6 cakes, over 150 samples, and a 30 minute demo in front of a large room of UC Berkeley students. The Cal Cooking Club.
I arrive a bit flushed from my hectic walk over. My skin is damp with a few drops of sweat, leaving my glasses to slip down my nose every few seconds. Alas, I made it through my demo without burning down the building and spilling chocolate on my blouse.
Flourless chocolate cake. This dessert makes it on the menu at work very often. It is just a simple, comforting, chocolatey delight. And it is such a great base for experimentation and dressing up the plate: Rosemary caramel sauce anyone? Creme fraiche with candied orange peel? Brandied cherry and slivered almonds? Pine nuts, whipped cream, and olive oil (a favorite of mine!)?! The possibilities are endless with this simple base. It could even be fun experimenting with different chocolates-I usually use bittersweet, but I would love to see what you can do with semisweet, dark, even milk chocolate!
Please. If you like to cook, if you like to bake, if you like to eat, do it, enjoy it. Keep cooking. Cook with friends, with family, with strangers. Go into a restaurant and chop garlic all day. Throw dinner parties. Go to happy hours. Go out and try some new food that you would never think to make at home.
Go home and make flourless chocolate cake. You won't regret it. I promise.
Flourless Chocolate Cake/Torte
9 oz. (about a heaping cup) Bittersweet Chocolate (at work I use Callebaut or Valrhona brand, but I am also a fan of Trader Joe's chocolate as well as Ghiradelli)
9 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
5 Egg Yolks
½ Cup Sugar
1 ½ Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
½ Teaspoon Vanilla
5 Egg Whites
In a bowl over a pot with barely simmering water, melt butter with chocolate. Let cool slightly.
In a mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks with sugar until very thick and pale (you can also do this by hand).
Meanwhile, add the cocoa powder (sift if lumpy) to the chocolate-butter mixture with sea salt and vanilla.
Fold beaten egg yolks into chocolate mixture.
In a clean bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks, being careful not to overbeat. Your whites will looks white and thick (you've gone to far if you start to see curdled chunks). Fold into chocolate mixture and pour into a parchment-lined 9” round pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F until edges are slightly puffed and cracked, and middle is set but just slightly jiggly, about 30 minutes. Let cool (cake will fall slightly). Cut into slices with a hot wet knife (I've heard floss works, too!).
May be wrapped well and refrigerated for several days. Serve at room temperature.
Suggested servings: with whipped cream, caramel sauce, or a personal favorite olive oil and whipped cream. Or add chopped toasted nuts (hazelnuts, pine-nuts…).
Homemade Whipped Cream
1-2 cups heavy whipping cream
about 4 Tablespoons sugar
In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip your cream until thickened and to your liking. Add the sugar and stir for another 10-15 seconds.
Serve atop flourless chocolate cake!
Thank you to Cal Cooking Club for this wonderful opportunity!