I have mentioned before, I do not ‘do’ desserts on a regular basis, but I can when the opportunity arises. I have a few ‘signature’ items, most of which happened by accident. This particular recipe is one of the best dessert accidents I have ever had. Years ago I made a flourless chocolate cake that stuck to the pan, half was too crisp, the other half semi-raw, no way to salvage the mess, and essentially was trash. Someone was expecting this, and I did not have time to make another.
To make something palatable out of the mess, I put the whole thing in a food processor, added enough melted butter to make a paste, formed it, set it, and called it a day. Odd thing is, it was incredible.
It’s rich, decadent, and will satisfy any need you will ever have for something chocolate. If you do make it, and I suggest you do, and enjoy the final product, you may be happy to know it works just as well with any other baked good. Other than chocolate cake, biscotti is another great one. All the natural flavor from orange zest, dried fruit and extracts give the rich final product incredible flavor.
The texture is that of fudge, the flavor is that of a rich buttery chocolate cake, and the presentation is that of a petit four. The next time you feel like baking with chocolate, consider this.
Flourless Chocolate ‘Butter’ Cake
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Inactive cook time: 2 hours
Yield: 1 cake
4 oz whole unsalted organic butter, plus 1 tbsp for greasing
4 oz semi sweet chocolate (73%), cut into tiny pieces
1 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp for dusting
4 whole organic eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp espresso powder
8 oz whole unsalted butter, melted
You will need a spring form pan and parchment paper, and a loaf pan. Grease the pan heavily with butter. Cut the parchment into a circle to fit inside the pan. Grease the parchment heavily as well. Using the reserved 2 tbsp sugar, sprinkle the sugar in the pan, move the pan so the sugar coats all surfaces, and pan out the excess.
Separate the eggs, making sure not to get any yolk mixed in with the whites.
Heat an oven to 350, with a rack in the center. In a double boiler or metal mixing bowl placed over a sauce pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring continuously. Be sure to scrape down the sides as you are stirring. When everything is melted, remove from the heat and keep warm. Whisk in 1/2 the sugar, the egg yolks one at a time, the vanilla, salt and espresso. Keep slightly warm.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin whipping the egg white. When a meringue begins to form, add the sugar, a little at a time. Whip until soft peaks form.
Using the whisk spatula, whip 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate. This will lighten the mixture. Using a rubber spatula, FOLD the rest of the whites in. Be patient and do not over work, otherwise you will deflate the egg whites. When mixed, pour the batter into the spring form pan, and bake, approximately 35-45 minutes, until barely set in the middle.
Let cool slightly, remove from pan and let cool to room temp. Break the cake into pieces. Put the pieces in a food processor. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle the butter until it becomes very thick and almost paste-like. Spray the loaf pan liberally with pam. Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan, smooth the top and refrigerate, uncovered until completely cold.
Using a knife run under very hot water, slice into 1 inch cubes. Display on a platter with your garnish of choice. I would suggest a light butter cookie, whipped cream and berries.