Happy Valentine’s Day to all and sundry!
It’s morning, my Valentine is still asleep and I have to go to work today, but we’ve been celebrating being together all week long. A romantic dinner at our local Italian restaurant one day, a movie night another (I’m lucky to be with someone who thinks that Hitchcock’s North By Northwest makes for good date night material) and this flourless chocolate cake the next. After I was denied a day off today, we decided to just make the most of the entire week! How do I love my hubby? I can’t even begin to count the ways. 🙂
He’s been a real support for me since I’ve been emotionally unraveling and he’s helping me along this journey through all of my past experiences so that I can face the future more strongly. Sure, he’s a bit forgetful and sure he’s easily distracted, but he’s completely wonderful, caring and compassionate, and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone or anything else.
I had never baked a flourless chocolate cake, but I knew I wanted to gift him this cake for Valentine’s day because he not only loves chocolate but really decadent chocolate cake. With 8 eggs, nearly a pound of chocolate and very little else, I didn’t know what else could be more decadent and simple.
If you’ve never made a flourless chocolate cake before, it’s almost like a souffle. There’s a lot of egg, a lot of jiggle in the middle as it cooks and while it won’t sink completely on you, it can be a bit undercooked in the middle if you aren’t too careful. If when the cooking time is up and it still jiggles like jello, then my advice is to turn off the oven, and let it sit in there an additional 5 – 10 minutes until it firms up to the smallest of jiggle in the middle.
Here’s the recipe I used for this truly wonderful chocolate cake for my even more fantastic Valentine. I hope you can share your love and your love of food with someone today, too. 🙂
Flourless Chocolate Cake
(Note: Recipe comes from the Williams Sonoma Essential Baking cookbook with my adaptations noted.)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 5 oz semisweet chocolate
- 5 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used dark chocolate)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 8 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- Mix almond meal and powdered sugar in a bowl and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double broiler (or very slowly in a pan, like I did), or in the microwave until melted and blended. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 300F. Butter the sides of a 9 inch springform pan (the cake will rise to the top) and line the bottom with parchment (or you won’t be able to remove it). Set aside.
- Using a whisk, whip egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. Don’t overwhip.
- Whisk the egg yolks into the melted and cooled chocolate until blended. Pour mixture into a large bowl. Using a rubber spatular, gently stir in 1/4 of the egg white into the chocolate.
- Gently fold in the almond meal mixture. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently to mix (I use my spatula to “cut” down the middle of the bowl and scooping it over at the end to fold the mixture before I turn the bowl a quarter turn to repeat the process).
- Pour batter into the pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. If still jiggly in the middle, turn off oven and let cake sit for an additional 5 – 10 minutes. Do not cook until completely firm, but a bit of jiggle in the middle is what you’re aiming for (it’ll set up a bit more once you remove it from the oven to cool).
- Remove from oven and let sit on wire rack for 3 minutes before removing the sides of the pan. Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.