scrape it off and spread it back on the side it came from.
Serves 8 – if you’re lucky!